Natural Living Monday #12

Good Monday Morning! I wanted to start off this week's wonderful blog hop with a little herbal tidbit about one of my favorite herbs to use with kids, roses!  Of course Summer is a wonderful time to collect and use fresh rose petals yet even during the cold of Winter we can enjoy the bounty of roses by using dried petals and fruits (hips).  Roses are great for supporting immunity and lung health.  They bring a ray of happiness to folks feeling sad in the during gloomy months of late Winter.  Plus they are great for crafting with!

Rose Petals and Hips

Rosa spp.

Roses, in their beauty, open the heart and speak of love.  Yet they offer so much more than meets the eye.  The petals are edible and are lovely added to salads, desserts and even made into rose butter.  They also make a tasty tea (use fresh or dried) that I have found to be quite popular with children.  All that deliciousness brings with it immune enhancing properties as well as soothing coolness for the urinary system, nervous system and heart.  The petals ease cold and flu symptoms and lung congestion increasing lung strength and vitality.  Roses are also helpful in cases of pms and fullness in the pelvis.  Emotionally roses sooth broken hearts and aggravated nervous systems.  Rose hips, the fruit of a rose, are very high in Vitamin C.  They make a tasty sweet sour addition to teas and foods helping to prevent infections.  I love to soak the hips in apple juice until they are soft and use them as jam on my kids' PB & J.

Be sure to use organic roses that have not been sprayed!

Roses are often heavily sprayed so be sure to use organic roses.

More please....

Herbal Infusions For Children

All Natural Candy Cane Bath Salts

Rosebuds Crowns and Hearts

Roses at Preschool for Valentine's Day

Rose Hearts

Grapevine Magic

Herbal Play Dough

Find this and more information about other amazing herbs in my Materia Medica section.

And now....

Welcome to Natural Living Monday here we share all our natural living tips, tricks, and fun ideas.

Natural Living Mamma

Thank you for joining us on Natural Living Monday!  I am excited to see the great things you have been doing to live a more natural, whole, holistic life.

Your Hosts:

Amanda from Natural Living Mamma

Katie from Mexican Wild Flower

Angela from Mama Rosemary.


Last weeks most popular posts were:

Rose Face and Body Cream by The Nerdy Farm Wife

Contentment and the Zen of Granny by Granny’s Vital Vittles

Natural Up-Cycled Holiday Decorations by Wildcraft Vita


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Rosebud Crowns And Hearts

Rosebud Crowns And Hearts

Tiny enchanting little baby rosebuds laden with fragrance are perfect for adorning a sweet little ones head or a lovely lady.  This project is perfect for providing a beautiful gift for a little fairy, accessory for Halloween, a dress up party or a festival.

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Roses at Preschool for Valentine's Day ~ A Celebration of Roses in the Making

Roses symbolize love, friendship and beauty.

The amazing aroma of rose is certainly special and has been used by humanity through the ages.  The scent opens the heart while uplifting the nervous system easing depression and grief.  Valentine's Day offers the perfect chance to explore this amazing plant.  We are having a rose party to celebrate at the preschool this year.  To provide the children with a chance to really explore roses we are going to provide them with a variety of activities.

Rose Tea

Tea made from organic rose petals is delightfully delicious and healthful.  Roses  benefit the respiratory and digestive systems enhancing their function, relieving inflammation and heat as well as helping to ease infections.  Because of rose's uplifting action, the tea is calming and eases emotional irritability.  I have found that most children love the taste of rose tea.

To make simply steep organic dried rose petals in just boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes using about a tablespoon per cup of water.  Sometimes I add a tidge of agave syrup or honey to the tea.


Rose Paint

For this activity I am planning to use this recipe from Mommy Nature and then I am going to tweak to fit our needs.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups hot water

Mix the flour and salt.  Add cold water.  Beat until smooth and gradually add hot water.  Boil.  Beat until smooth.

