It’s August now and summer is starting to wind down. But, there’s still plenty of time to have some herbal fun! Are the kids bored? Do you find that they are now spending more time playing video games than enjoying the beautiful outdoors? Try out a few of these ideas to get them outside and having fun learning about herbs!
HOST A HERBAL TEA PARTY.
Check out my post from a few years back on having a Rosie Tea Party. While this particular tea party was all about Rose, you could easily tie in other edible herbs to personalize it to your own backyard. Kids love tea parties, and they love planning them even more! Make sure they participate in the planning, harvesting, and creating as well as the partying!
CREATE A SCAVENGER HUNT.
Make a list of herbs that grow in your back yard and turn it into a scavenger hunt….Can they find leaves growing from the ground with ribs (Plantain)? How about heart shaped leaves (Violet)? Leaves with jagged teeth (Dandelion, Wild Lettuce, Sow Thistle, Thistle)? Bonus points if they can name the common name and even more if they know the botanical name and/or some medicinal uses of the plants.
COLLECT SOME LEAVES AND DO LEAF RUBBINGS.
Leaf rubbings make great pictures for cards. Why not get started on some holiday gifts by doing some leaf rubbing card sets to give away to friends and family?
TRY YOUR HAND AT FORAGING.
This is a really great time of the year to harvest wild edibles. Blackberries, Chokecherries, Lamb’s Quarters leaves, Yellow Dock seeds, and so on. Make sure that they are all positively identified before eating them, if you are new to foraging, always stick to safe plants that have no poisonous lookalikes.
START A NATURE JOURNAL.
Nature journals area a great way to keep track of plants and learn about them. Spend 20 – 30 minutes at least once a week (try to do more if you can) going outside with pens, markers, colored pencils, watercolors or even crayons to sketch the plants that grow in your backyard. Bring a few identification and herbal books with you so that you can look up information to write next to the drawings about the plants. Often just drawing and writing about a plant will spark interest to do more such as make salves, tinctures, teas or vinegars. Explore ways to use that plant.These are just a few ways to add to your summertime fun. Can you think of more ideas? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know how you’re getting started in teaching your kids about herbs on my Facebook page.