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  • Skribentens bildSuzanne Axelsson

The Story of... a Dandelion

This is a post to collect ideas about dandelions... so I assume over time I will return here and add things as I discover them.

Dandelions are one of the first flowers that bloom in spring, are important food for bees and others, are found in just about all land ecosystems and are pure joy.

I know that my preschoolers have always loved picking them. And after learning more about Indigenous Knowledge and connection to land I focus so much more on only taking what we need and not simply picking because we can.

So to meet the needs of picking I thought it would be a great idea to grow a dandelion garden... instead of garden flowers in the planters, dandelions instead... maybe in one just dandelions, and in another dandelions and long grass like plants (as dandelions adapt to their surroundings and this way you get a whole load of math value from the fact that in the grass there will be long stemmed dandelions and without grass short stemmed... measuring, counting, comparing...

And then harvesting and using...

So here comes some ideas with links...

16 ways to eat Dandelions by The Prairie Homestead (remember is you are going to eat dandelions that you are certain they have not been sprayed)

Or you could try 50+ Dandelion recipes: Drinks, Sweets, Soaps and Remedies + MORE by Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment

Personally I fully enjoy following Alice Fox Artist on Instagram, and all er wonderful dandelion cordage, and other plant threads...

The below film shows how to collect dandelion stems (stocks) for making cord/string/rope

The below film is showing you how to twine... so once the dandelion stems have been dried, and then reconstituted... so wetted again to be pliable, you can then start making cord by twining...

Perfect for strengthening young fingers... they don't have to be perfect, but can then be used in a variety of explorations and experiments to see how strong they are... or as part of artwork, crafts or play prop.

Or maybe it's all about colour in your setting... dandelions can be used as a dye...

here Instructables gives 4 steps how...

If you are into folklore, and leearning about the many stories of dandelions then check out tis page Dandelion Delight... there is lots of dandelion stuff to be found here

This is a comprehensive little text about the history of the Dandelion, the different names, and their meanings, how it is has been used... and how it is now being used to make rubber for tires... a good read, to drop small little did you know tidbits at te right moment. Our Herb Garden

The science behind how dandelion seeds float in the air (I share this so that as an educator you are grounded in knowledge so that you can ask the best possible open questions, or give answers when asked, or know where to look with the children) NOVA

More science... more advanced... but is great proof that studying dandelions (and looking closely at nature) is worth while as it could lead to new understanding (like in this article) which leads to new inventions...

BBC teacher suggestions for the lifecycle of a dandelion - film and lesson inspiration

Now this can be a fun play experiment with children... ask them to predict what will happen before they dip their dandelion clock into the water... and then ask if tat is what actually happened afterwards... (don't show the film... do this with the children... remember to use a glass jar, mug or container)

Making colour for art with dandelions (and other plants) Sciencing

or watch this film... it does not show dandelions, but it does show how you can make pigment from petals...(and leaves) - will be great for all sorts of science learning... and also she shares her mistakes, and that is a great bonus for learning here... mistakes are REALLY a great way for learning... so it's not about making great pigment but about the whole process

I see that there are lots of books and stories about dandelions... and I haven't ventured out into checking them out yet... But hopefully these links are enough to get you started into a dandelion study.

Growing a dandelion garden with children must be an absolute joy, especially as they bloom twice a year. Blowing dandelion clocks onto a patch for growing is an fun and easy start to the project too, and they grow fast...

The leaves, roots, flower and stem can all be used in a variety of ways.

They are great for bringing wildlife to your space... and they will certainly add a splash of colour... I will re-share this post every once in a while when I add a new link to it...

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