Then to make rose paint I will add crushed rose petals and a bit of beet powder to enhance the color.

Rose Playdough

This is easy!  Just add rose petals, dried or fresh, to your favorite playdough recipe.  You can further enhance the rose scent by using rose water or rose tea in place of the regular water when making your playdough.  I also like to add glitter and beet powder to the playdough to make it sparkly red!  Or you can add cocoa powder for coloring and make chocolate rose playdough, yum!!

Check out my playdough post for complete instructions!

Rose Sensory Table

I think it would be fun to set up a bin with fresh roses and leaves (no thorns please!) for the kids to feel and smell fresh roses.  Silky soft and fragrant, um....  We will add some cups and things for sifting through the loveliness.

Stay posted for pictures, as I make these things for our party I will add pictures and of course, I will get some action shots from the big day!

Update on those pictures.... well, I forgot my camera and didn't get a single picture!!  So bummed....

Shared On: The Kid's Co-opIt's Playtime!Kid's Get Crafty, Share It Saturday

Roses At Preschool For Valentine's Day ~ Rose Hearts

Roses At Preschool For Valentine's Day ~ Rose Hearts

This simple hands-on project makes fragrant unique gifts for parents, friends and teachers.  Plus it fun!  How often do you get to mix lots of glue with something in a big bowl?  It is a blast to squirt and drizzle glue making patterns and bubbles of white glee!  And here is your chance to join in the fun.

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All Natural Candy Cane Bath Salts

All Natural Candy Cane Bath Salts

"Ms. Angela, what are we making today?"

With a bit of my usual trepidation (I never know how the kids will respond to my plans) and lots of excitement I tell them that we are going to make holiday gifts today.  We are going to make candy cane bath salts!  Much to my delight, gleeful cheers and twirls reward me as the children celebrate the project we are about to do.

Read More

Herbal Infusions for Children

Herbal infusions are great for all people and are especially wonderful for
children because infusions are high in vitamins and minerals which growing bodies need.
The best herbs to use for infusions are like healthy foods and each have their own set of characteristics.  To appease children many herbs can be made into very yummy beverages.  You can serve infusions warm, at room temperature or iced.  Feel free to add lemon, agave nectar, honey or even juice to taste.  Below is a quick reference list of a few favorite herbs for children's infusions.  For further information about these herbs please visit the Materia Medica section of Mama Rosemary.
Chamomile ~ Tastes appley, bittersweet… kids say: great!
  • calming, relaxing
  • good for digestive stuff (tummy aches especially related to nervousness)
  • promotes rest
  • useful for complaining and whininess.
Contraindications ~ A very few people are allergic to chamomile and other plants in the Asteracea (daisy) familyImportant ~ Only steep chamomile for 3 to 8 minutes as it gets very bitter if left to steep any longer, my kids won't drink chamomile if I infuse it for longer than 4 minutes.
Lemon Balm ~ Tastes lemony, yummy …. kids say: delicious!
  • refreshing and cooling so great during hot weather
  • calming for hyperactive children
  • helps relieve nervousness and crying
  • good for digestive stuff
  • antiviral and bacterial so great during cold and flu season
Lycium Berry ~  Tastes fruity, super yum… my kids love them soaked in apple juice!
  • high in bioflavonoids and polysaccarides
  • tonic for blood, eyes, kidneys and immune system.
  • Can use as a substitute for raisins.
Mints (Spearmint/Peppermint) ~ Tastes yummy, classic mint taste… kids say: great!
  • centering
  • helpful for digestive stuff, eases gas and cramping
  • antiviral
Nettle ~ Tastes green, milky, kinda like soup… kids say: not bad
  • extremely high in vitamins and mineral
  • whole body tonic especially for  mucus membranes and blood         
Oatstraw ~ Tastes bland… kids say: great
  • soothing to nervous system
  • high in vitamins and minerals

Rose Hips ~ Tastes yummy, kinda sour… kids say: great!

