Studying Herbal Medicine Resources for Young and Elementary Aged Kids.

busy with studying

The girls are really busy this week learning about Dandelion. We finished the last book in the Herb Fairies series. I set aside one day a week to learn about herbal medicine with them. The morning starts by looking at the live plant in detail and visiting it in the garden to learn about its habitat and how it grows. I prepare a plant dissection for them or lay out the life cycle of the plant on paper for them to illustrate and study.

red raspberry illustration

Next we draw the whole plant from root to top in our nature journals or find a coloring page of it . The act of drawing or coloring really helps the girls to remember details such as the number of petals, flower type/color, leaf shape, etc. They really have to use their observation skills and spend some time with the plant.

Using an herbal/ Materia Medica , I have them read about the plant to learn about its various features, where it grows and how it is used. They take detailed notes in their notebooks. We do a family read of several stories about the herb we are studying.

using solvents to learn about color pigment with lady’s mantle

To make it even more memorable we sometimes do a science experiment, craft project, play a game, or find a way to cook with the plant as a main ingredient.

games that feature plants

Some days they help me in the garden with planting, weeding, or harvesting. Now that they are older the girls often assist me in the indoor pharmacy with measuring out the oil, alcohol, etc. for my salves and tinctures.

I do a lot of role modeling and allow them to learn by watching and osmosis. I want them view herbal medicine as a normal daily activity that supports the health of our family. I hope that they will have their own backyard pharmacies when they are adults or at least think to try a plant remedy first before considering other options. Nothing makes my heart want to burst with pride and happiness more than when one of them points out a plant in the wild AND can tell me several of its uses as medicine.

Botanical Casts of medicinal trees

We do a lot of art and craft projects that use plants as a materials or themes.

Homemade soaps with herbs

My girls like to make a lot of “beauty products” and self care items from the herbs in our garden. They have made lotion bars, bath salts, and vapor discs for the shower just to name a few.

MInt, macha, and melon popsicles

There a lots of really simple and easy recipes that are child friendly.

resources for kids

There are not as many resources as I would like for kids but what I have been able to find is pretty good and suits our needs.

Misc. Picture books

I Am A Medicine Woman Too by Jesse Wolf Hardin

The Wise Woman and Her Secret by Eve Merriam

My Grandfather Is a Magician by Ifeoma Onyefulu

My Tata’s Remedies by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Clara and The Curandera by Monica Brown

The Shaman’s Apprentice by Lynne Cherry

Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi C. Rose

The Herbalist of Yarrow A Fairy Tale of Plant Wisdom by Shatoyla De La Tour

Welcome Weeds!: A Children’s Guide to The Wild Garden by Kimberly Eve

Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants Through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto

Novels

The Games of Silence (and other books in the Birchbark House Series) by Louise Erdrich

Matilda Bone By Karen Cushman

Happy Birthday Josefina by Valerie Tripp/ American Girls

Warriors series-Erin Hunter (it is cats but my daughter has learned about several herbs)

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

Falling In by Francis O’ ‘Roark Dowell. A very well done book that features an herb at the beginning of each chapter.

Aria of the Sea by Dia Calhoun.

I have come across several books with herbalists as main characters for young adults/teens but I honestly can’t recommend them for various reasons.

Games

Herbaceous or Herbaceous Sprouts (you probably don’t need both)

Wildcraft An Herbal Adventure Game (by the same people who did the Herb Fairies Series

Wild and Free Plant Identification Card Game (can order on Amazon)

Shanleya’s Quest Patterns in Plants Card Game, Decks 1 and 2

You might also find some printable resources on Etsy if you do a search

Coloring Books

Herbs Coloring Book by Stephen Bernath/Dover Publishing

Medicinal Plant Coloring Book An Herb Guide by Lilt Kids Coloring Books/James Stewart

Medicinal Plants Coloring Books by Ilil Arbel/Dover Publishing

The Botany Coloring Book by Paul Young

Books for Identifying of Plants

Flower Fairies series of books (6) by Cicely Mary Barker

Berries, Nuts, and Seeds by Diane L. Burns/Take Along Guide

Trees, Leaves, Bark by Diane L. Burns/Take Along Guide

Wildflowers, Blossoms, and Blooms by Diane L. Burns/Take Along Guide

An Introduction To Trees by John Kieran

An Introduction To Wildflowers by John Kieran

A Golden Guide Trees

A Golden Guide Weeds

A Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America by Frank D Venning

Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife

Field guides for your local region/ecosystem (Partners Publishing or Peterson)

Botany

Shanleya’s Quest A Botany Adventure for Kids by Thomas J. Elpel

Shanleya’s Quest 2 Botany Adventure at the Fallen Tree by Thomas J. Elpel Illustrated by Bonnie Andrich

Botany In A Day The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

The Reason For A Flower by Ruth Keller

Eyewitness Tree by David Burnie

Eyewitness Books Plant by David Burnie

The Visual Dictionary of Plants (Eyewitness/DK)

Botany Adventure Curriculum by Kym Wright (worksheets)

Botany In Eight Lessons Curriculum by Ellen Jonston Mc Henry (textbook and worksheets)

The First Book of Plants by Alice Dickinson

Look At a Flower by Anne Ophelia T. Dowden

Books for Learning About Medicinal Plants and How To Use Them

Herb Fairies series of books (13) by Kimberly Gallagher

Walking The World in Wonder A Children’s Herbal by Ellen Evert Hopman

A Kid’s Herb Book by Lesley Tierra

Herbal Adventures: Backyard Excursions and Kitchen Creations for Kids and Their Families by Rachel Jepson

The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey or The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine by Brigitte Mars (any well organized, easy to use, attractive reference book will do)

The Herbal Medicine -Makers’s Handbook by James Green

The Big Book of Backyard Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Mathew Seal

Science Experiments, Activities, Crafts

Looking At Plants by David Suzuki

Learn and Play In The Garden by Meg Herd

Biology Experiments for Children by Ethel Hanauer

Reader’s Digest How Nature Works by David Burnie

Janice VanCleave’s Plants, Mind Boggling Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair Projects by Janice VanCleave.

Check out you local library, the will have lots of books that have experiments and activities involving plants

Drawing, Illustrating, and Painting Plants

Botanical Sketchbook, A Guide and Inspiration for any Botanical Artist (or any other book on Botanical Illustration)

Brush Drawing by May Mallam

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws

Drawing From Nature by Jim Arnosky

Janet Marsh’s Nature Diary by Janet Marsh

Painting Nature In Watercolor With Cathy Johnson by Cathy Johnson

New Eyes for Plants A Workbook for Observing and Drawing Plants by Margaret Colquhoun and Axel Ewald

Nature Journaling

Keeping A Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth

How To Keep A Naturalist’s Notebook by Susan Leigh Tomlinson

Websites

Herb Academy

Herbal Roots zine

LearningHerbs

Wild KIds

Wild Craft Kids Club

Outschool

What resources have you come across for kids. I would love to add those to my list.

Ideas For Young Kids(click link)

Learning About Herbs through Crafts for All Kids-(click link)

This post is updated often so please check back for more resources.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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