It is yummy. It smells good and has tiny enchanting purple flowers. Peppermint is a great herb for kids. And this week at school we had a lovely time playing with peppermint.
We started with a peppermint tea tasting at snack time. Everyone loved the tea, well, almost everyone. There were a couple of skeptics at the table. I was really impressed with how excited the kids were about the tea and how much they drank. One little girl asked for about four refills!
Besides being super tasty, peppermint tea is great for digestion and enhancing immunity.
Here is how I made our kid friendly tea. One handful of dried peppermint leaves went into a 1/2 gallon canning jar. After covering the leaves with boiling hot water, I let the mint infuse for about 15 minutes. Then I strained the leaves out and our tea was ready. I did this in the morning before school started so the tea had plenty of time to cool down to a nice warm drinking temperature.
Our activity for the day was very hands on and simple. First we sat on the rug and I gave each child a sprig of peppermint. We looked at the stems and leaves. We felt the square stems and talked about squares. Then we ran our hands up and down the peppermint and gave it a good sniff. Lots of big happy eyes looked back at me while they experienced the freshest peppermint fragrance. One boy exclaimed that his peppermint smelled like zucchini! So cute. I explained to the kids that they were smelling the essential oil in the plant. Like the essential oil we used in our aromatic playdough the week before. We looked at the tiny purple flowers and talked about the plant making seeds.
Next I set up paper, glue, scissors, sunflowers and lavender, and lots of peppermint at our art table.
The idea here was free time to just create with plants for a chance to get up close and personal. Cut them up and see what is inside. Get to know the plant through smell and feel. Glue them down and create something. One imaginative little boy made a map!
We also used our plants to make super simple wands but just binding plants together with ribbons.