Monday, April 03, 2006

Dandy games

I didn't have a camera, but still, this picture is pretty close to what I saw yesterday afternoon, resting in the grass after a long, winding run on the longboard. And it inspired me today to find these dandelion games. Share and try with anyone you like. Happy spring.

Babies. Let them watch you blow the dandelions. Like watching soap bubbles, watching the scattering seeds can be relaxing, and a good visual tracking exercise. As you blow the seeds, talk to your baby about where they go. Use descriptive, rhythmic language about even the most ordinary things and it helps your child develop storytelling skills.

Toddlers. In the process of developing lung and breath control, let your toddler blow the dandelion seeds. If that isn't working, blow dandelions seeds so your toddler can chase the little puffy parachutes.

Preschoolers. Use dandelion flowers for paintbrushes. Or, a dandelion can help your preschooler wind down. In the fight to stay awake and learn, preschoolers can have a hard time slowing down. Try this: Ask your preschooler to pretend that he’s a dandelion whirligig. Blow on his cheek, and let him take off fast in a burst, then slowly, drift to the ground. This music clip will add a little more imagination to the mix.

Young Child. Make a spring scavenger hunt of things you can only find in the spring: 3 puffy dandelions, 3 dandelions that have bloomed, 4 rocks, 3 blades of grass, etc. Or, sit together and look up dandelion facts on Wikipedia.

Straight off the 'net: Games to play down by the river
Get a seeded dandelion (one that's gone all white and fluffy) and blow on it. The number of blows it takes to blow all the seeds off is the time (so four blows means it's 4 o'clock) which, while patently untrue, is a cute concept.
A popular children's variation is to attempt to catch the seeds as they float through the air. If successful they can make a wish as the little white bit at the bottom is a tiny fairy which is hitching a lift!

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