Posts Tagged With: herbs and kids

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

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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

The Herbal Sock Bath For Kids

An interactive experience from start to finish, the sock bath is lots of fun to make with children.  What is the sock bath you ask?  I first learned about this great way to use herbs in the tub from my teacher, Brigitte Mars.  To make a sock bath simply put your chosen herbs in a sock, tie a knot in the top and toss it in the tub… super easy!

Having made sock baths a few times with the kids at preschool, I have come to notice that the kids just love them.  They enjoy picking out their very own herbal blend to put in the sock and then they love playing with the knotted sock, snuggling with it and enjoying the scents of the herbs.  Once you get the sock bath into the tub it is great fun to watch the water change color as the herbs mix with the bath water.  And then squeezing all the herb-rich water out of the sock into the bath makes for a very tactile experience indeed.

sock bath herbs

~ Making Sock Baths With Kids ~

The process is a lot like some of the other baths I have shared like, Minty Mint Bath and Rosy Oatmeal Bath, but is tailored for creating with kids.

Materials ~

  • A sock for each child.  When I do this at school, I ask each child to bring in a long clean sock from home, not a kid size one!  You need big socks to stuff!
  • Bath Herbs examples are ~ roses, chamomile, lavender, catnip, calendula, and mints.
  • Oatmeal, this is optional but it makes the bath so very much fun because when the sock bath is all wet in the tub and the child squeezes it, a skin nourishing slippery, milkiness exudes from the sock, so cool!
  • Epsom Salts, totally optional
  • Kid Friendly Essential Oils such as ~ lavender, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, rose geranium and ylang ylang.  These are optional too!
  • A Jar or Glass, have one for each child you plan to work with if you are going to do this in a group.  Or you can have one jar/glass if you are going to work with each child separately.  I used a plastic one to prevent problems with breakage.

Method ~

  • Give each child a jar/glass in which to create their sock bath.
  • Working with either one child at a time or a few at a time, have the child(ren) choose the herbs they would like in their sock bath.  Help them place about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup of each herb into their jar or glass.
  • Add oatmeal and epsom salts if desired using about 1/8 to 1/4 cup each.
  • Add the essential oils, about 4 to 8 drops total of whatever combination of oils you are using.  If they want they can stir up their bath with a spoon.

stir it up

  • Then help the child(ren) to place to opening of their sock over the opening of their jar/glass and then once the sock is secure, dump the jar/glass over so the contents fall down inside the sock.  (You might want to have the child hold the sock onto the jar if it is not a tight seal.)  The child(ren) may need to give it all a little shake to get all the bath into the sock.

Filling the sock

  • Once all the bath is in the sock, remove the sock from the jar/glass and tie off the top!
  • You can let the child(ren) play with their sock if you wish.  
  • Let the children’s parents know how to use the bath ~ Just toss it in the tub with the child and let the play begin!  Encourage the child to squeeze their sock bath so they can really smell the herbs and enjoy the wonderful herbed water that comes out of the bath.   

Happy Creative Bathing!

Shared On:  It’s Playtime!, Tender Moments, Eco-Kids Tuesday, The Kid’s Co-op, Make Your Own Monday, The Gathering Spot, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Kid’s Get Crafty, Friday’s Nature Table


Categories: Bathing, Baths, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Medicine Making, Playing With Herbs, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , , | 3 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

Fairy Crowns And Mint Magic Cookies

A cool rainy afternoon is a cookie baking afternoon at our house.  A time for ruminating in the kitchen over a delicious, comforting delicacy.  Because the heat of summer  has been so intense this year, I know we must seize this particular cool afternoon… it could be the last one like it for a while.

Out to the moist green mint patch we go, scissors in hand to harvest the best part of our cookie, fragrant stems of fresh peppermint.  Like a bit of musty earth magic this lush mint patch comes back each year to gift us with both pleasure and health.  It needs little assistance from us as it grows each year to a fragrant loveliness that is unparalleled elsewhere along our south fence.  We harvest mint continually through out the summer to make delicious yummy treats.   Because mint is so healthy it is good adding it to all kinds of foods to boost nutritional value and flavor.

Harvesting

In our patch we find deep green lobed leaves emerging opposite of each other from square stems.  That is right, square stems!  Square stems and opposite leaves are characteristic of all mint family members, which means a plant that fits this description is very likely related to mint.  Plants like basil, lavender, and sage all have square stems with opposite leaves.  It is fun to twirl the stem between fingers feeling for all four distinct corners.  We harvest the stems in just a way so as to encourage the mint to grow compact instead of stretching high to the sky thus becoming long and leggy.  By cutting the stem right above a pair of leaves, the plant makes use of dormant buds waiting atop each leaf and like magic, grows two whole new stems where there once was just one.  The mint then becomes bushy and seems to maintain its happiness as the heat of summer intensifies.

Back into the kitchen with our lush parcel of herbs, the mint tickles our noses with its delightful scent.  Garbling the mint, I look through the bundle and remove anything that is not supposed to go into our cookies: buggy faded leaves, other plants that had made their way into our mint patch and been plucked inadvertently or anything else I don’t want in our tasty confection.  The kids watch me impatiently waiting to get down to some real cookie baking.

