Welcome to Dandelion Songs!

"We are two mothers who want our children to know what childhood was like. Before Nintendos, before computers. Before fear of freedom. What it was like for us, and for our mothers, and their mothers. We want them to know adventure, to know play, to know the world. And not the controlled, organised world that modern mothers seem to think they are tied to, but the real, natural world that is here on our doorstep. Come and join us on an adventure in childhood."

Ciara & LĂ­osa


Having a summer birthday, or even when they have a few friends around on a warm summers day is a great opportunity to let them have a water fight. It's definitely a 'more the merrier' game. And I have been astonished to have more than one young visitor who has never had one. Imagine.

They don't need fancy big water guns. Any plastic container will do. A hose is great fun, although you might consider limiting the time they use it as they use huge amounts of water. Also, you need to be sure they play fair as it can often be the cause of fights over who turn it is!

Nine Mice

Nine mice on tiny tricycles
went riding on the ice,
they rode in spite of warning signs,
they rode despite advice.
The signs were right, the ice was thin,
in half a trice, the mice fell in,
and from their chins down to their toes,
thsoe mice entirely froze.
Nine mindless mice, who paid the price,
are thawing slowly by the ice,
still sitting on their tricycles
...nine white and shiny MICICLES!!

(c) Jack Prelutsky

Duck.. Duck... Duck...


How to play...

All sit in a large circle (spaced out if only a few) and the 'gander' makes his way slowly around the outside, touching each childs head and calling them a duck or a goose.
The fun is that when called a goose that child must jump up , chasing the gander around the circle to try and catch him before he sits in their spot. If they catch him, they sit down again, if not they become the gander... and so on... and so on...

Is that a rhododendron?

When visiting your local park, or even better public garden see if they have a guide to the flora and fauna. You can play a kind of bingo (first to spot all on page 6 wins) or just get the children to tick off each specimen they see. It works with one child as well as a group, and is educational!!When I was a child there was the weekly 'nature walk' which doesn't seem to be done anymore, I remember being given a sheet with pictures of hawthorn, elderflower etc to find and identify in the countryside. I loved the challenge and my children do too!


Bealtaine, or May day, the first day of May, the first day of summer. At last it arrives and hopefully with it some weather which merits the title of 'summer'. Traditionally in Ireland, and still in some rural parts, and I'm sure England, some of the age-old practices are held up. The word Bealtaine comes from, buaile which is the high summer pastures which the cattle are moved to at this time of year, and tine which means fire in Irish. Bale fires were lit as beacons on hilltops.

It was also a good idea to leave out something for the fairies, as they are very active at this time of year too! Children love being involved with this. It's very simple really. Even just leaves and flowers along with some raisins, seeds or nuts arranged on a flat stone, or a wall or even a doorstep is enough. The thrill of knowing that the food will definitely be gone by morning is contagious! And it always is gone. Amazing!

There are lots of traditional games and songs associated with this seasonal celebration. While the May bush would have been popular, the Maypole would have been seen in areas that had an English influence. But it's such a lovely tradition that it has been adopted by a good number of people.

A length of pole with ribbons around one and a half times the pole length attached to the top is basically all you need. We stapled ours on and then wrapped another piece of ribbon around the top into which we placed fresh flowers.

Very few little girls need an excuse to dress up as a fairy, and even the boys get into the spirit of it. If the children are very young you can have them all walk in the same direction. But if they are slightly older you can have them weave in and out in opposite directions to each other. If your ribbons are in two different colours it looks wonderful when finished.

There are a number of songs you can sing with them as they walk. The most poular is 'Here We Go Gathering Nuts In May'. Some say it was originally 'Knots', which are posies of flowers, which makes sense to me.

'Here we go gathering nuts in May,
Nuts in May, nuts in May,
Here we go gathering nuts in May,
So early in the morning.'

If you are making a day of it you can organise lots of outdor games in celebration of the return of the sun. I'll be posting some ideas over the next week or so.

Grass Houses.

I have such memories of hot summer days spent making grass houses with my friends. The big green spaces around where we lived would be cut a couple of times over the summer and we'd be out like a shot to gather as much grass as possible and then set about making mansions for ourselves, complete with en suite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and every luxury we could think of.

I was very surprised to realise my kids had never made one. So we waited a day or two for the clippings to dry out a bit and then got to work.

There was no competition between them, and everyone helped build the same house. Funny, it struck me that we always did that too. No discussion about it, just set to work.

I love how they wanted to decorate their 'bedrooms' with flowers, leave etc.

The whole project consumed them for over an hour which really surprised me. I thought my childish memory made it seem longer but obviously not!