Kids Potions and Teas: The Best Flowers to Grow!
It's a universal, primal joy for kids, they love picking mixing and creating "potions".
It's a great activity at the best of times, but in summer the ingredients kids can get their hands on really kicks the whole thing up a notch. I notice my kids' potions are created for a range of stories and imaginings. Sometimes it's for magical purposes, sometimes its medicine for a sick animal, sometimes its for a dinner party or tea, it's delightfully open-ended.
I'm all about that free play. This is partly because my husband and I are self-confessed lazy parents (a blog post on that soon) and partly because it's good for our kids' brains. You can decide what the percentage on each is - it's not 50/50, that's for sure.
You can really maximize the prep time: play time ratio here. Especially, if the kids can:
- forage for their own ingredients
- mix everything themselves
- actually drink and play with the potion
ALSO: Bonus Instagram points if you provide your kids with bottles and pretty containers!
And, this is a good all ages activity, my youngest was able to get into this at 18 months.
Having perennial plants and flowers in your garden, or deck, or balcony is the way to set this up, and really make it feel truly magical for the little guys. So, here's your easy-peasy grow list!
We were lucky to inherit some sweet little pink roses that hang over a fence. We don't have to do much to maintain them, and they do pretty well each year. If you're not in possession of a house that the former resident, an 80-year old Danish man, has established a lovely garden for you, no probs! There are a ton of easy roses you can get your hands on, ones without thorns, and cute tiny ones that live in pots. The nicest thing about roses, is that there are so many petals on each flower head. Kids get a lot to work with. And bashing them up with stones or sticks, gets a lovely, textured, slimy jelly going.
Obviously, raspberries are delicious on their own, but there a ton of leaves on there, and they taste like raspberries too! These definitely work better if you can give your kids with some warm water to steep them in though. Raspberries can be kind of bonkers in your yard as well, so if you don't care, great, get planting! If you don't have the space for them to go nuts, chuck them in a big pot.
You can buy mint anywhere. There's a ton of fun varieties. It's cheap. But it's another one that will take over anywhere you put it. Plant it wisely, and let your kids go to town.
I have a real soft spot for chamomile. I just love those perfect, delicate little flowers. And a lot of fond memories of my childhood that seem to be wrapped up in the smell of chamomile. To grow my own little patch, I used seeds in a big copper pot that stays outside all winter, and reseeds itself in the spring. I don't get a ton of blooms, but they're still lovely, sweet and fun to play with.
Coneflowers are amazing because EVERY part is usable; roots, stems and petals. And it tastes like berries. You might know coneflowers by there other name, echinacea. If you do, you know it's supposed to be great for colds. So here's some extra points for them being super good for you! This is another good one to grow from seeds, or buy them at the end of the year at your local garden centre when they're nice and cheap. There's a ton of different colours and types so you can go nuts!
Have fun potion-ing!