Golden fun from the yard


June 13, 1992|By Donna Erickson | Donna Erickson,King Features Syndicate

Warm weather brings families outdoors to enjoy summertime pleasures and chores. If you have a yard to tend, tackling the weeds is probably on your "things to do" list. Recently, while working in the garden with my kids, I groaned as I looked at our yard full of dandelions. But when my son happily presented me a freshly picked bouquet of dandelions, I was reminded that when an adult sees weeds, a child will instead see a field of golden flowers.

Here are some fun ways to enjoy these die-hard flowers.

* Make crowns and necklaces of dandelions. Pick a small basketful of the long-stemmed flowers. Slit a hole in one stem with your fingernail or a butter knife, then slip a second stem through it. Make a slit in the second stem and continue the chain until it is as long as you want. Then, attach the last stem to the stem of the first dandelion with a small piece of string. If daisies are growing in your yard or on your patio, add them to the chain, too. Place the crown on your head or around your neck.

* Preschoolers will marvel at the "magic" created when water and dandelion stems are combined. Using just the tubular stems, split both end of the stems apart with your fingernail and drop them into a glass of water. Observe what happens.

* An old superstition says that if you make a wish on a dandelion gone to seed and you are able to blow off all the seeds in one puff, your wish will come true. Parents may find themselves wishing for a weed-free garden next year.

To share your comments or ideas for family projects, write Donna Erickson, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.

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