Sunflowers in Kindergartens FAQs

What is the Project about?

The Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project is designed to grow little gardeners through nurturing and caring for their own sunflowers.  At the heart of the project lies Daltons goal to spark children’s interest and love of gardening, and empower them to develop gardening skills for life. This year there are 11 kindergarten associations taking part around the country, all aiming to grow the tallest sunflower or widest sunflower face within their region.  

How long has the Project been running for?

The project started in 2013 and was run annually for 2014 and 2015. It changed to a biennial frequency in 2017. This year will be the fifth time the project has run.

How long does the project run for?

Project officially starts MONDAY 19th AUGUST 2019 and runs until TUESDAY 10th DECEMBER 2019

How does the project work?

Kindergartens register online before FRIDAY 5th JULY and will be sent a free Daltons Starter Pack with everything they need to grow their own sunflower.

They will compete with other kindergartens within their own Association’s region. This is because each has their own unique growing conditions.

Starter packs will be delivered to each kindergarten and contains Daltons Seed Raising Mix, Potting Mix, Kings Seeds SkyScraper Sunflower Seeds, peat pots, growing instructions, Daltons measuring tape, growth tracking charts, and more.

Regional winners will receive prizes from Daltons and The Warehouse, and all participating kindergartens will go into the draw to win a gardening workshop at their kindergarten with media personality and award-winning landscape designer Xanthe White.

Why is the Project only open to 11 kindergarten associations and not every kindergarten in New Zealand? 

As you can imagine the project has to be capped at some point. With 11 kindergarten associations taking part, 456 kindergartens have the opportunity to participate throughout the country.

Where are the participating kindergarten associations?

The participating kindergarten associations are: Auckland Kindergarten Association, Central Kids Kindergartens (Central North Island), Kidsfirst Kindergartens (Christchurch), Dunedin Kindergartens Incorporated, Inspired Kindergartens and Home Based Education (Tauranga), Kindergarten Taranaki, Marlborough Kindergarten Association, Northland Kindergarten Association, Nelson Tasman Kindergartens Association, Waikato Kindergarten Association, Wellington Kindergartens Association.

Is my kindergarten competing against all the kindergartens around the country?

No. Kindergartens in your own kindergarten association compete against EACH OTHER to grow the widest/tallest sunflower – not against any other region or association. We did it this way because each region has its own unique growing conditions

Why does the Project finish in December?

We finish the main Project in December because not all kindergartens choose to look after their gardens/plants over the summer school holidays. We selected the best dates to ensure the main project is completed before these holidays begin. We do run Late Bloomers for late blooming flowers – read more about that below.

I have registered so when do I get my starter pack?

Starter packs contain everything you need to begin growing. They will be delivered from the week beginning MONDAY 29th JULY and should be with each registered kindergarten by FRIDAY 16th AUGUST. If you have not received your pack by THURSDAY 15th AUGUST, please get in touch.

What are the winning prizes? 

Regional Prizes for each of the participating 11 Regional Kindergarten Associations

  • The Tallest Sunflower: $150 Daltons garden voucher and $100 Warehouse Voucher
  • The Widest Sunflower Head: $150 Daltons garden voucher and $100 Warehouse Voucher

National Prizes    

  • Kindy Gardening Workshop: Each registered kindergarten goes into the draw to win a workshop with award-winner landscape designer and author, Xanthe White. The winning kindergarten could use the workshop as a great fundraiser by selling tickets to the workshop, if they wish.
  • Best Photo: Throughout the project send us your best sunflower photos and you could win a framed copy of the photo and a $100 Daltons voucher.
  • Daltons Best Little Gardener for each kindy: It could be the child who showed an incredible passion for gardening, or paid special attention to their sunflower, it’s up to you. Prize and certificate included in the starter pack. Download and print off participation certificates so every child gets a special memento.

Why do we need to track the sunflowers' growth?

Children need to track their sunflower plants growth each week throughout the project on their Growth Tracking Sheets. It’s exciting for them to see the plants progress and they learn about numbers and measurement along the way. When it comes to the submitting of final measurements at the end of the project, growth tracking sheets may be requested for verification. 

Who can I contact for any growing advice? / Where can I find growing tips? 

This year we have our new How to Videos which we will send out in our fortnightly newsletters and they will also be available in our Sunflower Learning Centre. There is also plenty of information in the growing guides which are in your starter packs and also available here. If there is something specific you need help with, please contact us.

Are there any sunflower facts or activities I can do with my kindergarten children?

Our Sunflower Learning Centre is a resource of sunflower information and activities you can download and share with your kindergarten children to support their learning and engage them in fun activities. These activities can assimilate into aspects of the early childhood education curriculum and are in various topics for easy access. 

Why do I need to submit photos throughout the project?

This is quite important because it helps us keep track of how your kindergarten is going throughout the project and how your plants are doing. When you register, you agree to the Terms and Conditions which outline that each kindergarten must submit photos at least once a month. It is very important that any images of your kindergarten children that you send us have parental approval. Download our approval form here.

I want to submit photos but I am not sure how.

Go to our photo upload page and load and send your photos to us there. Our handy photo guide has lots of information to help.

What is the Late Bloomers Competition?

The Late Bloomers Competition is for those regions that struggle with lower temperatures and may not have flowers by the end of the main project (Tuesday 10th December) and wish to enter their blooms after that. This year, Late Bloomers will run from Monday 16th December 2019 to Monday 10th February 2020. More information will be available in December.

What are the Late Bloomers prizes?

There is one overall prize for Late Bloomers Tallest Sunflower and Late Bloomers Widest Sunflower Head.


For more detailed information read our Terms and Conditions.

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