As you might have noticed, we haven’t been updating the blog very much lately. We have been very busy preparing for conferences but we will be back to blogging after this week! While we haven’t been blogging much, we have still had just as much going on in the classroom each and every day so I wanted to show you a glimpse of one thing we have been exploring– medicinal plants!
We have been working with plants for about a month now. We have been cutting, grinding and tearing pieces off dried plants and flowers to turn into “potions”. The plants that we have used for the past month haven’t necessarily been medicinal plants, we have just used whatever we have had on hand– bouquets from families, dried leaves and clippings from our yard. The children have had a big interest in the song, “Who Were the Witches?” and we also just had Halloween, where the image of the old grouchy and green witch is everywhere. We love to think about pretend Halloween witches because we all like to be a bit scared sometimes, but we also wanted to make the distinction between pretend witches and real witches. The song “Who Were the Witches?” tells us that real witches knew/know how use plants to help people feel better. We decided to go into more detail about what different plants actually can do to help people feel better. Katee introduced this using little figurines to tell a story about “Wise Julia” who helped people in her town fix different problems they were having.
So far we have learned that eucalyptus can help with chest colds, chamomile can help with sleep, rosemary can help with headaches, lavender can help with relaxation, calendula can help with rashes and ginger can help with tummy aches. We learned that there are many different ways to use the plants- in oils, creams, teas and more. With each new plant introduced, children had a chance to explore them using their senses of sight, smell and touch. We have been adding these plants to the potion table . The children also made a plan with Katee to make ginger tea tomorrow in case anyone has a tummy ache. Because taking care of each other and babies has been a major play theme this year, we have also discussed the idea of creating an apothecary in the classroom for the children to use plants to help care for each other in a new way. If anyone knows an experts in this field, we would love to see if they would want to come visit our classroom! Also- if any family has plants with medicinal properties (dried or fresh), we love for you to bring some to share with the classroom next week!