Project Sunshine 2014: new seeds to send out!

Our little farmers have worked hard this winter, and have started packaging up their latest batch of sunflower seeds! Check out their beautiful seed packets:

Here the children washed home-made dyes made from turmeric and beetroot onto paper, and then drew sunflowery illustrations overtop. Their artworks are delicate and very beautiful.

The little farmers have also been cutting up old magazines and making green-themed collages to accompany their sunflower seeds.

If you’d like a packet of sunflower seeds for planting in spring, please drop us a line at projectsunshineaotearoa(at)gmail(dot)com






Sunshine Day at the Dowse – Sunday 24 November 2013

Hello lovely sunshiney people!

Come and celebrate sunflowers, our communities and bees with us this Sunday. Our Sunshine Day is at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt from 10.00 – 11.30am.

Our Sunshine Mobile is stacked with sunflower seeds and seedlings, which will be available to take home for a gold coin donation – including our special limited edition ‘mystery seeds‘.

If you bring along an empty milk bottle, we’ll show you how to make it into a handy watering can. You can also make your own beautiful bee sticker, string together an awesome Project Sunshine necklace, colour in a sunflower page, chalk up the pavement and take part in other fun craft activities.

If the weather is lovely we will stay on longer outside under the trees with art activities, picnic blankets and maybe even some cake!

We’d love to see you on Sunday, so please come and say hi 🙂

Sunshine awards at Epuni School

At Epuni School we’ve started the ‘Sunshine Awards’, to acknowledge the good things and deeds that are associated with Project Sunshine and to encourage our little farmers to look for the goodness in others.

These awards also recognise that everyone faces different challenges – what is easy for one person might be a struggle for someone else. By focusing on the goodness in people, we also hope to encourage a culture of understanding and tolerance.

This morning we created a ‘Sunshine Corner’ at Epuni School. A map of New Zealand covers one wall and will soon be covered in several hundred pins, to show all the places our seeds have been sent! Our Sunshine Mobile snuggles happily in the corner, and a mail board shows some of the beautiful letters that we’ve received from people all round the country. This sunshine corner is also the home of the Sunshine Awards.

The awards are led by the students: if they see an act of kindness, goodness or courage then they write the person’s name on a piece of paper, explaining why they think the person should receive an award, and then place the piece of paper in the sunshine awards box:

We then give out the sunshine awards during the ‘family time’ assembly on Monday morning. The awards are a special cardboard charm on a finger-knitted necklace.

Each award recipient can choose one hand-coloured charm to add to their necklace. The necklaces will have a range of charms added to them over time – each one becomes a living artwork, worn with pride by our little farmers.

We love capturing some of the goodness that radiates out from Project Sunshine and our Epuni children love their Sunshine Awards!

Make and create with Project Sunshine!

Planting sunflowers is a great way to celebrate summer, help our bees and learn about the life cycle of plants. You can also have fun making sunflower-related artworks and useful tools out of recycled objects – great for the creative mind, the environment and the garden!

Popsicle sticks can be used to make seed markers – these markers are decorated with pens and coloured pencils. Pospsicle markers are great to use when you first plant your seeds, while you’re waiting for them to germinate.

Recycled plastic milk bottles make fantastic watering cans for little people. You can make them out of 1 litre, 2 litre or even 3 litre bottles, it all depends on how heavy you’d like your watering can to be when filled with water.

To turn a milk bottle into a watering can, wash the bottle out well and then use a hammer and nail to pierce holes in the plastic lid. Then tie a piece of string to the lid and the handle of the bottle, so that the lid won’t get lost.

These sorts of watering cans are easy to carry around and are super handy for all the watering that sunflowers need in the warmer summer months.


At Epuni School we use painted tins to store lots of different types of seed, including sunflower seeds. Formula tins are really useful as they come with lids. We use bright and cheerful colours when decorating tins, and these ones were painted using Resene testerpots.

We’d love to hear of other creative sunflower projects – so please share them by by either commenting below, or emailing us!

Beautiful and bright: painting sunflower seed packets

Yesterday it was a bit windy to be outside. So instead of tending to their garden, the Project Sunshine team embraced their artistic side and set about painting lots of sunflower seed packets.

With a brush in hand, our little farmers turned into little artists and created some absolutely stunning works of art.

The theme of the day was ‘loving our bees’ and each child painted a bee on a seed packet, as well as sunflowers and hearts and anything else sunshiney that captured their imagination.

We then let the works of art dry and enjoyed looking at all the bright colours on display.

Look at all the beautiful bees! These packets are going to contain a very special sort of sunflower seed – keep watching this space to find out more…