It was gorgeous out today–the perfect day for a picnic. We didn’t go far; after picking up Maddy’s Kindergarten packet, we played in the field at our nearby elementary school. The grass hadn’t been cut in ages, but Maddy, Owen, and Cora were in heaven. According to Maddy, the field of dandelions had become “the most beautiful place she had ever seen.” I do what I can.
- Dandelions, dandelions, dandelions: We were lucky to have dandelions at every stage of their life cycle in this field, so that’s what I talked about with my little ones. Dandelions. Their most favorite flower in the world.
I picked a flower at each stage (flowering, drying out, seed ball (we call them “wishes”). Looking at each plant, we talked about how the dandelion moves through each stage and why there are so many beautiful flowers in the field–the “wishes” that they were blowing around the field were sending millions of seeds everywhere. And, since no one was mowing the grass, they just kept growing and growing.
I’ll show the kids this website tomorrow, which has pictures of dandelions at each stage, and when we hit the library next week, we’ll pick up some books (maybe The Dandelion Seed, Joseph Anthony or Dandelions: Stars in the Grass, Mia Posada) to support and reinforce this simple science learning.
Sure, ideally you may want to secure the book before you go out and explore like we did today so that you have it for immediate reinforcement, but any way works. It might even be a good excuse to fit in a little lesson on “library searching” on a topic they want to learn more about!
- Clovers: During our “field trip”, I found a 4-leaf clover. Lucky me! Perfect time for a little math lesson. I called Maddy, Owen, and Cora over to my lucky spot, and we talked about how many leaves clovers have. Everyone picked a few and counted– 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.
I showed them my 4-leaf clover, and their eyes got wide. I picked it and told them how exciting it was to find one because when you find one, it means you’ll have a lucky day. Today, with our beautiful weather and picnic basket packed, we really were lucky. They searched for a while for their own lucky ones, then we decided it was time for lunch.
On our way through the field, headed home, Maddy grabbed a handful of buttercups–her new favorite flower–and said,