  • high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids
  • tones and nourishes mucus membranes
  • Soak the hips in juice or water to make a super yummy "jam".

Note:  Taste ratings are mostly taken from Kids, Herbs & Health, this is a great reference book for parents!

 Yummy Combinations ~
 Equal parts spearmint, peppermint & lemon balm, add nettle or oatstraw for even more nutrients.
 Equal parts lemon balm, oatstraw and rose hips
  Equal parts lemon balm and chamomile
  Equal parts rose hips and lycium
  Equal parts nettle and oatstraw
Another Fun Drink for Kids: 
Almond Milk ~ high in calcium and protein, hypoallergenic (most kids do great with almonds)  To make fresh, simply soak 1 cup of  raw almonds overnight in water in the refridge.  Drain and rinse the almonds . Place in a blender with 1 quart of water and blend for 1 to 5 minutes.  Strain thru a jelly bag and enjoy!  Almond milk will keep for 2 days in the refridge.  Use the left over nut meat in baked goods, casseroles etc…
 A Couple Great Books for further study:
  • A Kid's Herb Book by Lesley Tierra 
  • Kids, Herbs, and Health by Linda B. White and Sunny Mavor

Herbal Playdough

Important play

Squishy texture blobbing through fingers with a mystical doughy smell raising up told me that I was doing something important.  I could create anything from this stuff!  And the satisfaction I got from squashing and rolling this forgiving dough was immensely pleasurable.  This was playdough to me and it was one of my favorite toys from childhood.  And now it is one of my favorite things to share with kids and they sure do love it.  At preschool playdough provides a quiet time for kids creating side by side and with a sense of comradery while sharing the playdough toys around the table.  Playdough is great for parents too. I have found hours of time for me to get something done around the house while my little ones happily pound, roll, and squish the afternoon away.

Color and Aromatherapy

Tactile experiences help kids explore and make sense of the world; teaching them about cause and effect as well as developing small motor skills.  There is something about squeezing a soft blob that releases stress just like those squishy stress balls made for adults.  This is enormously helpful for a child who maybe experiencing overwhelming emotions that they don't know how to put into words.  By adding something that smells or looks beautiful to the playdough you amplify the power of this classic toy.  So the children and I use aromatic substances to color and scent playdough.  And when the playdough is freshly made warm from the stove, the gentle heat further releases aromas from plants and essential oils.  So nice.

Lots Of Recipes & Activities For Playdough Fun!


How to do it

Playdough is made from a few basic ingredients you might have on hand now.  Follow my basic recipe or look for another online, there are many to choose from.  When coloring playdough with powdered plants you might find it works best to mix the colored powder in when you cook the playdough.  Otherwise you can let the kids work it in while playing.


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 playdough sets up.  Let it cool to warm before playing, playdough right off the stove is hot.

Now it is time to make it special

  • For color: of course you can use food coloring but I like to use all natural materials when possible.  You can use herbs that are already powdered or grind your own.  My favorites for color so far are: beet powder (reddish pink), cinnamon (light brown), coco powder (dark brown), calendula (yellow) and parsley (green).
  • Essential oils: my favorites are lavender, rosemary, orange, spearmint, rose geranium, cocoa absolute and cardamon. Have the child make a hole in the playdough.  Then you place a drop or two of oil in the hole and take a moment to personally squish up the oil into the playdough so that the oil doesn't come into direct contact with the child's skin. It is safe once it diluted into the playdough.
  • Dried Herbs: lavender blossoms, calendula petals, rose petals, as well as ground spices like cinnamon and cloves.
  • Other Mix-ins: small amounts of glitter, food coloring if you want a more intense color than herbs can bring.  Anything goes!  Be creative!
Please Note about essential oils: Essential oils are concentrated plant substances. They are dangerous and should not be used unsupervised around children. Always keep the oils up and out of reach when you aren't using them. Some oils smell like really yummy food, so please do be careful.  Use mild oils like the ones listed above.