Kids wish on monarch milkweed seeds

Carolyn Digby Conahan, illustrator. Find her book here - The Big Wish.

Questions and conversation about the wasp last week lead to talk about butterflies, the milkweed they eat as caterpillars and later sip as nectar, and monarch migration, which is happening right now.

After spotting two monarchs overhead, we sit outside in the garden. I hold up a tufted seed from a milkweed pod and ask, “What is this?” They know it’s a milkweed seed. I ask why the seed is attached to a fluffy part.

“To fly!”

“Why does it fly?” I ask.

“To go to someone else’s yard.”

I nod agreement and add, “You can make a wish if you catch one of these seeds floating in the air. What would you wish?”

“I wish I can jump and touch the leaves on that tree (pointing to a nearby tree).”

“I wish I had a bird in my hands.”

“I wish that the grass I wanted to be short would magically be short.”

“I wish for a big kid story.”

"I wish to hold a cat."

“I wish I could ride on a unicorn.”

“I wish I had an elephant in my pocket.”

“I wish for pink flowers everywhere.”

“I wish I was that leaf (a leaf is floating down from a tree).”

“I wish tomatoes talked to me.”

“I wish I can wash dishes faster.”

I ask children questions with curiosity and wonder about how they see the world. I’m surprised by their wishes. Twice while asking I say, “You can wish for anything.”

I take the seed and blow it away with their wishes. 

Then I read aloud The Big Wish, a story about a yard full of dandelions and a girl who believes in the power of a wish.