31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Lily of the Valley…
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 LILY OF THE VALLEY – The most delicate white bell-shaped flowers swathed within the warmth and safety of bountiful green leaves, the Lily of the Valley is known for Return of Happiness. Legend tells us that the Lily of the Valley lures the nightingale from its nest in search of a mate when the flower blooms in May… and in the Christian faith, the Lily of the Valley is a symbol of the second coming of Christ.
According to Christian legend, the Lily of the Valley was created from the tears of Our Lady Mary when she cried at the crucifixion of her son, Jesus Christ. The flowers of the Lily of the Valley are also called Ladder-to-Heaven for the way the tiny flowers grow upward like miniature steps.
The Lily of the Valley is May’s birth flower, and known as the May Lily, May Bells or English May Lilies. Its scientific name is majalis or maialis, meaning of May or belonging to May.
The Lily of the Valley is called the Shy Plant because it remains so close to the ground with its tiny, nodding bells, but it is also known everywhere for the sweet fragrance it carries.
In spite of the loveliness of the Lily of the Valley, its leaves, stalk and flowers can be toxic. Keep children away from touching and picking the Lily of the Valley… instead, enjoy its clusters of white bells and its essence from a vase.
Tell your kids of the legends of the Lily of the Valley and of her nicknames, but allow the Lily of the Valley to lure the nightingale, not kids.