Wonderfully warming and delightfully scented, cinnamon makes a lovely addition to body care products inparticular during cold winter months. I love combining cinnamon with flowers such as lavender and especially rose. The earthy happiness of the cinnamon is wonderful with the delicate beautiful scent of flowers. Here are four delightful recipes for playing with cinnamon and flowers!Read More
You can capture the beauty of the last leaves of Autumn in a lovely spiced salt dough. Scented with sweetly spiced herbs that come from trees, this little Fall craft is a wonderful way to celebrate the beauty of the season and to teach little ones about the magic of trees.Read More
Did you know that many of our sweet, warm culinary herbs come from trees? Herbs like cinnamon, cloves, allspice and star anise all come from trees. We are studying trees and herbs from trees at preschool this month so naturally we are playing around with these well-loved and well-known herbs.Read More
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.Read More
Here is our second round of cinnamon 'n' spice ornaments! We had so much fun coming up with ways to decorate using botanicals. Check out my other post Cinnamon 'n' Spice Ornaments Craft Stylefor full instruction on how to make this aromatically stimulating craft. Trust me these are easy, stimulate a lot of imagination in kids and smell amazing! You won't be disappointed.Read More
Combine a lot of cinnamon with some applesauce and what do you get? A delicious smelling dough for crafting! Add some ginger, cloves and orange essential oil and the dough becomes incredibly fragrant, almost enchanting in its olfactory expression. Oh my...Read More
When I share herbs with kids I love to do it on as many levels as possible, engaging all their senses. Of course taste, touch and smell are huge when working with herbs plus most herbs are a visual feast for the eyes.
This day, cinnamon day, was no exception. Cinnamon is delicious and approachable often bringing up memories of comfort from home with its sweetly spicy taste, yummy fragrance and warming properties. It is a great herb for working with kids. They simply love the taste, the smell and it is a familiar herbs for most.
We had an absolutely lovely, cozy day playing with cinnamon. I made the kids warm cinnamon milk for snack time which they LOVED. Making cinnamon milk is so easy and at the same time tastes so special. Because the preschool I work at is vegan, I used almond milk for the kiddos combining it with a bit of cinnamon, enough to really flavor the milk without being overwhelming, and then heated it to a nice warm drinkable temperature.
Cinnamon Play Dough
Our hands on experience was making cinnamon play dough. I have a great love of play dough stemming back from my childhood and combining herbs with play dough is just about one of the best things ever in my opinion! I made a big supply of fresh play dough and brought it in still warm for the kiddos to enjoy.
As the kids playing I sprinkled on ground cinnamon and the warmth of the play dough interacting with the cinnamon made for a lovely smell. We also added a bit of orange essential oil to the play dough for an extra dimension of fragrance.
I brought in lots of cinnamon sticks for them to use with the play dough.
Play Dough Recipe
- 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 play dough sets up. Let it cool to warm before playing, play dough right off the stove is hot.
While they played I read the story of Cinnamon, Queen of the Spices from A Kid's Herb Book by Lesley Tierra. If you haven't checked out this book, you really are in for a treat when you do! It is chock full of ideas, stories, recipes and herbal inspiration for kids.
Cinnamon Day was a simple creative day of great fun and rich experience. A time to connect with a beautiful tasty plant friend.
As a preschool teacher and a parent, I am always on the look out for ways to help kids learn about staying healthy during cold and flu season. So every year, just like I do at home, I make elderberry syrup with the kids at preschool.Read More
The new school year is quickly approaching for us at our very sweet little preschool. Some of the kids will be coming to school for the very first time. In fact they may have never been away from their mama. Because needless to say, for some kids (and their parents too), the first day of school can be intimidating, scary and even a bit traumatic. I know I sat in my car and cried for a good twenty minutes after I dropped my oldest daughter off on her first day of preschool. Every year on this very special day we help the kids adjust to their new environment by offering a time-honored and much loved activity, playdough, made a bit friendlier with the addition of calming essential oils and herbs.
Playing with playdough on its own provides stress relief through tactile squeezing and massaging of the smooth squishy dough. With essential oils added the child instantly gets all the benefits of aromatherapy. Breathing deepens as the oils are inhaled calming the mind and body, bringing about a sense of peace. Read Herbal Playdough for more info on the benefits of playdough and to get some great ideas for making your own colorful fragrant completely chemical free playdough. It is fun to let each child custom make their own playdough to take home. They have something fun they made to share with their family at the end of the big day.
Materials you will need:
Prepared Playdough or you can make the playdough with the kids. Here is my favorite recipe:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tbsp oil
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.
Food Coloring (Please note that I am searching for affordable coloring made from natural materials that are healthy. I do use powdered herbs for coloring when making a large quantity of one colored playdough for the school, yet I need something wonderful for coloring playdough when we are making personal playdough for taking home. If any one has a source, please share!)
Essential Oils I like to offer lavender, sweet orange, cardamon, spearmint, rosemary and rose geranium.
Dried Herbs like lavender blossoms, ground cinnamon and rose petals
Here is how I do this fun activity:
- Give each child a nice blob of playdough and some playdough toys.
- Have them pick out one color from your food colors to add to their playdough. Put a couple of drops of food coloring in their playdough and start mixing it in for them so they don't get a big blob of food coloring on their hands. You will have rainbow hands at the end.
- Let everyone smell the essential oils. I usually talk with the kids a bit about smelling the oil by inhaling, not exhaling. And then we practice. I tell them to be sure not to touch their nose to the bottle. This keeps the oils clean and safe for everyone to use. Then let them choose which oils they want in their playdough. I have found that most kids will want every oil!
- 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.
- Offer herbs and glitter for the kids to mix into their playdough. Just dust a bit over the top of their playdough or make a little pile on the side for them to add in. Some kids find the glitter and herbs to be "sharp" but usually they love adding in more and more as they go.
- When the child is done playing, bag up their playdough so they can take it home at the end of the day.
How do you welcome little ones to your school for that first big day? I would love to hear all about it!
Well, the first day has come and went. We had a blast making our playdough. Some of the kids made some really neat pieces of art with their playdough and all the additions we used. Fresh lavender stalks became trees and dried roses became lava.
Enjoy the pictures!
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 and be sure that an adult is the one who holds and uses the bottles. I tell the kids that the essential oils are for teachers to use. Some oils smell like really yummy food, so please do be careful. Use mild oils like the ones listed above.