Herbs For Kids and Mamas

Now is now

“She thought to herself, “This is now.”  She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now.  They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now.”

–  Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods

HATCHLING ROBINS WAITNG FOR THEIR MAMA

Hatchling robins waiting for their mama

Mama Rosemary has moved, please click here to see more images from our cozy summer!  Soon I will have a “follow me” button up at my new home, until then please feel free to visit mamarosemary.com and follow me on Facebook.

Categories: Summer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Final Week, The Sweetness of Rose ♥

Welcome to Mama Rosemary’s Herb Camp

Join us every week for a fun round-up of projects and ideas to do with your kids during the summer.  Each week will have a theme with lots of projects to do using herbs, exploring science and natural, holistic living plus some great crafts for good ol’ fashion fun!  Many projects can be adapted for multiple age ranges depending on your child’s interests and developmental stage.

Our last week of summer camp this year is all about one of the fairest of flowers, roses! 

Do you know that as well as being food for the soul, roses are medicinal and edible?  Kids love roses, really!  Little eyes light up with joy every time we use them at the preschool.  Often they want to give what ever we are making with roses to their mom, so sweet!  

Read about the benefits of roses and rose hips here.

Below you will find a collection of all things roses from Mama Rosemary, plus a few more ideas for spending a lovely summer day with this beautiful gift from nature!

Do as many of these activities as you want!  

Projects

Here are some projects using roses that full of creativity and flower magic!  

Just click on the pictures to get full instructions.

♥ Learn About Roses and Create Beautiful Art ♥ 

… make and try rose tea, rose paint, rose play dough and for the very wee ones, create a sensory bin.

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… make hearts and crowns will baby rose buds!

RoseCollage

… here is another way to make rose hearts, this is gooey, messy and lots of fun!

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… one year I found these cute little grapevine wreaths which we decorated with baby rose buds, spices and glitter.

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♥ Take Good Care and Put Roses In Your Bath 

 

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♥ Get Hands-On With Roses and Dough  

… create aromatic meditative calm with mandalas. 

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… make a beautiful keepsake! 

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… enjoy the luscious pleasure of roses and chocolate!

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Recipes and More

 

Make Tasty Treats With Roses ~

  • Make your very own rose hydrosol.  In this post, How To Make A Hydrosol, we focused on making peppermint hydrosol, if you want to make rose hydrosol just substitute rose petals for the peppermint!
  • Rose Hip Jam ~ soak rose hips in unsweetened apple juice overnight and use as a tasty jam high in vitamin C.
  • Rose Butter ~ whip fresh rose petals in softened butter for a beautiful addition to your meals.
  • Add a splash of rose water to whipped cream, ice cream, smoothies and fruit salads

Make Rose Accessories ~

  • Rose Barrettes, coming soon!

~ A Rosy Tidbit ~

Botanically the rose family has lots of plants that are familiar to many of us, including apples, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, cherries and apricots!

Thank you so much for joining us for Summer Herb Camp!  I hope you had a lot of fun playing with herbs.  

 

For More Camp Fun Please Visit These Links To Previous Weeks ~

Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Roses, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Our Daily Water

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The first day of August means plenty of sunshine and long hot days here in Colorado.  In the intense dry heat it is very easy to become dehydrated.  I find my kids are especially susceptible to neglecting their water-glass which leaves them tired, grouchy and even prone to headaches.

Long ago I learned the magic of simply placing a sprig of mint or lemon balm in my water bottle.  After a half hour or so the water takes on a lovely light taste of the herb.  My kids love herbal waters and I often put a sprig of mint into their water bottles if they are headed out and about for the day.  Yet when we spend the day at home, I have found that filling a pitcher with water and herbs doesn’t seem to attract their attention.  The pitcher is cumbersome for them to use and they often forget about it being in the fridge.  So, earlier this summer I purchased a big beautiful glass beverage dispenser for our family.  Originally I had thought to place it in the refrigerator full of luscious tasty herbs infused in water but it found a prominent home on our kitchen bar, right smack dab in the middle of our living space.  The water is room temperature (unless I add ice cubes) which I find goes down easier than really cold water.  And it doesn’t get forgotten in the fridge.  The kids love going over to the dispenser multiple times per day to fill their glass and they are drinking a lot more water, success!

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Pepperminty Mint!

Making your own herbal waters is so easy.  Simply place fresh herbs (along with fresh fruits and veggies if you please) in your jar or dispenser, add water and wait a bit.  Soon you will have a tasty treat!  The amount of herbs, fruits and veggies you use depends on your tastes and the size of your dispenser.  Ours is large and we like our water very flavorful so I usually use a big bunch of herbs.  The water we have most often is mint because we have a ton of it in the yard yet there are a lot of herbs and combinations to choose from.  It is really only limited by what you have available and your imagination.

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Just Strawberries

After trying many blends our two favorites are ~

  • Chocolate Mint with Tart Plums
  • Lemon Balm with Strawberries

A nasty blend we tried ~

  • Basil with Oranges…  I thought my first glass was kind of fun, my kids wouldn’t touch it after the first sip.

Other ingredient ideas for making tasty infused waters ~

  • Herbs: any kind of mint, lemon balm, chamomile, anise hyssop, borage flowers, lavender, sage, cilantro, basil…
  • Fruits: berries, all kinds, melons (think honeydew or watermelon with mint), oranges, limes, lemons, apples, plums, peaches, pineapple, cherries…
  • Veggies: cucumbers, peppers and ??  I am sure there are many more that would be tasty especially in combination with savory herbs, but I haven’t experimented yet.

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How about you?

Do you have any fancy ways to help your family to drink more water?