Fairy Crowns and Wands

As I am sorting through the mint, I hand Violet a big leafy stem, ” would you like a fairy wand?”

“Oh yes please!” Violet exclaims.

“Can I have one too?” Nyssa wants to know.

Off they go to play while I finish cleaning up the mint.

The kids are busy casting spells while sniffing their peppermint.  A simple stem can be a wand or woven together multiple peppermint stems turn into fancy fairy wands and lovely garland crowns.  This is a very sensory filled craft project which for a child in the right mood, can provide hours of creativity and play.  Adding dandelions, roses, hollyhocks or any other beauty from nature only makes these toys more magical.  Lace and long trailing ribbons are fanciful additions.

Herbal Waters

While they play Nyssa dances by and reminds me of another favorite and simple way to use mint when she asks to make her own mint water.   Herbal waters are one of the simplest and most delicious ways to use fresh herbs.  This is a great way to harness the cooling properties that peppermint offers during the heat of the summer.  Simply place a stem or two of plant material in a glass of water, wait a bit and then enjoy a subtle but very tasty drink that harnesses peppermint’s cooling properties.  Create herbal waters with many other fresh herbs like lemon balm, lemon thyme, hyssop, pineapple sage, and even basil!  Really any tasty herb that strikes your fancy is the perfect choice.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Now for the cookies.  With the girls back in the kitchen,we start pulling leaves off the clean and sorted mint stems.  Making a big pile, I give the girls each a pair of kid scissors and ask them to snip the leaves into little bits.  As they do this I begin to assemble our baking ingredients.  Being an extreme chocolate lover, almost every cookie I bake has chocolate in some form or another.  For these cookies I  just find a great recipe for chocolate chip cookies and add the fresh mint.  Any favorite recipe can be used.  I like to be sure of using the best of organic ingredients: whole grain flour (usually wheat and barley), butter or coconut oil are delicious, the darkest chocolate chips, turbinado sugar and homemade vanilla extract.  I like to use a lot of mint, usually about 1 to 2 cups added to whatever chocolate chip cookie recipe we are using.

The amazing news is that peppermint is not only yummy but also safe to use and very nutritional being high in vitamins and minerals.  Plus with many wonderful medicinal properties that support digestive health, relax the nervous system and relieve spasms peppermint makes it a great addition to treats for family and friends.  Simply amazing!

For this particular batch of cookies we used Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. One of our family member’s has recently become gluten-free, and I have found this great mix turns out yummy treats every time we use it!

Well, the cookies came out perfect. Flecks of green a mist gooey chocolatey chunks melting in our mouths as we giggle and savor the perfect afternoon.

Shared On: Foodie Friends Friday

Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Cooking, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Kitchen Creations, Peppermint | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Some Sweet Foot Lovin’ For Mother’s Day

This time of year we are always busy preparing something for those loveliest of people…  Mommies.

This May we are making foot soaks for pampering hard-working feet and to go with it?  The cutest footprint butterflies!

Footprint Butterflies

We started on our butterflies yesterday.  They are really easy to make and the kids love it!  I think mostly because they get to have their feet painted and who wouldn’t get a kick out of that?  It tickles and it is silly!

For time purposes I drew the butterfly’s body for each child with their chosen color, though you could certainly have the child do this part.   Then they drew in the face.  We got some cute facial expressions!

With the butterfly body all set up, I had the child choose the colors for their butterfly’s wings and I asked them how they wanted their feet painted ~ all the colors on each foot?

Or one foot painted one color and the other foot another? With the kid sitting in a child-size chair, the fun began… we painted their feet and pressed them down on paper.

Lots of giggles ensued and with many other little ones watching on, we had a fun morning together.  Doing just one foot at a time made it easy to keep the mess under control.  I helped them place their foot in the right spot to make butterfly wings.

Then we finished with a quick rinse in a tub of water and I wiped their feet off with a towel I had on hand.

Foot Soaks

This coming week we are going to make foot soaks to go along with our butterflies.

Here is the recipe we are going to use:

  • 1 cup of Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1 Tbs of ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs of lavender blossoms
  • A 4 to 8  drops of essential oil ~ I will let the children choose their favorite for their mommy from lavender, cedarwood, cardamom, ylang ylang, rose geranium, spearmint and rosemary.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.  Tie off your bag with a pretty ribbon or twisty tie.  Add a label with information about the ingredients and how to use it.  This recipe will make enough for one to two mommies.  Increase the proportions as needed.  Easy Peasy!

Note:  Using a foot bath is easy and relaxing.  Just use a bowl or basin with enough room for your feet.  Fill it with warm water.  Put your feet and then your foot soak in and relax.  I like to keep a towel nearby to dry off with and a nice foot oil or shea butter to put on afterwards.  Then top off with some snuggly socks!  Heaven.  Heaven for Mommies….

The Gift

Often I will use simple brown paper bags at the preschool.  For gifts there is nothing better.  I let the kids decorate the bags and then we wrap up our gifts.  For Mother’s Day, I plan to package them all up something like this:

Shared On: It’s Playtime!Tender MomentsEco-Kids TuesdayThe Kid’s Co-opKid’s Get Crafty, Friday’s Nature Table

Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Bathing, Essential Oils, Herbal Gift Ideas, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Mother's Day, Playing With Herbs | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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