I love the Eric Carle books for their great stories and illustrations. Today we read "The Tiny Seed" which is a most appropriate book for my boys because each year they plant sunflowers! But today I saw 2 new things in this story. First, was that as I read it Garrett was worried about the tiny seed and he was upset when it died and the new seeds took off. We talked about the life cycle of many things and that this is the way God made plants to work. (I could have gone really deep and explained that it will happen to us too, but I didn't.)
But the other thing that I saw was the similarity to the Biblical story of "The Sower" found in Luke 8. The first seed got too hot, the second got too cold, the 3rd drowned, etc. But this was very similar to the story which I hadn't picked up on before.
Anyhow now that we have this story fresh in our mind, we will be starting our sunflower seeds so that when it finally dries out around here the boys can move them outside to their "Sunflower House." This was an idea I found in a book over 10 years ago and we have been hooked ever since. In one corner of our garden, the boys will layout their "house." Mainly a rectangle with doorways (places where they haven't planted seeds), this gives them a place to dig during the summer, plants to take care of on their own and they are always amazed by how tall the sunflowers get. Robert has now taken to reading the seed catalogs when they come in to find what variety will grow the tallest. So here is a great story to read and a fun activity that will grow all summer long and then in the fall, you can collect the seeds, or just leave the heads outside and watch the birds eat the seeds right from the heads. But I know that we will be starting sunflowers here in the next few days.