Shared On: The Kid’s Co-op, Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, Kid’s Get Crafty, It’s Playtime, Natural Living Monday

Categories: Food Is Your Best Medicine, Herbal Tips And Tricks, Herbs For Cooking, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Kitchen Creations, Parenting, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Six Playing With Science ♥

Welcome to Mama Rosemary’s Herb Camp

Join us every week for a fun round up of projects and ideas to do with your kids during the summer.  Each week will have a theme with lots of projects to do using herbs, exploring science and natural, holistic living plus some great crafts for good ol’ fashion fun!  Many projects can be adapted for multiple age ranges depending on your child’s interests and developmental stage.

Our sixth week of summer camp is all about being scientists while having lots of fun!  

Projects and Experiments

These projects and experiments are great ways to introduce kids to some basic scientific concepts while engaging the child in learning about the world around them.  

Just click on the below pictures to get full instructions.

… talk about dissolving solids in liquids and make a saturated solution.  Then use that solution to grow beautiful crystals!

crystal

… make super silly friends that show how oil and water don’t mix.  Plus these friends are a great tool for helping kids calm down when they are upset.  

medfriends

... discover the fun or acid/base reactions!

volcano2

... talk about the three states of matter while create an aromatic cloud in a pot all while making an aromatic hydrosol.  

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... explore the powers of weather and erosion.  

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... if you haven’t already, visit our previous week of camp when we did lots of fun stuff in the garden.  Here you will find butterfly life cycles; helpful worms and ladybugs; botany with an examination of the inside of a flower; and a couple of fun ways to grow your own plant babies!

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I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week!  

More Summer Herb Camp ~

Shared On: The Kid’s Co-opEco-Kid’s TuesdayKid’s Get CraftyIt’s Playtime

 

Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Parenting, Science Exploration, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

How To Make A Hydrosol

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To me the scent of wild things, of plants and flowers is truly enchanting and brings great joy to my life.  Essential oils and hydrosols capture a bit of that magic for us humans to enjoy any time.   Hydrosols are the aromatic water that is created during steam distillation of essential oils.

Hydrosols are different in their healing properties than aromatherapy spritzers where essential oils are simply added to water.  This is because in addition to small amounts of essential oil, hydrosols also contain water soluble healing compounds.  Among these compounds are plant acids which lend themselves beautiful as toners for the skin.  Hydrosols are generally considered to be gentler and safer to use than their essential oils counter parts.  According to Sagescript hydrosols “contain the beneficial products of essential oils plus more and in a less concentrated, safer form.”

You can use the following method* to make homemade hydrosols from any number of fresh plants and flowers.  Consider using roses (of course!), lavender, calendula, lemon balm, catnip, rosemary and any other fragrant or soothing plant.  I think chamomile would be especially nice.

Today we are making peppermint hydrosol.  The good folks at Mountain Rose Herbs say that peppermint hydrosol is great for cooling down on a hot day and that it is “it is particularly helpful for abrasions, hot spots, and as a facial toner.”  I think it will make a perfect spray or compress for cooling down on a hot day.

~ Materials ~

  • Large pot with a lid, a pot for canning works great for this.
  • Small bowl or container to go inside your pot to collect the hydrosol.
  • Something heat-proof to stand the smaller container on inside the large pot, a jar rack works perfectly for this.  If you don’t have one of these don’t despair.  Try using heat-proof ramekin instead.
  • Water, distilled or filtered
  • Ice cubes
  • Peppermint (or other plant material)

~ Method ~

Place the rack or ramekin in the bottom of the large pot and put the small bowl or container on top of the rack/ramekin.

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Next fill the bottom of the large pot with plant materia.  You want the plants to reach up to the smaller bowl.  Then fill with water until the plant material is just barely submersed.

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Finally put the lid to your larger pot upside down on top of the large pot and fill it with ice cubes.

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Heat this whole set up just enough for the water surrounding the peppermint to steam but not boil.  Let it work it’s magic for 20 minutes or so.  We used a clear lid so we could watch the hydrosol condense!

~ How It Works ~

The water will steam the plant material carrying all the goodness from the plant into the air.  The steam collects on the lid of the pan and condenses due to the ice cubes.  Because the pot lid is upside down, as the steam turns back into a liquid the liquid is directed to drip down into the smaller bowl.  This liquid is your hydrosol!  Pretty cool, uh?

Please store you new hydrosol in a dark glass bottle in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

~ How to get kids involved with this project ~

If you have read my blog for long, you know that sharing herbs with kids is a great passion of mine.  So of course, getting them involved in this fun project is a big plus for me.  Here are a couple of ideas for sharing the fun with little ones!

  • harvestingmintHave them help you harvest the peppermint.  Explain to them that cutting the mint right above the point where two leaves sprout off the stem helps the plant to grow two new stems.  This is because there are baby leaf buds nestled in right above each individual leaf.
  • Ask the child to help you set up your still.  And share with them what is going to happen.  This is a great time to talk about water and all of its forms.  The liquid water in the big pot will heat up and turn into gas or steam.  This is like a big peppermint infused cloud.   The solid water in the form of ice cubes will help the steam cool down and “rain” into the bowl.
  • Explore your new hydrosol together.  Spray it on yourselves and talk about the effect on your body and mind.  Taste it and cook with it.  Make lotions together too!

For more fun with mint join me at our summer herb camp where we have a whole lot of magical minty ideas!

* Jeanne Rose’s Herbal Body Book is where I found this great way to make your own hydrosols.  I stumbled upon this awesome book years ago when I was a teenager.  For weeks I coveted and saved until I could purchase it and bring it home with me.  My first sojourn into making hydrosols with this method was way back when.  I made the most beautiful rose water right in my family’s kitchen.  So incredible!

References: 

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Herbs For Cooking, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Hydrosols, Kitchen Creations, Medicine Making, Science Exploration, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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