The Joy of Dandelions

Yep, dandelions. I’ve always thought they were pretty things, even as I’m digging them out of my yard. And I never outgrew blowing on them in their white fuzzy form and making wishes. But then, I believe in fairies, so what do we expect, right?

So I was hoping that little ones would find dandelions as much fun as I do, and I put together a GG Sprinkles episode on them. Since dandelions say summer to me, I included a poem on staying cool in this troubled time when not all pools are open still in June and some may not open at all. To prep for this episode, I decided I needed a big bouquet of dandelions to display. Easy, right? Wrong! We drove to all the places I remembered dandelions growing in profusion and found almost nothing. What we did find was pretty pitiful. I was underwhelmed with their size and color. I’ve noticed that this seems to be the case with a lot of things I’m used to seeing in nature. It’s like the world is so topsy turvy with illness and turmoil that growing seasons are off and nature’s putting the brakes on with some of its beauty. But that’s probably just my angst kicking in. At any rate, we found a few dandelions to display. My daughter Katie had told me earlier in the day about putting the seed dandelions in a jar and attaching a tea light to the lid. I decided to do that as a pretty way to display the few white fuzzy dandelions I had found. Last night I made a dandelion ring to wear, and it was quick and fun to make. I like to at least suggest a craft idea when I find relevant ones, and this one is pretty cute.

My little dandelion display, my awesome dandelion ring, dandelions in a jar with a tea light, Cooper with bouquets of dandelions we picked for mommy, my younger daughter last summer in Colorado where they grow mighty big dandelions suitable for making mighty big wishes.

I think there is so much going on in children’s lives these days that it really emphasizes my goal as GG Sprinkles. I want to do sweet topics as much as possible. We’ve covered topics such as toys, music boxes, earthworms, puppets, snow, zebras. I want them to be able to watch and enjoy, be entertained for around five minutes, and not worry about the loud voices and social distancing. Are these things important? Of course. Vitally so. But I’m sure that parents are sheltering the very young ones as much as possible; there will be a time and a place for the rest of life. And if something as innocent as dandelions and running through sprinklers can be injected into their day, maybe I’ve contributed a few minutes in the still of the day that asks nothing of them except that they be entertained. And it makes me happy to think that’s the case. ❤️

Author:

I’m a huge believer in two things: the wisdom and potential of our children and the importance of poetry and imagination in their lives and development. My teaching background is at the high school level, but my methods in the classroom ran high in interaction and whimsy, at least as much whimsy as preparation for state testing allowed. I have four young grandchildren, and I nannied a little boy for over four years from infancy, so I like to think I know children pretty well. And I used poetry to teach and inspire no matter what ages I was called to teach. Poetry takes very big ideas and boils them down to nuggets of wisdom more easily understood. And then there’s the rhyme, such a valuable asset to pre-reading and a great hook to pull the little ones into the poetry itself. The rhythm, cadence, and yes, the rhyme, all have value for kids. Even if the full meaning of the words eludes them a little, there is value in what they do process. I have written and published two books of essays and poetry for teachers, but my greater joy came in writing poetry for children. I began a book of children’s poetry the day my first grandchild Samantha was born and fourteen years later I continue to add to it. I entitled it A Duck in the Sky, which comes from a discussion we had with Sam when she was just a toddler. We were talking about the meaning of life and Sam assured us that the meaning of life was, in fact, a duck in the sky. Fair enough, and a very good title. I never published my children’s book, although that will happen. But in the meantime came Covid and quarantine. I wanted to contribute something, to help entertain young children stuck at home, even if for only a few minutes at a time. So GG Sprinkles was born, someone who reads poetry and entertains with props, demonstrations, etc. Our videos began on a GG Sprinkles Facebook page, and shortly after that became a GG Sprinkles YouTube channel. So we now have quite a few videos available and I continue to write poetry. I have learned a great deal about a lot of topics: fairies, zebras, angels, octopuses, birds, superheroes, blanket forts, dragons, space, buried treasure, planets, burping, puppets, trains, unicorns, kites, magic wands, and so much more. It has been a pure joy to do this for the kids. And, of course, I’m learning so much along the way. We intend to keep the videos coming as long as the poetry comes and the kids and parents are interested. We’d be delighted to have you come along with us as we explore new topics poetically and just have some fun. GG Sprinkles welcomes you to any of the videos you’d like to watch and further thoughts here on my blog. Enjoy!

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