Aromatherapy For Kids

How To Make A Hydrosol

hydrosol1

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.

still1

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.

still2

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

still3

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

♥Summer Herb Camp: Week Two Playing With Play Dough♥

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.

♥ Let’s explore herbs and aromas with play dough. ♥

Our second week of summer camp is all about play dough!

Playing with play dough provides an opprotunity for creation and stress relief for little kids.  It is a tactile experience that helps kids explore the world.  Add herbs and essential oils to the play dough and you have a therapeutic aromatherapy experience happening too.   This week join us in making lots of different herbal play dough combinations.  

… start with the basics of making your own herbal aromatic play dough

chocolate playdough

… explore the wonders of cinnamon during your very own cinnamon day

cinnamon play dough

… create meditative calm with play dough mandalas

playdoughmandala - Edited 2

… enjoy roses and chocolates, originally created for Valentine’s Day, these two play dough recipes are a bit of loving luxury

chocorose2

… make herbal salt dough, this post was created for Mother’s Day but you could use any other fragrant herbs in place of roses and use this fun dough to sculpt whatever you can imagine

rosesalt

Did you miss Herb Camp last week?  

Click here to check out all the fairy fun we had!

 

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week for lots of fun adventures in the garden! 

Shared On: Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, It’s Playtime, Kid’ Co-op

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

There’s A Volcano In My Bathtub!

Experiments In Acid-Base Chemistry

What do you get when you mix an acid with a base?

A party!

“It is like the acid and the base like each other so much

that they make the best of bubbly friends.”

This is one way that I explain the fun, interesting chemical reaction of acid/base mixing to little kids. I also make sure we talk a bit about the ph scale; where an acid and a base are on that scale; and how when mixed together, they meet in the middle becoming neutralized.

Mini Bathtub Volcanoes

Mini Bathtub Volcanoes

Acid & Base Fun For Little Ones

~ A Very Simple Experiment ~

Demonstrating this reaction for kids is easy.  Put a spoonful of baking soda in a clear glass then add a bit of vinegar and watch the bubbles!  This is a great time to talk about what exactly is happening inside the glass.

~ Blow Up A Play Dough Volcano ~

Every year we make a volcano at preschool filling it with a mix of baking soda, vinegar and food coloring to create an explosion!  It is always a major hit with the kiddos.  They love watching the volcano erupt over and over and over again.

This year we made our volcano with left over rose bud play dough and blue lava, kid's choice!

This year we made our volcano with left over rose bud play dough and blue lava, kid’s choice!

The coloring started to run out but bubbly white is fun too!

The coloring started to run out but bubbly white is fun too!

Materials ~ 

  • Play Dough, this is the perfect time to use up any old play dough you have lying around.
  • Vinegar, lots of it!  (this is the acid)
  • Baking Soda, lots of this too!  (this is the base)
  • Food Coloring, optional.  For our next volcano I think I will try using  beet powder instead to color our lava.  I love to find natural alternatives to food coloring.
  • A Pan with high sides

Instructions ~ Shape a volcano from play dough in your pan.  Use your hands to form a play dough cone, get the kids involved they love it! After you gather your audience, put some baking soda and coloring inside the volcano then add some vinegar and watch the fun!  If your kids are anything like mine, they will probably want you to blow it up again and again! It is fun to add a few “vents” by poking holes along the side of the volcano so the lava comes out there too.

~ Create Bathtub Volcanos ~

Follow up your volcano with mini bathtub volcanos for the kids to take home with them.  It is the perfect way to extend the learning and the fun!  These really are bath bombs; did you know that fun fizzing of bath bombs is all about acids and bases reacting?  Here is how to make your own! Mini Bathtub Volcanoes Materials ~ 

  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Citric Acid  (this is the acid)
  • 1/2 cup Epsom Salts
  • about a tablespoon of Witch Hazel
  • 10 to 20 drops of Essential Oils, favorite kid safe options are lavender, sweet orange, rose geranium, cardamom, spearmint and ylang ylang.  We used lavender to keep things simple.
  • 1 teaspoon Oil, like almond, apricot kernel or olive oil .  We used a calendula and lavender infused almond oil.
  • Molds, we used plastic eggs to make tiny volcano shapes; I also brought some soap molds that I have on hand so kiddos could have a choice.

There are lots and lots of bath bomb recipes online.  After researching I decided to based our super simple bath bombs off Mountain Rose Herbs beautiful Rose & Geranium Bath Bombs.

 Instructions ~ First it is really fun to run another simple little experiment with the kids so they know exactly what is happening with these mini volcanos.  Once again we created an acid/base mix in a glass by putting one spoonful of baking soda and a 1/2 spoonful of citric acid in the glass.  And what happened?  Nothing.  Nothing happens until you get water involved.  So we added some water and bubbles! Next we made our volcano bath bombs.  If you are making this with a group of kids, I really recommend practicing because the process is a tiny bit fussy. First, mix all the dry ingredients together making sure to break up any lumps. mixing Carefully add the oil and essential oils while stirring to limit any bubbling action in your bowl. Finally add the witch hazel a bit at a time, again stirring while you go.  I actually put the witch hazel in a spritzer bottle and spray it in to the mixture a couple squirts at a time.  This worked really well for me.  Keep spraying and mixing until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Mold the bombs with the kids by having them tightly pack the mixture into a mold. ~ as I said I brought in a few different shapes to choose from with plastic eggs as one choice.  Using half off a plastic egg creates a little volcano shape.  You can use what ever you have on hand and even just shape them with your hands by squeezing the mixture into whatever shape you want.

