Grabbing a snack at Whole Foods one day, my son was about to launch into a meltdown triggered by being hangry (this term refers to being angry because you are so hungry). A small vase filled with sunflowers was near him and my new tactic was misdirection. Moving the vase next to my son and daughter, I began describing the sunflower. My children were distracted and occupied with touching it, smelling it and thinking about it.
It is no wonder Vincent Van Gogh painted sunflowers and lots of them. They are simple in design yet these towering flowers are stunning. There is something that makes one smile when they look at these bright flowers. According to NJ Monthly magazine, sunflower farms in Jersey account for 1% of the American sunflower industry which totals $700 million. Ironically, some of these farms have millions of flowers which offers you and your family plenty of opportunities to visit them.
Mommy University Presents
5 Reasons to See Sunflowers in New Jersey:
Appeals to Different Learners
When children are able to explore outdoors, they have wonderful opportunities to absorb information and learn about their world; the world that is not present within the indoor and often times sterile environment. Kinesthetic learners really thrive by visiting a sunflower farm because they are not only moving about but they are engaging olfactory senses and tactile feedback. Auditory learners can ask questions during tours, while the visual learner now has the actual item they are studying present in front of them.
Sunflowers can grow to 7 feet which means they tower over most adults as well as children. Looking over the field of sunflowers is awe-inspiring. An ocean of yellow and green is artistic especially when there is a cerulean blue sky to frame the picture. Children begin to see themselves in the big picture.
Encourages Family Bonding
Family activities can increase bonding which has plenty of benefits (go check out our article on 10 ways to promote family bonding). Visiting a farm appeals to the family that is looking for educational information, the family that is looking for something different and even the family that just likes to laugh and have fun. (On a side note, sunflowers make a great backdrop for photographs even for the novice.)
The NJ Audobon Society has partnered with several sunflower farms to offer tours. Check out their listings of locations in New Jersey to see which ones will have these tours made available. Some farms like Donaldson’s always give great informative tours as we learned during a hayride at their Strawberry Festival.
Promotes Good Health
According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, limiting a child’s exposure to the outdoors can increase their chances of myopia or nearsightedness. Our children rely on television, iPads, computers, video games and our iPhones (when in desperation we hand them over to calm our child). All of this electronic equipment combined with our comfort of being indoors has led children to be outside much less than previous generations. Taking a child outside and visiting a sunflower farm will give a lot of information for those eyes to process.
While reducing stress did not make this list, sometimes a good walk can do that. The opportunity to inhale some fresh air while stretching the legs helps the blood flow. The Sussex County Sunflower Maze allows visitors to walk around while kids can attempt to find all the items on the scavenger hunt.
Tip: Be warned sunflowers attract butterflies and bees (a lot of bees). If there is an allergic reaction to bees, please note that sunflower farms are pretty expansive, so bring medication!
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