Barneblad: Flowers that bloom in spring

A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids

Norwegian spring flowers

Photo: Pixabay
In Norway, picking wildflowers is a spring ritual for schoolchildren and is a fun and educational springtime activity to share with your family.

Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall

Norwegian spring flowers

Photo: Pixabay
Blåveis (hepatica nobilis: liverleaf) grows in the woods, but you can also find it in the mountains. Many Norwegians plant blåveis in their gardens.

With the festivities of Easter week over and days getting longer, there’s a new sense of excitement and awakening in Norway. The sounds of birds chirping can be heard in the morning sunlight, and bright flowers begin to pop up through the remaining snow and ice: springtime has come to Norway.

For children everywhere, spring is a wonderful time. Soon they can head outdoors in the sunshine without having to be completely bundled up, as they begin to explore a new world, fresh and green and full of color.

The Norwegian treasure chest of children’s songs is full of tunes celebrating the happy days of spring. “Blomster små” is cheerful tune that every Norwegian child sings year-round, but when spring comes, it’s a must to join in:

Norwegian spring flowers

Photo: Pixabay
Hestehov (tussilago farfara: coltsfoot) grows in moist areas. You can find it in the woods, along the roadside, or even up on hillside slopes.

Original Norwegian:
Blomster små
Gule, blå
Titter opp av marken nå.
Vinker til Ada-lill
For hun er så snill!

Creatively translated for singability:
Flowers little
Yellow, blue
Looking up through snow and ice
Waving to a little girl
Because she is so nice!

The melody of “Blomster små” is just as cheerful as the text: In this lively recording from Barn i Studio—Barnas Viser 1 (P&C Egmont Serieforlag AS), the children sing along with the belief and hope that flowers get even prettier if you talk to them!

Norwegian spring flowers

Photo: Pixabay
Snøklokke (galanthus nivalis: snowdrop) is one of the earliest spring flowers. It starts to bloom at the end of February and beginning of March.

In the Norwegian version, “Ada” is the name of little girl, but when singing “Blomster små” with a group of children, it always makes it more personal to include their names instead, and when children hear the names of their friends, they can wave to them. This simple game makes this one of the most popular songs in preschools and kindergartens all over Norway. (The English version can be adjusted with the names of your boys and girls, too.)

As school classes and families head outdoors on walks, it’s also time to learn the names of spring flowers.

Norwegian flowers

Photo: Pixabay
Before gåsunger (salix cinerea: pussy willows) come into full flower, they are covered in fine, grey fur. These “pussies” are one of the earliest signs of spring.

Featured are some of the most common.These are the earliest springtime flowers in Norway, which begin to appear in more abundance as the season progresses—and they are joined by even more beautiful wildflowers going into summer.

What could be more fun than picking a little bouquet of wildflowers to bring home to share with your family as you add a splash of color and joy to your life? And if it happens to be a rainy day, another simple activity is to sit down and draw and color them together while learning the flower names.

A love of flowers and nature are a part of life in Norway, but you don’t have to be in Norway to share this experience with your children: you can easily pick and choose the flowers you love. In America, and depending on where you live, the flora may be different, but the educational value and fun of these activities remain the same.

This article originally appeared in the April 6, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.