Peppermint

Peppermint Bugs

Peppermint bugs are funny little creatures made with fresh mint.

They make great garden friends and are perfect for when a bit of herby fun is in order.

mintbug3

This project came about when I was looking for ways to give kids a hands on experience with mint.  Actually I wasn’t sure how well the bugs would be received.  Luckily the kids really did get excited about making these funny looking things.

Note:  You could use any aromatic plant with flexible stems for this project such as lemon balm, lavender, anise hyssop or even basil.

What you need…

  • Fresh Peppermint Stems, 2 to 3 for each each doll.
  • Chenille Stems, any color works, we used sparkly ones for the wings.  You will need 2 for each doll.
  • Markers
  • Large Unfinished Wooden Beads
  • Scissors
  • Optional ~ Glue Gun and Beads with large holes

How To Do It…
Give your child a wooden bead to decorate for the bug’s head.  Next have your child choose two  chenille stems, one for the body and the other for the wings/antenna.  Cut the chenille stem meant for the wings/antenna into two pieces.  One piece being about a 1/3 of the whole stem, this piece will be the antenna.

Take a couple of stalks of peppermint and line them up with the ends overlapping each other to create one long line of peppermint with the leafy tops pointing away from each other.

mint

Center the chenille stem over the peppermint.

mint

Bend the chenille stem/peppermint bundle into equal halves to create a loop in the center.

mint

Push the bent part up through the wooden bead just far enough to thread the antenna chenille stem through to loop you created.

mintbug

If you want, add a small bead to the bug’s’ head by pushing both ends of the antenna chenille stem through the small bead then bend this second chenille stem around on itself to create antenna.
Pull the peppermint and chenille stem down to the height you want it to be at on the bugs’ head.

You may want to use a glue gun here to secure the head onto the stems even more.  If that is so, shove the glue gun up into the wooden bead and squeeze in some glue.

Next take another chenille stem, sparkly if you have it, and wind it around the bugs upper body to create wings.

mintbug

mintbug

Now you are done and you have an aromatic little friend to play with!

mintbug

These little creatures will only last a day or so before they dry up and get crumbly.  So make sure you are ready to play with them right after you make them.

Join us at our Summer Herb Camp for more ideas for play with mint!

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Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Peppermint, Playing With Herbs, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , | 8 Comments

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Five Magical Mighty Mint ♥

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.

♥ Time to play with mint! ♥

Our fifth week of summer camp is all about one of my family’s favorite herbs, mint!  

Projects and Recipes

We have a huge mint patch in our backyard.  It started years ago when I planted a little peppermint plant next to a little spearmint plant.  With the passage of time they have grown and spread, intermingling into a luscious green wonder.  We also have a big whiskey barrel in our yard where chocolate mint plays with a raspberry bush and pansies.  The result is that I have plenty of mint to enjoy with my family.  You don’t need lots of mint to do these projects, just a bit will do.  But if you have a lot of mint, these projects will help you and your kids enjoy it!  

Learn about mint’s properties by clicking here.

Also this week we have some additional projects in the works.  Look for these posts coming up during the week. 

Just click on the below pictures to get full instructions.

… give your kids a hands-on experience of mint with this simple project. 

mint2

… emerse yourself in a day of mint play!  Make fairy crowns and wands made with mint to go along with tasty mint chocolate chip cookies!  Seriously these cookies are fabulous.  We eagerly wait each year for the mint to grow so we can make them together.

mintcollage

... another way to enjoy the culinary delights of mint because after all mint is so tasty! 

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream2 

More Magical Mint Ideas

Enjoy A Mint Bath With One Of The Following Bath Recipes ~

In The Kitchen ~

  • Add chopped mint to fruit salad.
  • Blend fresh mint and watermelon together for a refreshing drink.
  • Infuse fresh mint in your lemonad.e
  • Drink a nice cup of mint infusion.

More ~

  • Smell some mint or mint essential oil and use the scent as inspiration for creating a drawing or painting.
  • Add a couple drops of spearmint essential oil or a bit of fresh chopped mint to warm playdough for an aromatic treat.
  • Put a drop or two of essential oil in a 1/4 cup of corn starch, stir it up well to incorportate the essential oil and use as a cooling foot massage.

Coming Up Later This Week

Look for these posts on the blog during the week!

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week!  

More Summer Herb Camp ~

Shared On: Tender Moments, Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, Wildcrafting Wednesdays, The Kid’s Co-op, Friday’s Nature Table

Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Parenting, Peppermint, Playing With Herbs, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Minty Mint Bath

Mint in the tub enlivens the senses and restores the spirit so this is a wonderful bath for when you need a little happy boost!

flowering peppermint

Here is how to make your very own mint bath  ~

In a cloth or muslin bag wrap:

  • 1 to 2 large handfuls of dried peppermint leaves
  • a good sprinkle of lavender blossoms

Toss the bundle in the tub and fill with the hottest water from your facuet.  Let the herbs steep in the tub until the water is cool enough for bathing about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the heat of your water.  The water will turn a deep greenish yellow brown, like a giant cup of peppermint tea.

Next Add:

  • a handful of epsom salt
  • 6 drops of spearmint (not peppermint*) essential oil

Climb in and enjoy this happy, refreshing bath!

After my bath ~

I felt calm as I always do after bathing yet I also had a sense of wanting to inhale the moment.  The rest of the afternoon found me happily going about my business with peaceful energy.  Plus my skin smelled sweet and nice, a bit minty, yum!

