This paper plate sunflower is a great craft for a Letter “S” unit in daycare, or for a fall themed craft at home or in the classroom. Real coffee beans and corn kernels add a sensory element to this activity, making it one of my favourites in our A-Z paper plates crafts collection.
Now that fall is here, our garden is changing. The summer flowers are waning and the fall flowers have come to life. Our favourites at the moment are the tall, yellow sunflowers that tower over the hooligans’ heads.
Our sunflower is very easy to make, so it’s a great craft for toddlers and preschoolers. There’s painting, cutting and gluing, and of course, there’s sensory fun as we explore the corn kernels and coffee beans that make up the center of our sunflower.
To make our paper plate sunflower, you’ll need:
- paper plate
- yellow paint
- brown paint
- coffee beans
- corn kernels
Sunflowers are such interesting flowers. Not only are children fascinated by size of the flowers themselves, they’re really fun to examine and dissect. Every fall, I gather several sunflowers for the hooligans to explore and take apart. They remove the seeds from the center of the flower, and I show them how to crack the shells of the seeds open to find the tiny, edible sunflower seed inside.
I also keep a bucket of field corn on hand for the children to explore in fall. They husk the cobs of corn, and spend hours removing all of the kernels from the cobs. This is great fun. We collect all the kernels in a big bin, and use them for bins, sensory play and for crafting.
Making our sunflowers:
To make our sunflowers, we began by painting the outer rim of our paper plate. I set out several shades of yellow paint so my hooligan could blend them together. Whenever we’re painting, I like to offer several shades of the same colour. The hooligans love colour-blending. They can see what happens when they add a darker shade of a colour to a lighter one, and vice-versa. Using several shades of the same colour can also add depth and dimension to a simple craft, creating shadows and highlights.
Next, we painted the center of the paper plate brown.
To add interest and texture to our sunflower, we glued the corn kernels and coffee beans all over the center of the plate.
We left our sunflowers to dry in the sun for a while, and when they were ready, my preschooler cut notches all around the rim of the plate to create the sunflower’s petals.
Looking for more easy, awesome paper plate crafts?
Check out our A-Z collection of paper plate crafts where you’ll find one or more paper plate crafts for every letter of the alphabet!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.