Dandelions: Trivia, Truth, & Trust!
Dandelions are often regarded as a pesky weed, but my family thinks they are pretty fantastic! My darling daughters delightedly decorate braids, mud pies, forts, pets, and even parents with their bright blooms. My princess recently started asking me questions about these favorite flowers which motivated me to learn more about them. (Google to the rescue!)
Did you know dandelions contain more essential vitamins than spinach? (And they have the taste to prove it!) Every part of this familiar flower is edible and it has long been valued for it nutritional and medicinal properties. In fact, many historians believe dandelions first arrived in America with early European settlers who used them for food and medicine. (Which means the Mayflower literally brought May flowers!!!)
Beyond their culinary and medicinal value, I’ve discovered another use for dandelions. You can use them to show kids how awesome Jesus is! All you need is a dandelion and a Bible. (I’m currently having a buy-one-get-one sale on dandelions in my backyard. Or you could just visit our resource page to download a FREE digital copy of this object lesson.) Here is a way you can use dandelions to point kids to Jesus.
Dandelions: Backyard Bible Lessons
[Show the kids a dandelion bloom.] When I hold up a dandelion bloom, how many flowers can you see? A dandelion bloom looks like one flower, but it is actually lots of tiny flowers all clumped together. Every tiny yellow petal is actually a separate flower. Sometimes there are hundreds of these tiny flowers on just one dandelion bloom! God cares about itty bitty teeny tiny details like that.
[Show the kids a dandelion leaf.] The word dandelion comes from a phrase that means “the lion’s teeth.” Can you guess how the dandelion got this name? People started calling them this because God made the dandelion with leaves that look like the sharp teeth of a lion. The leaves help the plant make the food it needs to survive.
[Show the kids a dandelion seed.] After several days, every tiny little flower on a dandelion bloom turns into a seed. God designed each dandelion seed with a tiny little parachute called a pappus (PAP-us) that catches the wind and carries it to a new place where it can grow into a new plant. Most of the seeds land within 30 feet of where they grew up, but some travel several miles away! God gave the dandelion the tools it would need to spread and grow in new places.
[Show the kids a dandelion root.] Many people don’t want dandelions in their lawn, but their strong roots make them difficult to get rid of. If you cut off the flowers and leaves, the root will grow new ones. If you cut the root, it grows back too. In fact, even a piece of dandelion root smaller than your little finger can grow into a new plant! If it gets cold outside, the flowers and leaves will wither, but the roots survive. Some dandelions can live more than 10 years!
Jesus made the dandelion with an amazing ability to survive in places many other plants cannot. Do you think the dandelions worry about how they’ll grow or what they look like? No, dandelions don’t worry. They just do what God designed them to do. God doesn’t want you to worry either.
When God’s Son, Jesus, was living on the earth about 2,000 years ago, He used flowers to remind people to trust God instead of worrying. He said, “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:30 NLT) Jesus wants you to know you are way more important to Him than all the flowers and plants in the world. This is one important reason He created amazing things like flowers. They are evidence that He is wise and powerful enough to take care of you. Next time you see a plant, pause and remember God planned every itty bitty teeny tiny detail of it. Remember you can trust Him to care for the details in your life too.
[If you’re using an actual dandelion, you can break the stem and form a cross with the pieces.] He loves you so much that He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to save you from sin, the biggest problem in the universe. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8 NLT) Jesus died on a cross to pay the punishment for every bad thing you will ever do and then God brought Him back to life! That sounds impossible, but it’s real. If you have never believed in Jesus to save you from sin, you can meet me [Tell them when and where to meet.] to learn more about that. If you have already believed in Jesus, knowing God has the power to bring Jesus back to life and save you from sin should give you confidence that He has the power and wisdom to care for you.
[Show a dandelion again.] Did Jesus come to earth to suffer and die for the dandelions? No, Jesus did that for people like you and me. Next time you see a flower, look at how carefully and wonderfully it is made. Stop and thank God for how well He takes care of that plant and thank Him for caring about you way more than He cares about all the plants in the world. When you’re worried about something, talk with God and thank Him for filling the earth with things that remind you how wise and powerful He is. Ask Him to help you trust Him to care for you like He cares for the flowers. We can talk with God right now to tell Him about our worries and thank Him for caring for us. Is there something worrying you that you would like to pray about together? [Allow kids to share prayer requests, then pray together.]
Did you learn anything new about dandelions?
Even if you don’t have time to share ALL this information with kids, you can still use one or two of these fascinating flower facts to pique their interest and point out how wise, creative and powerful Jesus is. God has filled creation with object lessons that point to His awesomeness and sometimes these object lessons are right in our own backyard. Of course it’s thrilling to marvel at extreme examples of God’s handiwork such as blue whales, but enjoying the creativity and wisdom God expresses in even the most common of His creations provides kids with tangible reminders that enjoying Jesus can (and should) happen everywhere we go.
Just one more thing…You may have noticed in the object lesson that I purposefully avoided mentioning that dandelions are edible. If you’re talking with your own kids, I’d encourage you to share this fun fact and maybe even let them taste a dandelion. (Visit our Facebook page to watch my kids eat dandelions.) But I don’t advise sharing this tasty tidbit in group settings such as Good News Club or Sunday School. Unsupervised kids may accidentally eat chemically treated or naturally toxic plants. That’s not cool!
Have you discovered any fascinating facts about God’s creation in your own backyard? Please share your own ideas in the comments so I can steal them for use in a future article.