Using A Heart Shaped Mold

Making Heart Shapes

Pressing mixture into a plastic egg.

Pressing mixture into a plastic egg.

Let the bath bombs dry for a few days before using.  So the kids don’t miss out on the fun make sure to let them know to get into the tub before they put the bath bomb in because it only fizzes for a minute or so.

Do you have a favorite way to experiment with acids and bases?

Our Volcanoes/Bathbombs  

Shared On: Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, It’s Playtime!, Kid’s Get Crafty, Tender Moments, Kid’s CoopFriday’s Nature Table

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Baths, Essential Oils, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Medicine Making, Playing With Herbs | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Mindful Crafts & Activities For Happy Kids

Finding meaningful ways to engage children in becoming aware of and exploring their emotions is an important step towards raising confident, happy kids.  And the last few weeks the kids and I filled our time together breathing deep, talking about our emotions and playing!  I would like to share some of the wonderful projects we did that helped us engage our whole-selves, become aware of our emotions and find ways to center ourselves.

These projects are perfect to do with young children and even have complete lesson plans for those of you working with a group of kids.  Most of the projects have a bit of science thrown in while all of them offer kid-approved fun and creativity!

An Aromatic State Of Mind

Conduct a science experiment with essential oils to see what oils insight certain feelings.  Then create a unique piece of art work inspired by an aroma of your choice!

Happiness

Happiness inspired by sweet orange essential oil.

Flower ‘n’ Spice Play Dough Mandalas

Create a beautiful fragrant meditative mandala from lovely botanicals.

Flowers, spices and berries pressed into a base of lavender scented playdough for a calming, centering activity.

Flowers, spices and berries pressed into a base of lavender-scented play dough for a calming, centering activity.

Meditation Friends

Create a special mind jar with a friendly face.  This project helps kids learn to breathe and slow down with they feel out of sorts.

Silly friends for helping kids center themselves.

Silly friends for helping kids center themselves.

Meditation Friends II

A special twist on Meditation Friends that allows for even more personalization of your child’s special new friend!

New colorful friends with lots of kid chosen personalitiy.

New colorful friends with lots of kid chosen personality.

Yoga Play With Babar’s Yoga For Elephants

Simple yoga play with a favorite elephant!  We used this super fun book to guide us through a morning of giggly yoga.

Silly yoga fun!


Do you have any special ways to help kids learn about emotions or mindful ways of how to engage themselves?  I would love to hear about them and give them a try!

Wishing you lots of peaceful fun!

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Fun Crafts, Herbal Tips And Tricks, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Meditation And Yoga, Mindful Self Care, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepy Time Foot Balm For Kids

Who doesn’t like a good foot massage?  A nice rub is especially relaxing before bed.  Massage oils and balms made with essential oils massaged into the bottom of feet at bedtime helps to induce sleep as well as fight infection.

tooties

Did You Know ~ Our bodies are able to absorb a phenomenal amount through the skin on the bottom of our feet.  In fact an old remedy for coughs is to put rub the bottom of the feet with olive oil, put minced garlic on top of the oil and then put socks over the whole thing.  Within a very short amount of time the person’s breath will smell of garlic!  The garlic then helps to fight infection from the inside of the lungs out as the person breathes.

  

Creating Foot Balms With Kids ~ 

What is better than squishing and squeezing a bag of gooey goodness?  This is just what we did recently at preschool.  The kids each created their own sleepy time foot balm in a little baggie for mixing.  Originally we were going to use tins to put the balms in but what fun is that?

squishing foot balm

Gosh, their little hands were so busy, I had a hard time getting a clear picture! But you get the idea right? Squishing up stuff in a bag is super fun!

Materials ~

  • Shea Butter
  • Coconut Oil (optional)
  • Relaxing Essential Oils, Some Examples Are ~
    • cedarwood
    • lavender
    • petitgrain
    • sweet orange
    • ylang ylang
    • vetivert
    • sandalwood
    • frankincense
    • rose geranium

Instructions ~

  • Place a big spoonful (about a tablespoon) or two of the shea butter and coconut oil in a baggie.  
  • Let the children smell the essential oils and pick out a couple of their favorites that make them feel relaxed and sleepy.  
  • Add these essential oils to the shea butter/coconut oil blend.  Because this is a really loose project with no exact measurement for the shea butter/coconut oil blend, I errored on the side of too little essential oil, to be safe, rather than risk using to much.  So I used up to 6 drops of essential per baggie.  This means that if the child choose lavender, cedarwood and ylang ylang for the essential oils, I put 2 drops of each oil in their baggie for a total of 6 drops.  See Essential Oils for more information on using them herbal preparation safely.
  • Seal the bag shut tight!
  • Now for the fun part… Mixing it all up!  It is the child’s job to mix up all that goodness by squishing it around to their heart’s content!

squeezing foot balm

To Use ~

At bedtime rub a little bit of the balm on the bottoms of your child’s feet.  This is  a great time to connect with a little massage and conversation or lullaby.  Then cover your child’s feet with socks.  Off to slumber land they go!

More~ 

Nightmares And Night Terrors, What’s A Mama To Do?

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Essential Oils, Foot Rubs And Soaks, Healthy Sleep, Herbal Tips And Tricks, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Mindful Self Care, Parenting, Playing With Herbs, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , | 7 Comments

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