|Kids will love helping with this project and the end result will have them jumping with excitement. There is a magical and mysterious atmosphere inside a sunflower playhouse that will have kidsí imaginations running wild. I found this out the year my grandsons were four and six years old. Thatís the year I decided to let them help me plant a sunflower playhouse. They no longer had to be encouraged to leave their Gameboys ģ and computer games behind and get out into the fresh air and sunshine.
The first thing you will need to do is select an area of the lawn or garden to plant the playhouse. This area should be 10í x 12í or more. We made our playhouse in the shape of a horseshoe to give it more appeal.
- Mammoth sunflower seeds (for height)
- Dwarf sunflower seeds (to help fill in the walls)
- Morning glory seeds (for decoration and beauty)
Planting the Playhouse
- Landscape fabric (to prevent weeds from sprouting up)
Once the sunflower seeds have been planted, water the seedlings. Water only once a week, or in a dry spell, water two to three times a week.
- Once the chance of frost has passed in the spring, it is time to plant your sunflower playhouse. Choose an area in the lawn or garden that is in full sun. Sunflowers love the sun and can take drought, but donít like to be too wet.
- Work the soil in the desired shape of the sunflower playhouse. If you want the playhouse horseshoe-shaped, square or rectangular, dig the soil to plant the walls.
- Once the soil is worked, add compost or sheep manure for fertilizer.
- Remove soil and lay the landscape fabric.
- Level the soil.
- Plant one sunflower seed and one morning glory seed together and cover with dirt. Follow the package directions for depth.
- Plant mammoth sunflower seeds to create height to the walls and plant the dwarf sunflower seeds between to fill them in. Plant these fairly close together to give the playhouse the atmosphere of seclusion. Remember to leave an opening for the door.
After approximately fourteen days, the sunflowers will begin to sprout. Continue watering as directed above.
Weed as needed. You donít want weeds overtaking either the sunflower walls or the interior of the playhouse.
As the sunflowers gain height, the morning glories will wind themselves around the sunflower stalks and create decoration and beauty to the playhouse.
When the sunflowers are taller than the kids, move their lawn chairs, a small plastic table and a few toys into the playhouse. Remember to add a few books to encourage reading. These should be brought in each night to prevent damage by the dew or in case of rain.
The kids will get up each morning, have breakfast and head out to the playhouse. They can play board games, color, play with dolls, read or play with trucks, shovels and tractors. Mud pies are always fun to create and this is a perfect setting to have a mud pie tea party.
Join the kids in the sunflower playhouse for a picnic and encourage imaginative play. They can play hide-and-go-seek amidst the sunflowers or a game of tag. If sunflowers are planted thick enough, they create great hiding places or obstacles for a game of tag.
The year my grandsons and I created our playhouse, we had a wide variety of wildlife come to visit. A rabbit made her home in the sunflower patch and had her babies there after digging a den. We left straw beside the hole, which she used to create a nest. Other wildlife that came calling included nightly visits by raccoons and a wide variety of bird species that came in autumn once the sunflower seeds were ripe. Cardinals, bluejays, and chickadees continued to come throughout late fall and into early winter. The boys loved watching the birds feast on the seeds and watched them for hours from the kitchen window after the weather had cooled. The next year, they begged me to help them create another sunflower playhouse, which we did. That one was just as successful.
Other options are to create a sunflower maze or add hallways and rooms to the sunflower playhouse. However, these options take a large plot of ground.
Your kids will love their sunflower playhouse and will beg you to help them plant one each year. Itís a great way to get kids out of the house and introduce them to nature.