Focus:

  • Learning that trees have a language all their own.
  • Learning that trees can be our friends, and can help us when we are sad.

This is a true story inspired by a three-year-old student I had in my Outdoor Preschool who was sad a LOT! I have seen this same thing happen many times since.

Recently, after telling this story to some three-and-a-half and four-year-old students, I thought each was going to find their own tree. When I turned around, all of them were hugging and snuggling up against a single tree. Since that time they have found trees wherever we are, and have gone to them when they feel the need. Hugging trees really works.

Playing with the story:

  • Adults: Demonstrate for the children playfulness and love for the trees.
  • Children: Find a tree in your yard and play with it. Look at it, smell it, touch it, listen to it. Bring it gifts.
  • Take a nature walk and discover what trees you want to be around. Go and hug them.
  • Have the children tell you a story about their favorite tree. Ask them how it got to be the way it is. Ask them its name and how it got that name. Write or record what the children tell you.

Choose one of the three photos below, or a plant you enjoy or wish to get to know better.

  • Take your time and really look at it with as much curiosity as you have for it.
  • Then, close your eyes and see the plant from as many angles and ways as you possibly can via your minds eye.
  • Then, open your eyes and see how many things you remembered and how many things you might not have.

plant photo

plant photo

plant photo

And, voilà! You have just played an old nature game of Developing a Deeper Relationship with a Plant Being.

This game can be played with your preschoolers and older children, anywhere and any time. You can even play this game at the dinner table!  

Truly, just invite the family to look at the dinner table with curiosity. Take in as many details as you can. Then, close your eyes and see how many things you all remember and with as much detail as you can. Open your eyes and see what everyone remembers!

Doing this develops deeper relationships with anything you are putting your attention to, empathy, expanded memory skills, curiosity for life, one’s surroundings and, well, you might even discover more benefits to this easy and fun game!!!

Plus, here is a link to a board game that will help you go deeper with your plant knowledge and the benefits of many familiar plants: learningherbs.com/wildcraft

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

Wildcraft! is an Herbal Adventure Game by LearningHerbs

Chickweed, Cleavers, Miner’s Lettuce, Dandelion… These wild edibles are all around us now with incredible nutrients to support our body’s desire for Spring Cleaning. You and your children can just go out to your front yard, walk down the side walk or take a jaunt in the parks and fields. There you can all discover some or all of these wonderful plants.

Sad to say that many call them “weeds” but in fact, they are gifts from Spring Time.

Children LOVE picking plants straight from the Earth and eating them up or taking them home to prepare a wonderful salad with. Most children will actually eat the salad with DELIGHT, when they have been the ones to harvest these plants.


Chickweed

chickweed

Use Chickweed instead of Basil for a great pesto!


Miner’s lettuce

miner's lettucee

Add Miner’s lettuce to your wonderful Spring salads. Can you taste them? What is their texture like?


Cleavers

cleavers

Cleavers make a fine cold brew tea. This is good if anyone has swollen lymph glands. And, if everyone one is well, just see how they stick to your clothes. They would love to go on a walk with you so they can let their seed babies journey to another place to begin to grow.


Dandelion

dandelion

What better liver herb and spring cleaner than the Dandelion!!! Put it into your salads to add some bitter herbs in your diet. We never get enough bitters these days.


Important tip: When foraging, avoid places that may have been sprayed with herbicide or are likely to be polluted. Avoid busy roads and areas surrounding old painted buildings because they are likely to be contaminated with lead and other heavy metals.

Have fun!