Activity: The Dandelion Game
Take your child on a dandelion walk. Pick a dandelion to hold. See how many more dandelions you can find along your walk. Examine the dandelion with your child. Look at it through a magnifying glass. Use words such as “delicately” and “gently” to describe how to hold a dandelion. Pick a bouquet of dandelions to put in a vase at home. Compare the dandelions to other yellow things.
Activity: Free Like the Wind
It feels wonderful to hold a scarf in your hand as you move freely to music. It also gives you a sense of balance and control.
Play some instrumental music as you and your child dance with scarves. Swoop the scarf high into the air and then low to the ground. Hold the scarf out as you turn in a circle. You and your child can each hold one end of the scarf and dance together. Whatever you do, your child will copy you. This is a very creative game and your child will want to play it again and again.
Your child has a fully developed sense of smell at birth. You may have memories associated with smells.
Think of several objects with easily identifiable smells, such as flowers or grass, or spices. Say, “Let’s smell the flowers.” Hold a flower up to her nose and show her how to smell it. After you have smelled two things (for example, cinnamon and flowers), put a flower and some cinnamon on a table. Ask your child to point to the flower. Help her point if she doesn’t know how and then smell it together. Repeat the same thing with the cinnamon. Take advantage of the seasons to smell things outdoors.
Activity: Outdoor Fun
Take your child outside and discover all kinds of wonderful things.
- Feel the wind in your hair
- Feel the raindrops on your face
- Smell a flower
- Watch a butterfly
- Hold a worm in your hand
- Lie in the grass and look at the clouds
- Squish your toes in the mud
- Crunch an autumn leaf
- Jump in a pile of leaves
- Care for plants and watch them grow
- Taste fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden
Activity: Outside Treasures
There are so many treasures outdoors. Take a basket or bag and go explore with your child.
As you find things, put them into the treasure bag. A stone, seedpods, twigs, rocks, leaves, dandelions, and shells are just a few of the many treasures you will discover. Play close attention to the treasures that your child seems interested in, to give you ideas for future learning experiences. Ask your toddler for one of the treasures to return to the bag. See if he can remember its name. Please don’t pick wild flowers.
Activity: What is Wind?
Blow bubbles; watch the wind carry them away. Are they fast or slow? Can you catch one?
For super-large bubbles, mix:
- 1 cup of liquid dish detergent
- 3 tablespoons of corn syrup
- 2.5 quarts of cold water
- Stir gently. Leftovers need to be refrigerated.
Activity: Wind Sack
Poke several holes through the bottom of a shopping sack. Attach several ribbons to the bottom of a plastic shopping bag. Tie one end of a 10 inch string to one handle, then the other end of the string to the other handle. Hold on to the string, run against the wind. The sack acts like a kite.
Activity: Dandelion Seed Stick
Rub stick glue onto a piece of paper. Blow seeds from a dandelion onto the paper. Look at the seeds. Are they big or small? What would happen if we planted this seed?
Activity: Painting with Dandelions
Pick some yellow dandelions. Rub them on a piece of paper. What happens? Try dipping dandelions into paint. What sort of designs can you make with a dandelion?
Activity: Hunting for Dandy Lions
Go on a dandelion hunt. See if you can find yellow dandelions, ones that have seeded, ones that are closed, big and small. Can you find anything else that is yellow?
Activity: Listen to the Sound
Take your child outside. Help him/her become aware of the wonderful sounds of the outdoors. Start listening for birds. When you hear a bird chatter, try to copy the sound and tell them that you are making the “birdie sound.” If you continue this, they will become aware of the sound and may try to duplicate it. Add new sounds, such as the wind blowing or crickets chirping. Listen for other sounds in your environment, such as dogs barking, car sounds, motorcycle sounds, and train sounds.
Will You Read To Me?
Take time to enjoy a story.
One Yellow Lion by Matthew Van Fleet
Dandelions Stars in the Grass by Mia Posada
Dandelion Adventures by L. Patricia Kite
From Seed to Dandelion by Jan Kottke
Dandelion by Amy s. Wilensky
The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony
A Dandelion’s Life by John Himmelman
Tea: Try dandelion tea! If you use chemicals on your lawn, then try dandelion tea purchased from a health food store
Dandelion Cheese Flowers: Have a yellow snack. Cut cheese slices into flower shapes with cookie cutters.
Activities provided by:
E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP
Iowa Early Learning Standards: