31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Dandelion!

 31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Dandelion…

Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces.  Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.

Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!

The DANDELION:  The dandelion gets its name from the toothed outline of its leaves… dent de lion, meaning lion’s tooth.

The dandelion has developed a reputation as a pesky weed, but the plant itself has quite a history as a culinary favorite and medicinal herb.  The dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, and minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc. The leaves of the dandelion are used in salads, sandwiches and teas and the petals of the flowers are used to make dandelion wines.

Don’t be quick to rid your lawn of dandelions for they are considered a symbol of hope, childhood and summer.  The ever-popular children’s game of making a wish before blowing the dandelion parachutes off the stalk are sure to make the wishes come true.  And finding the tallest dandelion stalk foretells just how tall a child will grow in the coming year.

Think of the dandelion, as author E.P. Roe writes, as Little Earth Stars:

To some the dandelion is a weed; but not to me, unless it takes more than its share of space, for I always miss these little earth stars when they are absent.  They intensify the sunshine shimmering on the lawn, making one smile involuntarily when seeing them.  Moreover, they awaken pleasant memories, for a childhood in which dandelions had no part as a defective experience.

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Head out with your kids today and go dandelion hunting.  Find the tallest stalks.  Find the baby stalks.  Tell stories and awaken pleasant memories of dandelions from when you were a kid.  Photograph dandelions.  Draw dandelions. Make wishes.  Write little stories and poems about dandelions.

Discover a whole new world in the yellows and greens of the dent de lion, the little earth stars! Even the simplest discoveries help create bloomin’ good learning…

31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Dandelion! was last modified: May 16th, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (4)
  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel blessed to have a lot of dandelions in my yard! Nothing beats dandelion hunting as a child! 😉 This post is so interesting – I had no idea about the meanings. I have to mention that when I was a little girl, I once met a girl named DANDY. Short for Dandelion. Very interesting. To each her own, right? 😉

  2. You know I wanted to do some weeding, but my back has been killing me since the accident… then we went in the yard today and Addie LOVED “them”. The weeds, I call them… but I can see- she thinks more of them.
    Thank you for sharing their symbolic meaning. I could never take hope, childhood or summer away from my sweet girl!

  3. Dandelions always make me think of my first grade teacher, Ms. McNamee (who I am friends with to this day, on Facebook!) Every day at recess, in the Spring, we’d pick her bouquets of these “weeds” and she’d “oooh and ahh” over how beautiful they were, putting them in a vase on her desk. It wasn’t til much later in life I learned that she was allergic, but didn’t have the heart to tell us. She was such an amazing teacher, and is an amazing person. Thank you for sharing the meaning! Dave calls them weeds, I call them memories!

31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Dandelion! was last modified: May 16th, 2013 by Sharon Couto