It is time once again for the annual dandelion battle. Frankly, I kind of enjoy looking at fields of bright yellow. However, living in a suburban area, I realize that cultivating one is not entirely socially acceptable. Thankfully, pesticides have been banned here. So, armed with our trusty weed-plucker, we repeatedly tackle the yard manually.
And what should the kids do while mom and dad are busy pulling weeds?
“Put them to work!” you say?
Ok. Do that.
Then, do this:
Pull a bunch of the longest, thickest-stemmed dandelions you can find. Tear off the heads.
Rip the stems into thin strips.
Drop the strips into a dish of water.
Wait a minute.
Very cool, right?
If you haven’t done this before, you need to try it (even if you don’t have kids to play with). I remember my mom showing me when I was small. It never fails to amaze me or any of the kids I’m attempting to impress.
Here is the science behind it:
The inside of the stems are hydrophilic (water-loving) and the outsides are hydrophobic (water-hating). The insides absorb so much water that they swell, and the outsides remain the same size. That forces the strips into curls.
Science is fun!