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?

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 seventh time the project has run.

How long does the project run for?

The project officially starts MONDAY 21 AUGUST 2023 and runs until MONDAY 11 DECEMBER 2023

How does the project work?

Kindergartens register online before FRIDAY 30 JUNE and are sent a free Daltons Starter Pack with everything they need to grow their own sunflower. They compete with other kindergartens within their own Association’s region. This is because each has its own unique growing conditions.

Starter packs are delivered to each kindergarten and contain Daltons Premium Seed Mix, Daltons Premium Potting Mix, Kings Seeds Skyscraper Sunflower Seeds, peat pots, growing instructions, Daltons measuring tape, growth tracking charts, and more. Regional winners will receive prize packs. All participating kindergartens will go also into a draw to win a gardening prize pack for their kindergarten.

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, 509 Kindergartens and over 25,253 children 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 Association (Central North Island), Dunedin Kindergartens Incorporated, Kidsfirst Kindergartens Christchurch, Kindergarten Taranaki, Inspired Kindergartens (Tauranga), Marlborough Kindergarten Association, Nelson Tasman Kindergartens Association, Northland Kindergartens Association, Waikato Kindergarten Association, and Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens (Wellington).

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

No. Kindergartens within 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 when the competition starts. They will be delivered from MONDAY 07 AUGUST onwards. If you have not received your pack by THURSDAY 17 AUGUST, please get in touch.

What are the winning prizes? 

PRIZES REGIONAL PRIZES for each Regional Kindergarten Association*

  • THE TALLEST SUNFLOWER: $100 Daltons Gardening Product Prize Pack, $100 Warehouse voucher, a GARDENA Classic Water Sprayer gun.
  • THE WIDEST SUNFLOWER HEAD: $100 Daltons Gardening Product Prize Pack, $100 Warehouse voucher, a GARDENA Classic Water Sprayer gun.
  • 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 are included in the starter pack.
  • PARTICIPATION CERTIFICATES:These are available in the Sunflowers Learning Centre for you to download at the end of the project so every child receives their own special certificate.



  • PRIZE DRAW: All participating kindergartens will go into the draw to win a prize pack containing; $50 Daltons Gardening Product Prize Pack, a $100 Warehouse voucher, a GARDENA Classic Water Sprayer gun.
  • BEST PHOTO: Send us your photos throughout the project and you could win a framed copy of the winning photo, a $50 Daltons Gardening Product Prize Pack, a $100 warehouse voucher, a GARDENA Classic Water Sprayer gun.
  • NATIONAL HOMEGROWN TALLEST SUNFLOWER AWARD: This is open nationally to participating kindergarten children who may also choose to grow sunflowers at home with their families. The winner receives a $50 Daltons Gardening Product Prize Pack, $100 Warehouse voucher, and a GARDENA Classic Water Sprayer.

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? 

There is also plenty of information in the growing guides which are in your starter packs and also available here. We also have our How-to Videos in our Sunflower Learning Centre. If there is something specific you need help with or you are having trouble with your seed sowing or growing, please get in touch.

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 particularly 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. Please ensure 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 Tips have 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 (MONDAY 11 DECEMBER 2023) and wish to enter their blooms after that. The competition begins Tuesday 12 December 2023 till Friday 12 February 2024. More information to come.

What are the Late Bloomers prizes?

There is one prize pack for each of the awards: one Late Bloomers Tallest Sunflower and one Late Bloomers Widest Sunflower Head.


For more details about the project, please read our Terms and Conditions here.