When I share herbs with kids I love to do it on as many levels as possible, engaging all their senses. Of course taste, touch and smell are huge when working with herbs plus most herbs are a visual feast for the eyes.
This day, cinnamon day, was no exception. Cinnamon is delicious and approachable often bringing up memories of comfort from home with its sweetly spicy taste, yummy fragrance and warming properties. It is a great herb for working with kids. They simply love the taste, the smell and it is a familiar herbs for most.
We had an absolutely lovely, cozy day playing with cinnamon. I made the kids warm cinnamon milk for snack time which they LOVED. Making cinnamon milk is so easy and at the same time tastes so special. Because the preschool I work at is vegan, I used almond milk for the kiddos combining it with a bit of cinnamon, enough to really flavor the milk without being overwhelming, and then heated it to a nice warm drinkable temperature.
Cinnamon Play Dough
Our hands on experience was making cinnamon play dough. I have a great love of play dough stemming back from my childhood and combining herbs with play dough is just about one of the best things ever in my opinion! I made a big supply of fresh play dough and brought it in still warm for the kiddos to enjoy.
As the kids playing I sprinkled on ground cinnamon and the warmth of the play dough interacting with the cinnamon made for a lovely smell. We also added a bit of orange essential oil to the play dough for an extra dimension of fragrance.
I brought in lots of cinnamon sticks for them to use with the play dough.
Play Dough Recipe
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tbsp oil
Optional: powdered herbs for color, either mix in when cooking (can give more even color) or let the kids mix in at the table.
Combine dry ingredients in a sauce pan. Add the water and oil. Stir together and heat slowly over low heat. Stir almost constantly until the play dough sets up. Let it cool to warm before playing, play dough right off the stove is hot.
While they played I read the story of Cinnamon, Queen of the Spices from A Kid’s Herb Book by Lesley Tierra. If you haven’t checked out this book, you really are in for a treat when you do! It is chock full of ideas, stories, recipes and herbal inspiration for kids.
Cinnamon Day was a simple creative day of great fun and rich experience. A time to connect with a beautiful tasty plant friend.