1. Taking Time to Teach About Herbs
This summer, take time to educate your children about herbs and the natural world that surrounds us. An herb walk in a forested area is a great way to introduce your kids to the world of wild plants. A forest offers a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, giving kids the perfect opportunity to observe and discover for themselves how plants contribute to western and traditional medicines.
Gathering Knowledge Together
You don’t have to be an expert in herbal medicine to show your children how herbs grow, how their smells and tastes work and to tell stories from the local culture about herbal traditions. Looking at the medicinal uses of herbs is a great way to get your child interested in nature and to increase their knowledge of plants. Start by gathering information together on the properties and uses of some of the plants they may find on their herb walk. A few examples would be chamomile, lavender, valerian and peppermint.
Setting Off on a Journey
An exciting expedition into the local forest with your children can be the perfect way to experience things together. Pack a picnic, your knowledge, and perhaps a sketchbook or notepad, to have with you, and set out on a journey into the wild together. Make sure you are properly equipped with bottles of water and good quality walking shoes, as well as protective clothing and protection from the sun and rain. On the way into the forest, take the time to notice and appreciate the trees, stopping to observe the flowers that bloom in the spring or summer.
Perhaps as you journey through the forest, you will come across a wildflower meadow, an old tree with mushrooms or an area where the ground is thick with moss. Take this opportunity to make memories by making tinctures and infusions, by creating a herbal salve or even by creating an herb necklace. Invite your child to be curious and explore the smells, colors and textures to create artwork, explore the environment and take part in the magical herbal journey together.
Indulging the Senses
This is also the perfect time to talk about the various healing uses of plants, depending on the region where you live. Remind your children that plants are partners and friends with whom we can have a beautiful relationship with, one rooted in respect and understanding. On the herb walk, they can close their eyes to smell the herbal aromas and indulge their senses. During the walk, feel free to use the information that you have prepared to tell stories, discuss the medicinal properties of plants, and even make a medicinal tea or two.
Exploring the world of herbs with your children can not only excite their imagination, but it can also promote a greater appreciation for nature, provide an opportunity to learn about local plants, and create a special adventure to remember for a lifetime. Regardless of where you are, take the time to appreciate the environment and explore the beautiful world of herbs with your children.
2. Teaching Your Children About Herbs
Teaching your children about herbs is an excellent opportunity to get out into nature and learn about the different plants, their aromas, and how they can be used to create home remedies, teas, and medicinal herbs. It is also an opportunity to connect with nature and your children. Herbs are packed with health benefits and offer a wide variety of possibilities for your family’s health and wellbeing.
When you are back home, it is important to identify the herbs correctly. You may need to look these up to determine their names and uses, as identifying the differences between herbs may be difficult for children. Ask your children questions about the herbs to help them learn more about them, and if the names of the herbs don’t come to mind, try using descriptive words like fuzzy, aromatic, or colorful when describing them.
Sampling and Testing Herbs’ Aroma
Once you have determined the names of the herbs, it is time to experience them. Gently rub the leaves between your fingers and inhale the aromas. Ask your children to do the same, and invite questions about the different scents. This is a great way to bring your children into the excitement of learning about herbs.
Harvesting and Preserving Herbs
Once your children have explored the aroma of different herbs, it is time to help them understand the process of harvesting, drying, and preserving herbs. You may be able to do this in your own backyard or local park, or buy dry herbs from a market or store. As you dry the herbs, talk to your children about why herbs are so important to human health and wellbeing, and why they should be harvested sustainably.
The Benefits of Teaching Your Children About Herbs
This type of experience is invaluable for your children. It helps to teach them about the importance of looking after the environment, and how natural things, such as herbs, can be so beneficial for themselves and the planet. It is also an opportunity for you to bond with your children and experience the joys of herbalism together.