I grew up in the country and spent most of my summer days playing outside, spending hours upon hours trekking through the woods and building forts. So when I read this post on Momeo this morning, I must say it saddened me to realize how little our kids play outside these days, and just how much they are missing out on valuable life lessons by spending their days watching Disney DVD's and playing Wii. So, in an effort to help you get your kids outside more, I present you with my first ID Mommy "Get Your Kids Outside" activity...Dandelions!
Nobody likes to live next door to the yard full of dandelions. They spread like...well...weeds. But, at least your kids can have a lot of fun with them! Set aside the RoundUp and round up your kids, because I have a fun way to use those pesky things.
I remember as a kid having fun popping the tops off them with my thumb (We would chant "momma had a baby and her head popped off!"...which now that I think of it doesn't make any sense...but you can probably guess that there are a lot of people actually discussing that very topic online!). I also used to "color" my arm yellow by rubbing the flower down my forearm, and of course, help them spread by blowing the seeds into the air!
My favorite thing to do with dandelions is something my mom did with us...dandelion curls! When you're a kid it's like magic, watching pieces of dandelion stem instantly curl up when dropped into water. I still don't know why it works. Here's how you can mesmerize your kids with your weeds...
1) Collect some dandelion stems, and remove the tops. (Feel free to chant "momma had a baby and her head popped off," if you so desire.)
2) Tear the stems into pieces lengthwise.
3) Drop them into water and watch the magic happen!
My mom recently passed on this fun summertime activity to my little guy while Mommy and Daddy were out enjoying a much needed date night...here are a couple pictures from her:
Okay, so maybe I was an easily amused country kid, but it beats sitting around watching tv!
There are a number of other things you can do with dandelions as well, like turning it into wine or tea, or even cook and eat the greens! The Crafty Crow has a great post full of dandelion crafts and recipes; even dandelion cookies!!