One of the best ways to teach kids about herbs is to get out and visit the plants themselves. It is amazing how many medicinal plants grow right under our feet!
One of our favorite activities is to pack up some art supplies (colored pencils and sketch pads) and head outdoors for some art journaling fun. We usually just head out to our yard, with our field guide in hand, and look for an interesting plant or flower. You can also choose one that is planted in your flower beds.
Then we sit around the plant and draw it. Sometimes we bring folding chairs. Other times we sit on the grass on a blanket.
If your day is rainy and cold, don’t worry. Make up an indoor art journaling day. Simply pull out books with pictures of herbs or look them up on the computer.
When you practice drawing the plants, it helps to stamp them into our minds!
A friend of mine also does a lot of art journaling herself and she gave me a great idea to further my children’s herbal learning. She incorporates the names of the plant and the systems they affect into her drawings. I have began this practice and it has really helped me to remember those pesky Latin names!
Don’t think you have to be a master artist to get out and draw. Like I tell my girls, the goal is not perfection. The goal is to enjoy the process and learn more about the plants.
One time one of my girls was trying to draw calendula. She didn’t like how it was turning out and she started getting frustrated. I told her she didn’t have to draw calendula, just draw something she wanted to draw.
She ended up turning her picture of calendula into a picture of a lion. It was an adorable picture. And guess what? She now remembers that calendula looks like a lion!