When the daisies start opening up and appearing in the grass, a lovely rite of childhood is to make crowns, necklaces and bracelets with daisy chains. After watching girls making chains of wild flowers in the playground, my daughter told me she was going to show me how to make a simple daisy chain. Of course, like her, I had made daisy chains when I was a child.
She picked daisies from a grass verge after her karate class and then some more from our garden at home. I suggested braiding some of the daisy stems together but she just wanted to make a simple daisy garland.
How to make a simple daisy chain:
- Pick daisies with long stems.
- Make a small slit with your thumbnail in a daisy stem. (If your nails are too short you can use a plastic knife)
- Depending on the style of chain you want to create, you can put holes in the top, middle or near the bottom of the stem.
- Thread a daisy through the slit, then make a slit in this one’s stalk so you can add another daisy. Keep threading daisies until you have a daisy chain of your desired length. If you want to make a crown, necklace or bracelet just add a second slit to the final daisy and form a loop.
If you make a daisy chain with a young child, it’s a great way to compare whether a stem is long or short and even practice counting when they pick daisies.
It’s also a wonderful first introduction to recognising and learning the names of wild flowers.
So something as simple as making a daisy chain is a fun and traditional nature activity for children of all ages. Even I was inspired to fill an ink pot (which my daughter found on a walk in woods) with daisies and forget-me-nots and encircle it with a daisy chain after seeing a photo on Instagram.
I wonder how long children have been making traditional daisy chains? At the start of the 1865 classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Alice sits on the grass next to her sister who is reading:
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do…So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.”
Another irresistible nature pastime for kids is blowing seeds off a dandelion clock. I can recommend the perfect children’s book for them to read when they do this.
We’re planning to make some more daisy chains then try to dry them to make them last. That is, as long as we don’t get distracted by a white rabbit passing through the garden!