Children’s herbal fascinations at the Edward Cat Nursery School

A child’s joy in discovering new flavours is contagious. This tastes good, that does not taste good. A smile here, tears there. Life is simple and fits in two hands. It was my first time teaching herbal classes to 2 and 3 year olds. I was very anxious. So were the children. And, as I saw later in the photos, so was the Headmistress Eve and the Nursery Ladies 🙂 .

The activities had several parts. After setting the dry herbs on the table for tea, before I had time to react, I could already see a face full of yarrow flowers curled up to cry. The flavour explorer’s face was ungainly and he wondered for a fleeting moment: spit? or swallow? He spit 🙂 The lady took the boy to the bathroom to rinse his face, after which he returned bravely to his seat, ready for herbal experiments.

The children mixed their first herbal tea. They poured elderflowers, yarrow, linden, lavender and thyme herb into jugs. “This smells good. I like it”, “Fe, not good” Comments were interspersed with my words. The joy of sifting and filling sparkled from all eyes. For fear of sopping up too strong a tea, I had to show the power of determination and snatch the pots to pour boiling water over. I managed to distract the children with fresh herbs.
Basil, dill, parsley, chives, marjoram and thyme made their way to the table. Little hands reached towards the plates and plucked the leaves, curious about the flavours and smells. They rubbed the herbs and sniffed. Yes, and I sniffed too 🙂 .

And then the fun of making sandwiches with herbs themselves began. Ho ho, that’s no mean feat, as it was only the Giraffe group that was learning to handle a knife, butter and a slice of bread. And here we are. It came out great. All I could hear was “more and more” 🙂 The sandwiches disappeared from their tummies.
The sandwiches disappeared from their tummies and it was time for the onions.
That was just the fun of it. Each child planted their onion in the ground and marked it with a flag with their name on it. Of course, the lovely ladies helped with the writing 🙂

I dream that the children will sink these herbal experiences into their hearts. And that they reach for what is natural in their lives. What grows close to us. And serves us. I look forward to this meeting and thank you, Director Ewa, for the opportunity to have an herbal meeting with the children.

Dorota Nature of Life