In today’s times, kids are exposed to media and technology at such an early age that they remain greatly disconnected with the outdoor world and the wonders of nature. Where our childhood was all about cycling through the woods and playing in the park for hours together, kids nowadays choose to spend their free time either watching TV or playing video games. Not only does this way of life adversely impact their physical wellbeing, but also their mental and emotional development.
Nature Ideas for Kids: Herb Garden Play
Connecting kids with nature has a therapeutic effect on their mind and body. It opens their soul to a world of enamoring possibilities. Introducing kids to herbalism, can, especially, offer many salubrious benefits such as improving focus, inducing a sense of calm, fighting the flu, soothing skin irritations, etc. It is better to acquaint your child with herbalism early, to ensure that he enjoys the benefits of herbs for a lifetime. Here are five easy ways to introduce herbs into your child’s life:
- Create A Little Herb Garden – One of the best ways to introduce your kid to herbs is by involving him in creating a herb garden. Give your kid the option of choosing from a few popular herbs, such as rosemary, lemon balm, chamomile, mint, basil, rose, etc. Ask him to help you plant the herbs, tend to them, and water them every day. Make sure you encourage your child to observe the progress and changes in the herbs as they grow, closely. This practice will make him more curious and involved in the process of learning about and using herbs in his day-to-day life.
- Maintain A Herb Journal – Ask your child to maintain a journal to document the progress of growing herbs and his experiences with them. Each time you take your child on a walk through the herb garden, share facts and details about various herbs, their benefits, their harvesting information and their growth cycle. Encourage your kid to follow the ritual of writing in his herb journal every day.
- Get Crafty With Herbs – Another fun way to acquaint your child with herbs is through crafts like drawing, coloring, and collage making. Incorporating herbs in your child’s daily activities is a wonderful way for him to accept them as a part of his life. He can use dried rose buds to create wreaths or mix fragrant herbs with play dough to create a pleasant sensory play experience. He can also sketch different herbs in his journal using colored pencils.
- Cook With Herbs – There are varieties of recipes that use popular herbs like chamomile, mint, cinnamon, and lemon balm. Involve your child in the process of cooking and baking with herbs for him to understand the diverse uses of these minuscule, curative plants. You can try out delicious drinks with roses and add a dash of cinnamon to a variety of baked goodies like cakes, cookies, and muffins. Lemon balm can give salads a delicious flavor while chamomile, when added to tea can make for a revitalizing cuppa.
- Try Out Some Herbal Experiments – Your child can enjoy various experiments using herbs. You can use herbs like rosemary and basil as natural fabric dyes. Cinnamon powder, when mixed with hot water, turns into a slimy substance that can give your child a sensory experience. Your little one can also create bath salts and soaps using herbs like lavender, chamomile, mint and thyme.
These activities will surely kindle your child’s interest in knowing about herbs and their multitude of uses. They will also encourage him to adopt a healthier path of living from very early on in life. Given that there are such diverse ways of using herbs, your aim should be to include herbs in as many aspects of your child’s life as possible. Happy herbalism to you and your angel.
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Guest Author Bio
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.