I generally do not let the kids pick flowers, whether from our gardens, off trees, or wild. I teach them to appreciate the flowers as they are, where they are. For Smootch, we are starting journals, doing drawings, and learning about ecosystems by observing flowers and the creatures that interact with them (notably bumble bees - ever met a girl not afraid of spiders or bees, but screaming, finger bitting terrified of ants?) For Birdie Boy, well, it is enough to try to stop him from pulling off the flower buds. "Gentle, gentle... I said, 'gentle,' damnit!" We'll build on that later :)
The exception to the no flower picking rule is on rhubarb and chives (to keep them producing) and dandelions. It is open season on dandelions. Smootch and Birdie can get out all their flower picking, de-petaling, curling, weaving and eating out on poor, suffering dandelions.
So we play with dandelions a lot. I have buckets of dandelion blooms on my window sill. I have woven enough dandelions in my hair, made dandelion rings and necklaces to extinct the species. But, as you know, there are more than enough dandelions to overwhelm even my stem plucking mad four year old.
With all this dandelion play, the two - and only two - dandelion word games I know get played an awful lot. One that Smootch chants for what seems to be hours on end is my personal favorite, "Mama had a baby and her head popped off!" followed with a dandelion bloom popped off with a snapped thumb. Endlessly decapitating mamas: good times, good times...
The only other game I know is no less mature. You get yourself a dandelion bloom and hop that bloom back and forth along someone's arm saying, "Mama had use the bathroom, Papa had to use the bathroom, Sister had to use the bathroom, Brother had to use the bathroom, and baby, ewww, baby didn't make it!" at which time you smear a long streak of dandelion pollen across the skin. A huge hit with my daughter. But not so much with my husband who suffers hayfever and doesn't enjoy Smootch's little brother when he has gone under attack by dandelion babies with poor bladder control.
Since the dandelion torture is not going to stop anytime soon, I think we some new games.
Okay everyone, I have a plea. Since I shared with you both of the dandelion word games in my repertoire, can you share a dandelion game or two with me? Dandelion crafts or activities would also be very welcome. I've got to keep this manic little girl going:
Thanks! Appreciate it very much !
(Oh, hey, the patchwork skirt probably looks familar. This is it's latest incarnation, as the top bodice has been removed and an elastic casing put in to make a very perky little skirt.)