At this point in the late winter, we had more herbs and flowers than anything else. So it was a good time for a lesson about aromatherapy and other uses for these kinds of plants. The kids had to find three herbs or “smelly” plants by gently rubbing the leaves and finding plants with stronger odors than others. We did lavender together since with this one, you have to rub the flower instead of the leaves. Everyone got their own stem and the entire class took a deep whiff. Niiiiice. Now they understood why the bees liked it so much!! And that works out well because lavender oil can be used to calm the effect of a bee sting. But it was also used to help you relax and fall asleep. Cilantro and peppermint were familiar. Sage, also from the mint family, had a good smell and feel. They were interested to know that there are doctors called herbalists who use herbs like sage to treat medical problems like high blood pressure and diabetes, which many of the kids knew about from older family members. Everyone got their own stem of rosemary as well. A real favorite since it reminded them of Christmas and forests. The kids drew pictures of their favorite herbs and what they can be used for…..everything from tacos, candy canes, medicine and holiday decoration. It was fun to find out about these often unnoticed plants in our garden. And they were just plain beautiful.
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