dandelion games

My yard is in full, glorious, gaudy bloomin' wonder! Yours?

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.)


  1. Ask, "Do you like butter?" Hold a dandelion under the chin and see the yellow reflection. Then, "Oh, yes, I see you like butter." Some people smear the dandelion under the chin, but I like to see the soft yellow reflection.

    Also, dandelion stems curl nicely in a bowl of water, if you shred the ends a little. Kids love to see the magically curl up! I use to spend hours as a child collecting dandelions just to shred the stems and watch them curl in a bowl of water.

    Perhaps you could also make bouquets for all your neighbors. Some people may think it corny, but I bet others would get a kick out of delighting your children by accepting such a thoughtful gift.

  2. Some great dandelion folklore on this page:

  3. I don't know any dandelion games, but here is an interesting recipe for dandelion bread!
    You and Smootch could do some cookin'.

  4. If you pop all the heads off, you can make a green rope by sticking the narrow ends into the thicker ends. I was always a little dissapointed because there weren't flowers on this "chain", but it works, and I used to jump rope with them. Gently jump rope with them.

    And you can make chains by making a slit in a stem, slipping another through it to the flower head, and repeating. These are more delicate, but the flowers are involved.

    I'd braid big crowns by starting with three and braiding, and just adding new ones into the braid as I'd go along.

    We'd play He loves me, he loves me not with them too, just grabbing chunks of petals instead of one at at time.

    Wow, that makes me want to play with dandelions again.

  5. The greens are very good for you...

  6. I see someone has already suggested daisy chains, but I still love this little tutorial:

  7. I'm sure you can find many variations of this recipe but I found this while blog surfing a couple weeks ago.

    Dandelion Syrup:

    I came this close to making it, then I got to the 250 dandelion heads. We have a lot, but not quite that many, LOL. We made ginger "ale" w/ ginger syrup instead...

  8. I was just telling my niece about how my sister and I used to spend summers making dandelion chains and curly bouquets. I found the same site Gryhund did to show her.

    My sister and I also made pressed flower pendants using a flexible mold (like a foil muffin cup or anything you can peel or flex). We'd put in a layer of Elmer's glue, sprinkle some glitter, gently press the flower into the glue (not all the way to the bottom) making sure there weren't any air bubbles. We'd then put another layer of glue on top, let it dry over night, and then pop them out the next day. Mom would poke a hole in the topand we'd thread them on ribbon or yarn. We used all sorts of pressed flowers, even using petals and bits of stem to recreate mini flowers.

    The Elmers we used 20 years ago had a frosted glass look when dried, but I think they make clear drying glue now too. These aren't waterproof, but if you wanted to, you could seal them or use resin instead of glue. I also don't remember if you put the flower in the mold face up or down, but I'm sure it would be pretty either way!

  9. I love your stuff!! I was wondering since you are so creative ... how about figuring out a bib that has looks like a dog's coat (holes for the arms) for kiddies (like mine) who's bibs 9/10 cover their backs and not their fronts. I've seen it in a shop at a staggering $$$, but can't for the love of me figure out how to sew it (read I'm a beginner) I have found a pattern of one that have sleeves, but that looks like to much work to get a squirming baby into .

    Did I mention I love your stuff ... going to buy LOADS of fabric to make scoodies ... LOVE THEM!!!!

  10. Thank you everyone for your suggestions and links! We have loads to keep us busy now, and some good stuff to eat too. Smootch loves to harvest (she's out for chives every night, even though she actually hates them) so I don't think there will be any problem gathering enough dandelions :D

    anon, hmmmm, something to think about...