It’s dandelion time! Dandelions are widely considered terrible weeds, but they are full of wonderful properties for people and a fantastic early source of pollen and nectar for insects who have been waiting hungrily all through the winter. And did you know that their common name comes from the French dent-de-lion, which means “Lion’s Tooth” because of their coarsely-toothed leaves?
- Paper, colouring pencils or paint
- A long bamboo skewer or stick
Mild: Why not get inspired by this lovely and often overlooked flower, and turn it into signs with kind messages that we can spread, just like dandelion seeds? For this you will need paper, colouring pencils or paint, something like a long bamboo skewer or a stick, and tape or something that can help you fix your dandelion to your skewer or stick. To start, have a good look at a dandelion flower if you find one while you go for your daily walk. Draw a big dandelion in a piece of paper, big enough so you can write a lovely message inside its round center. Something like “Have a lovely day”, “Hope you are well”, “Soon we will be together” could be nice. Once it’s ready and you have coloured it, fix it to your skewer or stick. On your next daily walk, leave it as a surprise in someone's garden or front door.
Medium: Have you ever seen a scientific illustration? These are very detailed drawings or paintings of plants, animals or objects, that show all the different interesting parts items have. Artists illustrating plants will try to copy as much as they can the shape and colours of the leaves, whether they have hairs or little bumps for example, what does the stalk of the flower look like, and especially, the number and shape of petals and how they are arranged, and the same with their seeds.
Why not try being a scientific illustrator? You will need a good dandelion to look at, not once but many times! You will also need paper, a soft drawing pencil (make sure you don’t draw too hard on the paper), a rubber, and lots and lots of patience! And remember, don’t be too hard on yourself. Scientific illustrations are beautiful, but they take many days, weeks or months to be finished. The most important thing is to enjoy it! If you want to learn more about scientific illustration, you can have a look at the National History Museum
Spicy: One of the best things of dandelions is their seeds, don’t you think? Nothing like blowing that pompom away, looking at this little angle-shaped seeds flying away. Did you know that their design is so clever that they can be carried up to 5 miles away?! On our spicy challenge, we would like to invite you to think and write a story about how it would feel to be one of these seeds. Imagine yourself living together with all your brother and sister seeds in this lovely pompom, until the wind (or someone) comes and sends you and them away in an adventure. What does flying feel like? What can you see? Where do you land? What happens after? Don’t forget to share your stories with us!