Time to celebrate your garden weeds! After spending far to much time trying to dig out those annoying dandelions with their super strong tap root, it’s time to give in and let them flourish…..
Just before we get on to discussing fun activities to try with your kids, did you know that the leaves are amazing nutritious and contain more beta-carotene than carrots? The reason that dandelions are so well spread out around the world is that European settlers introduced them to many countries as a salad green! If you’re planning to add a few to your salad this evening, make sure the leaves you pick are young and sweet (the older leaves get a little bitter) and are pesticide free.
DANDELION CLOCK PICTURES
Take the age old dandelion-clock-blowing to the next level with the addition of double sided tape, glue and paper!
- Locate some ‘ready to blow’ dandelion clocks in your garden
- Carefully create a letter or design on your piece of paper using double sided tape or glue (using dark coloured paper gives the best result)
- Hold your dandelion clock close to the paper and blow! The little dandelion seeds should attach them to the sticky part! Have fun racing around the garden finding more dandelion clocks to add to your design.
DANDELION INVISIBLE INK
Use the sap inside the dandelion stems to write or draw little messages! Choose a strong stem with lots of sap to ‘write’ straight on to a white piece of paper. The sap will dry brown which will allow the picture or words to slowly become more visible. You might need to keep trimming your stem to keep the sap-ink flowing!
After you’ve finished with your dandelion flowers and writing secret messages, the kids will love making some dandelion curls to add to their mud-pie potions….. simply remove the flower heads off the stems, and use your nails to split the stems into long strips. Drop the strips into some water and after a few minutes you should have some curls! You can find a really simple explanation of the science going on behind the curling fun here.
Rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens all enjoy nibbling dandelions, so after you’ve finished with stems and flowers, make sure you throw them the leaves! Have fun,