Archive | Botany

Botanical Soap Tutorial

Erin is busy with a Botany block at the moment for Spring, she has been learning all about flowers and plants and as an activity, we decided to make some little soap bars. We didn’t actually make soap from scratch, but we melted down glycerine soap in a double boiler and added dried flowers, Lavender essentail oil and poured it into moulds to set. It was such a sweet project for us to do together and most importantly we had fun!
Thank you so much to everyone who sent me links for how to make soap from scratch, I am so looking forward to doing this. I am still collecting all my ingredients and I should have most of them by next week.
The project from today could also be used for Christmas gifts, you can really add so many different things, dried flowers, essential oils etc…
This is what we did:

Glycerine soap bars
Dried rose petals
Lavender essential oil
Double boiler
Stick for stirring


1. Cut up the glycerine into little cubes.
2. Set up a double boiler, I used a pot and immersed an old, clean tin into the water.
3. Heat up the water.

4. Place the glycerine into the tin and let it melt, stir with a stick.

5.Once the glycerine has melted, remove the pot from the water, add the essential oils and the dried rose petals and stir.

6. Pour the melted mixture into some moulds, I used ice cube trays.

7. Wait for your soap to dry and then pop your soap out of the moulds.

This really was a lovely little activity and hardly took any time at all.



Waldorf Grade 5 Botany

Erin has finished her second block of grade five Botany. In South Africa, our school years run from January to December, with holidays in between. We have both really enjoyed the Waldorf approach to Botany and learned so much. I thought I would share some of her drawings and activities that she did as well as books that we used for the block.
Erin has been drawing flowers that are indigenous to South Africa, this is our national flower, the Protea.
Another indigenous flower, the Strelitzia.
We have read all about the wonderful bees…
Studied the distinction between the lily and the rose.
Erin built a little terrarium, that is still a work in progress. She filled it with sand, moss, grasses and made a ladder and benches with toothpicks…
She is growing Mung beans, they have started to swell. It is so much easier growing beans up the side of a glass container instead of in a dish. This way you can see the progress of the growth and keep your plant from drying out too soon.
She has also picked flowers, leaves and grasses to make a Botanical picture, you can see Jenna’s here and we will also make some window transparencies as soon as the flowers have dried out.

These are the books that we used to put our blocks together:

The Living World of Plants by Dr Gerbert Grohmann
Botany by Live Education
Botany by Donna Simmons
Botany by Charles Kovacs (awesome)
Tree of Life by Rochelle Strauss

Giveaway Winner:

RoseMamie said…

Happy Anniversary..and OH how lovely it all is here!! I just found you, but am now a follower and so glad!

Congratulations Rose! Your knitted treasures will be on thier way to you soon:)


How to make a Sun Tea

We are in our last week of our first Botany block this week and we decided to make a sun tea to enjoy…
We collected some Mint leaves and added them to a glass jar of water. The glass jar is then placed in direct sunlight for the majority of the day and the hot sun brews your lovely mint leaves into a wonderful mint tea.
After the tea had finished brewing, we poured some into tea cups and stirred with honey spoons to sweeten, it actually also tastes quite good without being sweetened. You can also just add a little honey.

Kye enjoying his mint tea, ( I think he is rather enjoying his honey spoon instead 🙂

What you need:

Large glass jar with a lid
Handful of mint leaves

Enjoy! Happy Monday everyone:)


Homeschooling Grade 5, Botany

For the last 2 and a half weeks Erin has been enjoying her Botany block. It has been amazing and we have both learnt so much! I think we have enjoyed it so, because we are using a wonderful book by a writer called Charles Kovacs, his book is titled ‘Botany’ and is really worth having. We will be basing both of our botany blocks on this book. He is so descriptive in his words and explanations and as you read, it is like he is speaking directly to you. We are also using The Tree of Life a beautifully illustrated book about the different plant kingdoms etc…
We all went on a nature walk to see how many mushrooms, moss and lichens we could find. We did spot quite a few and we have been having so much rain lately, so our garden and surrounding areas are rich with beautiful mushrooms at the moment…
Aren’t these stunning, Erin spotted them the other day from our car window as we were driving down our street. Such a lovely specimen of fungus.
These are some specimens of different kinds of mosses and lichens, they are sprayed with water everyday and we will return them to the garden in the next few days. The moss is amazing, we have found so many different types, some are flat, others seem like tall forests, some even look as if they have flowers, but they are simply the green stalks, they are all so beautiful…

We have also learned about penicillin, who discovered it and what it is used for. We let mould grow on a piece of bread and studied it with a magnifying glass. We have gone in this order so far, the study of the plant and its parts, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns and horsetails, and today we learned about conifers… We have also included form drawings incorporating leaf shapes and stems, I will post these sometime next week. For the last two weeks we have been memorising a poem about trees and also learning how to draw leaves and flowers with light and shade.

We are so enjoying this block, it is wonderful! If anyone is homeschooling with grades 2, 5 and 7 and blogs about it, please could you email me your blog address, we would so like to see your progress and ideas:)

Happy Thursday to all:)

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