This is a question that comes up over and over again, “How can I get my kids excited about herbs?” It seems that often, as we the parents decide to make a life change in our household, our kids are not on board as they are resistant to change.
Let’s look at some ways that we can introduce herbalism for kids and get them excited to learn about herbs.
1. Speak through their bellies
Not only are herbs medicinal but they can also be tasty. Learn to make some tasty treats that they will love, such as lemon balm popsicles, peppermint soda, and homemade marshmallows. If you have a kid that loves to cook in the kitchen, these are things you can make together while you casually discuss their medicinal uses.
2. It’s all fun and games
Got a kid that likes to play games? Introduce them to fun games such as Wildcraft!, Herbal Bingo, Herbaceous, and Morels. Games are a great way to pass rainy days when you can’t get outside while getting a bit of herbal learning in. In addition, you can read stories to your kids, like Herb Fairies. You can actually download Book One of Herb Fairies for free, and read it to your kids at bedtime tonight.
3. Plan a garden together
Never underestimate the power of a garden to get kids excited about plants. Even a small container garden can pique their interest. Does your child like fairies? Create a fairy garden together, adding in miniature herb plants. If pizza motivates your child, plant common herbs such as basil, thyme, and oregano and talk to them about their use as both culinary and medicinal herbs. When kids are invested in the plants, they naturally want to know more about them.
4. Get crafty!
Kids love to do crafts and this is a great way to incorporate herbalism for kids. Make leaf rubbings of their favorite plants, find hard seeds that can be drilled and made into jewelry. Use Sculpey clay to create versions of the plants they like, or press leaves and flowers into oven-drying clay to create magnets, bowls or decorative tiles. Seeing the fun crafty side of plants can really motivate kids to want to learn more.
5. Go on an herbal scavenger hunt
No matter what the season, there’s always something to look for in the plant world. Winter is a great time to look for the skeletons of plants, the shapes of trees and to check out the evergreens. It’s also fun to scavenge in the spring when plants are emerging. Can you guess what the emerging plants are? Make a note to return to them later in the season to see if you were right!
6. Herbalize their self-care routines
My son loves lip balm. So much so that when I make lip balm, it’s something he enjoys doing with me. If your child likes to take baths, make herbal bath bombs with them. If they like to use face masks, come up with some herbal face mask recipes to nourish their skin. Herbal toothpaste is another fun thing to make and if they are into weird and gross stuff, the addition of activated charcoal takes it to a whole other level! What self-care routines does your child have that could be easily herbalized?
There are so many ways to get kids excited about herbs. I find capitalizing on their interests is the best way to start with herbalism for kids. Take a few minutes to think about what your own child likes to do, cater to those interests and you’ll be surprised how much they will enjoy learning about herbs.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
Have you introduced your kids (or grandkids) to herbs?
What are some ways you include herbs in your family’s life?
Let us know in the comments below.