Identifying wild plants with kids

My children are now 5 and 8 years old and spend quite a lot of time in and around nature and wild places. We have tried to teach them to appreciate their natural environment and to take care of the wildlife around them.

We’ve never really focused on the more formal side of things, rather we have just encouraged outdoor play and learning to be gentle and careful. For day 8 of #30DaysWild I sat with the boys and looked at some of the wild plants and flowers we had encountered so far this month. I kept to the common flowers they have seen a lot of and will build on that in time to come.

Yellow Flag Iris

Wild plants: Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow flag Iris

I love this on plant on the water. Although it seems not to have many practical uses, I think it does a wonderful job of brightening the lodges.

Meadow Buttercup

Wild plants: Buttercup

The meadow we had our picnic in yesterday was filled with beautiful yellow buttercups. I just had to include them in my roundup. I don’t think I know anyone who didn’t play the buttercup game as a child. Let me see if you like butter…!

Fern

Wild plants: Fern

My children call this ‘the dinosaur plant’ because it’s been around for so long. They also know that if ever you’re in a survival situation this would make an excellent mattress inside your shelter if you could gather enough. It is funny to hear which bits of information they retain when learning. They’d probably starve to death but at least they’d be comfortable!

Dandelions

Wild plants: Dandelions

While most people just pull them out of the ground and bin them, the boys know that dandelion leaves can actually be eaten. The neighbours’ front yard perhaps isn’t the best place to pick them, but some from a meadow or woodland would be a tasty addition to a leafy salad.

 

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