Peace, Love, and Happiness: Paper + Paint Sunflowers

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Today begins our newest theme – PEACE LOVE AND HAPPINESS. Our focus today is on that last bit – happiness. Is anything more ‘happy’ than a sunflower?

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

As a back story, we spent a couple hours visiting a local sunflower field recently at the Please Wash Me Carwash in Elverson, PA. It was planted by a couple who wanted to give the community something beautiful to enjoy and only asked that visitors ‘pay it forward’ to others in their own communities. That selfless gesture was so inspiring and heartwarming given the current events in our country and worldwide. To see the look of awe and wonder on two-year-old Jasper and seven-month-old Mila’s faces, who had never seen anything like it,  reminded me how it is truly the small things in life that give the greatest joys (even if those “small things” are towering over your heads haha).

Our visit to the sunflower field at Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, PA
Jasper, our little “son-flower”
Our visit to the sunflower field at Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, PA
Mila, our precious flower child

Craft/Activity/Snack: Paint & Paper Sunflower
Objective: Create a 3-dimensional sunflower using paint and paper
Skills Utilized: fine motor skills, following directions, and positional phrases
Suggested Reading: Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace by James Proimos
Materials: yellow paper petals, green paper stems, construction paper background, toilet paper roll, q-tip cotton swab, black paint, white glue

Crafternoon Playdate - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Start by putting black paint and glue into the palette. If you don’t have a palette like this, a paper plate will do just fine!

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Have your child smear glue onto the paper and then glue the stems. We discussed how stems “stand up” rather than “lay down” to help Jasper understand which way the stems should look.

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Then I instructed him to dip the toilet paper roll into the black paint but encouraged him to be very careful and only stamp the roll at the TOP of the green rectangle stems. He wasn’t perfect about it and that’s completely okay! He’s 2 and he’s learning just as yours is, no matter their age.

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Then I asked him to “dip the q-tip into the black paint and ‘dot dot’ INSIDE of the big circle” to which he gladly obliged and did an excellent job!!

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

For the final step, I asked him to “dip the petals into glue and place them on the OUTSIDE of the big circles.”

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Jasper’s sunflowers look like a crop that has been picked over, but he was quite pleased with his final product and I am too! He kept leaving the dinner table to look at his ‘pretty ton-powers’ hanging on the fridge.

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

The best part about dipping the petals rather than applying the glue directly to the background paper is that you get a very lovely three-dimensional effect as highlighted below:

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Extension Activities:

  1. Give your child specific numerical instructions for each flower to coordinate with a high-value number you are focusing on – i.e. 17, do seventeen dots inside and add seventeen petals, etc.
  2. Use sunflower seeds as filler for a sensory bin
  3. Plant sunflower seeds
  4. Visit a sunflower field like we did:

Our visit to the sunflower field at Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, PA

Our visit to the sunflower field at Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, PA

Our visit to the sunflower field at Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, PA

They’re real-life flower children!

Illustrated Avatar Jess

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