Life Cycle of a Flower & The Dandelion Seed

The Dandelion Seed - Mud Hut Mama

The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony was our book of the week and helped us to explore the life cycle of a flower and seed dispersal. It’s a lovely book that follows the journey of one little dandelion seed that was afraid to let go. This post contains affiliate links.

Science:

We paired The Dandelion Seed with The Magic School Bus “Goes to Seed” episode where the class travels (as a ladybug) to find out how seeds are made and how they are dispersed. We then did the correlating experiment at Scholastic, “Seeds on The Move,” and went on yet another nature walk to collect seeds and test how they travel using the water, air and hitchhiker tests outlined in the experiment. The girls especially loved the hitchhiker test that involved having their stuffed elephants sit on the seeds and then checking to see if they got any seeds stuck to their butts! So much fun!!

How Seeds Travel Experiment - Mud Hut Mama

Since we live in miombo woodland with many species of Brachystegia trees we also studied how their seeds are dispersed. As the seed pod dries it explodes and splits in two shooting the seeds out with a lot of force. You can often hear the seedpods popping. Here’s a photo of a full seedpod and one that has split and expelled its seeds.

Brachystegia Seedpods - Mud Hut Mama

We really enjoyed watching this dandelion life cycle animation and this time lapse dandelion (from flower to seed head) on YouTube and we colored, sequenced and pasted the dandelion cut and stick pages from Sparklebox.

Dandelion Life Cycle - Mud Hut Mama

Language Arts:

The girls used their dandelion sequencing art to retell the story of The Dandelion Seed. I asked them questions like:

  • What was the seed afraid of?
  • What did the seed see during its travels?
  • After the seed grew into a flower, what did it tell its own seed that was afraid?

Here is Boo pausing to pose for the camera as she retells the story.

Dandelion Life Cycle Sequencing - Mud Hut Mama

Arts and Crafts:

We had a lot of fun painting dandelion seeds with q-tips onto stems we drew with markers. This project came from Artsonia. I had the girls look at the painting on the Artsonia site, explained how we would use markers and q-tips to make something similar and then let them get busy. I think they turned out really cute.

Painting Dandelion Seeds - Mud Hut Mama

But I couldn’t expect my girls to stop with just white paint and q-tips so I had more paint, paper and a bunch of sponges ready for some unstructured painting. Boo continued with the q-tips for quite a while, Kooks dug into the sponges and then decided that fingers are really best for painting.

Fun with Art - Mud Hut Mama

Songs of the Week:

We loved learning the Flowers Growing Song and the motions that go with it by Preschool Express but our favorite this week was I Like the Flowers by Beat Boppers Children’s Music – it has some really silly animations.

Sesame Street:

I love that Sesame Street has a tie in for just about everything. We enjoyed watching the How a Flower is Grown Play and Flowers Everywhere.

Independent Studies:

It was very touching to find Kooks planting seeds on her own time one afternoon. She told me that she had given her seeds everything they needed to grow and that she was going to have beautiful dandelions. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was actually planting Albizia tree seeds.

Planting Seeds - Mud Hut Mama

Other Ideas:

We don’t actually have dandelions here but I spent some time telling the girls about the things I used to do with dandelions when I was a little girl, I even had a cat named Dandelion when I was growing up. If we ever get to the States during the summer, I would love to make some dandelion necklaces and crowns with my girls and wish on some dandelions before blowing their seeds. I really love this art project from 5 Orange Potatoes that has kids blowing real dandelion seeds onto glue.

This year we are devoting more time to planned activities than last year. We have a routine that we go through each morning before reading our book of the week and we are doing math and music sessions that are not related to our book a week activities – I hope to write more about them soon. Boo and I are also getting more serious about working on reading.

About Jody Tilbury

11 Responses to “Life Cycle of a Flower & The Dandelion Seed”

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  1. Heather says:

    I love how you tie everything together, looks like your girls had an interesting, educational week.

  2. You always find the best picture books!!

  3. Those seeds look really cool! Emma loves planting things. I would be amazed if that tree seed grew in that sand!

  4. Lisa Nelson says:

    Wow, I can’t imagine seeing a seed poop out with force. How cool – and scary. I suppose it’s not with much force – i hope.

    We have an overabundance of dandelions here. Want some? I hate those things. Why does it seem like they all end in my garden. It’ annoying!

    Thanks so much for the awesome awesome awesome ideas! Pinning to the homeschool link up board.

  5. sara says:

    Wonderful! What a great lesson. I feel like around here dandelions are overlooked and often under appreciated. I am too loving that craft you found of blowing them onto glue– very cute!

    Here: http://its-a-green-life.com/2013/01/06/every-thought-and-action-of-love-light-and-faith-is-a-seed-being-sent-forth-into-the-world-and-the-hearts-of-all-humanity-namaste-to-all-the-beautiful-gardeners-what-a-joy-it-is-to-watch-you-wor/

    is a pretty amazing photos coupled with beautiful words in relation to your theme. I think at this point our dandelion supply is running low, but I would have loved to send some out to you girls. Thanks for sharing, yet another wonderful adventure!

  6. Tracy K says:

    We live in Connecticut and the dandelions are at seed right now. My girls spent a nice long walk the other day hunting them down and blowing the seeds! I really enjoy your blog Jody. Especially seeing how you started your homeschooling journey from the very beginning ( oh, and water hole Wednesday’s). Wish I could be as disciplined in keeping up with mine, lol

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you so much Tracy! It’s been a while since I’ve had a Waterhole Wednesday – thanks for the reminder that I need to get on that!!

  7. Judy says:

    My boys love that Magic School Bus book! I love the idea to have them paint dandelion seeds…so cute 🙂

  8. Hanelene says:

    Excellent activities! How do you keep them engaged so long? My guys are similar ages and there is no way on this planet… Oh well, I can only trust we’ll get there.

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Hanelene! These activities were spread out over a week. Their attention spans are growing but there is still no way I could keep them engaged in more than one (possibly two) of these activities in one go. Each day we sing and dance to the song, read the book and generally do just one of these activities.