Herbs help Children explore Science & Nature

Science and Nature -Coriander Growth Chart.There are so many skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. Handy Herbs Kit For Kids.
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There are so many new skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.

Herbs are relatively easy to grow and they encourage children to use their senses. They can observe by seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting and make sensory comparisons. Did you know that the smaller the pieces of herb, the more oil is released so the stronger the fragrance and taste?

There are a variety of interesting activities that children can be involved in around planting, caring for and picking their herbs. They can then of course use them in preparing food/cooking.

I have listed a few ideas but I am sure there are many more.

 

Planting/growing:

To help your child learn that plants grow from seeds

Help your child to:

Plant some herb seeds and follow the growth of There are so many skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. Handy Herbs Kit For Kids.the seedlings as they sprout from the soil.

Make and record observations and measurements of the different herbs as the seeds germinate and the seedlings begin to sprout. This could be a simple picture and sentence or a more detailed diary depending on the age/ability of the child. Find a simple booklet diary here. If your child would prefer to just measure or compare the growth rates of different herbs you could print off this growth chart.

Understand  the process of germination and that the seeds grow roots, a stem which points above the ground towards the light and that the seedling grows into a bigger plant.

 

To help your child learn that for seedlings to grow properly they need the right conditions

Help your child to:

Observe the effect of different conditions on the herb seeds growth.

Understand that water and oxygen are required for seeds to germinate.

Understand that some seeds germinate at a temperature just above normal room temperature but others respond better to warmer temperatures, cooler temperatures or even changes in temperature.

Understand that many seeds need light for germination but others actually need darkness to germinate.

 

Caring for:

Help your child to:

Take proper care of their herbs with just the right amount of light, heat and water.There are so many skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. Handy Herbs Kit For Kids.

Learn about cause and effect (for example plants die without water).

Understand the idea of responsibility from caring for plants.

 

Food:

Help your child to:

Learn about where fresh food comes from.There are so many skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.

Learn that some plants provide food for humans.

Know that plant based foods are good for us – herbs are full of vitamins and minerals along with many other benefits for health.

Know we can eat different parts of the plant and learn the associated vocabulary – with herbs we can eat the leaves, the flowers, the stalks. With other plants we can eat the roots, bulbs, seeds, leaves, stalks, fruit.

Understand nutritional principles such as what we need to eat to keep healthy and which foods give us energy, help our bones etc.

 

Cooking:

Help your child to:

 Begin to learn the science of changing materials – liquid to solid, solid to liquid, how food changes while cooking etc.  

Make predictions about what might happen when things are cooked, mixed together etc.There are so many skills children can develop and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. Handy Herbs Kit For Kids.

Make sensory exploration – with hands on and feeling the ingredients while cooking.

You can do this by preparing and cooking a variety of dishes, including hot and cold meals or snacks.

Ideas for other learning from cooking can be found here.

 

Would you consider growing herbs or other food with your children to promote science skills?

Do you have any other ideas to help develop science and nature skills?

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49 thoughts on “Herbs help Children explore Science & Nature

  1. I agree there are so many benefits to children planting herbs. They are a great one too because they grow so quickly & easily so the kids can see the results within a couple of days. Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Candid Cuddles 55My Profile

  2. So many good ideas! You made me feel guilty as a mum for just buying dried herbs! I love growing things and love the idea of a herb garden, but it would all be down to me to keep it alive, not the tween/teens! Even so, literally food for thought. My mum keeps on at me to plant lettuce in a pot – she says it’s so easy and we get through a lot of salad in this house! Good to link up. Alison #BloggerClubUk

  3. Great ideas here! I can barely keep a plant alive so I’m not sure I’d be great at showing LO what to do. I have planted herbs in the children’s play area outside though and they know that those are plants you can eat and use in food. I’m going to try and do more science experiments with the eldest over the half term! #twinklytuesday
    http://www.rockingmummysworld.wordpress.com

  4. What a great idea for the kids to learn and to have fresh herbs for cooking. I love this might just have to give it a go as I have always wanted fresh herbs but I tend to kill plants. EEk maybe the kids will be better than mommy. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me blog hop. I hope to see you again this week for another great round. #sharewithme

  5. What a great idea! I love the idea of exploring herbs and plants with my little one. Although she is only two, I think she would understand and enjoy an activity like this. She already helps me with cooking the family meals sometimes and is very interested and keen to join in so I think this would be a perfect little activity. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

  6. This is a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing. I tend to take things for granted and hadn’t thought much of how the whole process from planting to cooking could be part of an educational plan. Eye-opener.

  7. Great advice of teaching kids to love herbs and learn about it! I have grown herbs in my garden… sometimes I asked my kids to smell it so they can appreciate it coz I love to add herbs to any dish, although they’re not too keen on it yet, hopefully with familiarization, they would eventually learn to like it. Lovely post! #FabFridayPost

  8. This is incredible! You certainly know your herbs. I didn’t even know that the smaller the pieces of herb, the more oil is released so the stronger the fragrance and taste – that’s really interesting. I love your diary and growth chart. This is something Ethan would most definitely like to do. Thank you so much for linking up again. #FabFridayPost xx

  9. This is a fantastic project to carry out with kids. My boys use to love helping me grow things when they were younger. Although we didnt do any recording, they still learnt lots.
    Thanks for linking up, Tracey xx#abitofeverything

  10. Such a positive and motivational post. I might just give it a try with Miss Tot. I generally kill plants (not on purpose), bit even I might be able to manage a herb garden? I love fresh herbs to cook with too.

    Thanks for the tips.
    #marvmondays

  11. Such an informative post! As herbs are about THE only thing I can keep alive, I will definitely be keeping this in mind as the boys get a little bit older! Hayden, being autistic loves tapping into his sensory needs, so this could be a great way to engage him in something where he is learning in the process too! #KCACOLS xx

  12. A fab post and so informative. I think that planting, eating and learning about food is a fantastic thing for all kids to do – definitely a good way to encourage healthy eating. Thanks for sharing on #kcacols

  13. I live in hope that getting my son involved in cooking will help him be a bit more open minded about the food he’s willing to eat… He loves to cook, but he doesn’t always eat it. Still, I keep on trying!
    That said, he does LOVE herbs. He always asks for a garnish of coriander or chives, and he likes to try the herbs we use in our cooking.
    I should do some more planting with him really… any excuse to get mucky :)
    x ALice
    #kcacols

  14. This is a lovely, informative post. I really enjoyed it. I think it’s a wonderful idea to have children involved in herbs, learning about them, planting them, tasting etc. It’s a great exercise for them to explore the senses and learn at the same time. #KCACOLS

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