* A Note On Peppermint Essential Oil:  Every time I try putting peppermint in my bath I get burned, even with just one drop!  I start to feel an itchy uncomfortable sensation on my skin and must get out to rub down with olive oil, which dilutes the peppermint.  People react differently to things and it is possible that I am sensitive to peppermint.  Try peppermint essential oil in your bath, if you wish, but please start with one drop and go from there.

If you are following me on the Nourishing Mama Mission, this is the first bath recipe to add to The Art of Bathing.  Thanks for reading and happy bathing!

Shared On: Wildcrafting Wednesday, Natural Living Link-up, Heatlhy Habits TuesdayEco Kid’s Tuesday

 

Categories: Bathing, Mama Care And Empowerment, Natural Family Care, Nourishing Mama Mission, Peppermint, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Simplest Air Cleansing Humdifier

Here is one of my favorite ways to add moisture to the air in my home while also cleansing the air.  It is crazy, silly simple and I set this up any time the air just feels to dry (like it does right this second here in Colorado) or when some one in my family seems on the edge of getting sick.

Dried lavender perfect for steaming.

Make a herbal steam for your home…

Equipment ~

  • Big Pot
  • Lots of Water
  • Aromatic Herbs

Instructions ~

Fill the pot with water set it on the stove and bring it to a steamy simmer.  Then add your herbs.  If you have a nice big pot and plan to simmer for a while use a nice big handful of herbs to insure you get a nice amount of essential oils into the air.   That’s it!  Within minutes your house will fill with a lovely fragrant smell while moisture circulates easing dryness.   Be sure to choose herbs rich in essential oils such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, mint, lemon balm, basil, sage,  cinnamon, and cloves.  The simmering water releases the essential oils from the herbs into the air and the essential oils being anti-viral and anti-bacterial in-turn clean the air.  Plus your house will smell great.  If we are home, I let this simmer all day long adding water and even more herbs as the day goes on.  To insure safety keep an eye on your pot to be sure it doesn’t boil dry.

My daughter recently had a slumber party and before her guests arrived I set up a pot on the stove with the simple additions of cinnamon sticks and cloves.  Every person who entered our home commented on how great it smelled!

Categories: Cinnamon and Spices, Essential Oils, Herbal Tips And Tricks, Lavender, Natural Family Care, Peppermint, Practices For Intentional Living, Winter | Tags: , | 2 Comments

After School Teas

Yesterday…

Outside a light drizzling haze of rain has begun which promises to give way soon into a steady downpour.  Walking home from the bus will likely be a wet adventure in worm hunting with rain drip dropping on each of our umbrellas.  When my kids get off the bus they are worn out, ready to relax and let down their guard.  Ready to be home.  I love to support and help them relax with nourishing snacks and a hug.

With the chilly rainy day I am looking forward to making a delicious tea to warm their bodies, ease their minds and gently stimulate their immune systems.  Today it will be Sunshine Tea.  This is a family favorite made with chamomile and St. John’s wort flowers.   It soothes a sadden heart and quells a worried mind, like a hug that let’s you know everything will be okay.  Some other day  homemade herbal chai with warming herbs and  antioxidant rich roobios could hit the spot.   Another afternoon could call for peppermint and lemon balm to refresh yet relax the brain and body.

chamomile blossoms

My children enjoy tea in a few ways.  We have a small lovely tea set complete with cups and saucers.  They love to sit at the table for a quaint tea party resplendent with pinkies in the air and a bit of practicing our English accents.  It is great fun and a lovely way to spend a bit of time together.  We also have some wonderful personal sized tea pots, one for each of us, each with it’s own brewing basket.  The kids were gifted these from grandma one Christmas.  The pots are very cheery and feature the kid’s favorite colors.  They feel very big indeed to have their own pot to pour from into their favorite cup, a kitty cup for one cutie and a puppy cup for the other.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes.  Herbal teas offer a great way to provide healthful vitamins and minerals, boost a stressed out immune system and ease a tense mind.  Just the aromatic fragrance when sipping tea is good medicine.

Sunshine Tea ~

Combine equal parts of chamomile and St. John’s Wort with the lavender, about 1 tablespoon of each herb per cup of water.  Cover with boiling water and a lid to keep in all the yummy therapeutic essential oils.  Steep for 3 to 6 minutes, no longer.  Strain and add honey to taste.  My kids love it with Lemon Balm Honey!

Herbal Chai ~

  • 12 to 18 Cloves
  • 14 to 18 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 sticks of Cinnamon or a palmful of Cinnamon Chips
  • 4 nice size slices of Ginger Root
  • 2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds (opt.)
  • 2 tablespoons Roobios
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Honey

Smash all the herbs in a mortar and pestle until they are busted open.  Give ’em some love while you grind.  This is a great time to put love into your tea.  Then put the herbs in the water and slowly simmer for at least 20 minutes, I like to do more if I can.  Add the milk and warm then take off the heat and add the roobios.  Steep for 10 minutes and strain.  Add honey to taste!  Delicious healthy tummy loving!!

Peppermint Lemon Balm Tea~

Combine equal parts of peppermint and lemon balm, about 1 tablespoon of each herb per cup of water.  Cover with boiling water and the a lid to keep in all the yummy therapeutic essential oils.  Steep for 15 minutes or longer.  Strain and enjoy!

How do you welcome your kids home from school?

Shared on: The Kid’s Co-op, Sunday Parenting Party, Afterschool Party

Categories: Back to School, Chamomile, Herbal Medicines, Herbal Tips And Tricks, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Ingredients And Herbs, Lemon Balm, Natural Family Care, Parenting, Peppermint, St John's Wort | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

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