Dandelions are a sure sign of spring and an early source of pollen in our Spring gardens. Often considered weeds by gardeners, dandelions offer a multitude of learning opportunities with an alternative perspective that highlights the value of biodiversity in garden ecosystems. Playing with, learning from, and preparing dandelions in recipes, provides a connection to nature that celebrates the arrival of spring! Taking time to observe the emergence of dandelions in your garden, along with the early pollinators who visit the blooms, is a wonderful way to slow down and appreciate seasonal change.
Playful Dandelion Science
There’s a lot of science in the dandelion life cycle that can be explored in early spring.
You may enjoy this step-by-step dandelion inquiry by Creative Family Fun
Dandelion flutes are sometimes called dandelion horns, and they provide a playful way to explore how sound travels by vibrations. Watch this video to see how even the grown ups can have some fun with dandelions during a professional learning day! If you are interested in this type of facilitated teacher professional development or walkshop, contact me here.
If you are keen to try making dandelion soap, check out this tutorial by Red Ted Art
Try this spring flower sensory bottle by Kids Craft Room
Dandelion Play-doh by Parenting Choas
Make a dandelion salad with balsamic pepper strawberries with The Flying Couponer
This dandelion jelly looks amazing by Bakers Brigade
And Bakers Brigade also has a recipe for dandelion lemon bars here
Dandelions as Loose Parts
Dandelions are an early source of pollen for our pollinator friends and I do discourage children from deadheading the early blooms, but once they begin to grow their seed heads, they are fair game as loose arts in our garden play to avoid the seeds spreading throughout the garden. Dandelions make terrific land art:
And also add a splash of colour to land art using other garden finds:
Dandelions are also an excellent topping for mud kitchen creations. Related post: How to build a mud kitchen.
The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony investigates the seasonal life cycle of dandelions.
Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream by Joseph Anthony encourages children to make the world a better place and to bloom where they are.
Dandelions by Katrina McKelvey highlights the resilience of nature and the importance of a love for nature
Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds On The Move by Joann Early Macken explores the ingenious ways seeds travel to begin the life cycle anew.
Related Post: Best Books For Learning About How Seeds Travel
Looking for more ways to engage kids in playful garden learning? Come join me on Pinterest for more lessons and learning in gardens with kids: