Essential Oils for Kids & New Kids Mini Tear Pad

Introducing your children to essential oils at a young age is a great way to bond with them and provide them with natural, healthy products. When using oils with your children, though, you have to be careful. Children’s skin is more delicate and sensitive, which allows essential oils to be absorbed more quickly.

Our new Kids Mini Tear Pad is a great place to start if you’re looking to introduce your kids to essential oils. This tear pad highlights oils that can be used on children and simple ways to help your kiddos get engaged in essential oil use. It includes some simple remedies for sniffles and a tummy ache, as well as easy diffuser blends to help your kids feel better and healthier! These mini tear pads make great handouts for your friends or attendees in a class. Share the knowledge of essential oil safety with your friends and family!

You can learn more about proper use of essential oils with children in Modern Essentials. We have also written several posts with kid-friendly essential oil crafts that the whole family will love!

 

Essential Oil Sock Bunnies

These sock bunnies make a fantastic Easter craft that your kids will enjoy. The bunnies are super cute, and you can design them however you want. Just add your favorite essential oils to this craft to maximize the benefits. Try adding lavender to help calm your kids down while they play!

Sock Bunnies

  • Servings: Yield=1 bunny
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2–3 cups (375–550 g) rice
  • 1 sock
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • String or twine
  • Ribbon
  • 20–30 drops essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour the rice into a bowl, and stir in the essential oils until the desired smell is reached (approx. 20–30 drops).
  2. Using a funnel or a roll of tape to hold the sock open, pour the rice into the sock until it fills to the beginning of the heel of the sock.
  3. Shape the sock by pinching between where the head and the body will be, making sure that the body is larger than the head.
  4. Tie off the head tightly with the string, then tie off the section between the body and head.
  5. Cut off the top of the sock, leaving about 2″ (5 cm) for the ears above the head.
  6. Cut the ear portion of the sock in half vertically, then diagonally from the top of the head to the corner, creating an ear shape. Repeat on the other ear.
  7. Trim the strings down, tie a bow around the neck, and draw a cute face!

Extra Ideas:

You can also tie a little knot around a portion of the body to make a tail, or sew on a cotton ball.

Remove the ribbon, and place the bunny in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until warm), and let your kids enjoy the warmth while they play or take a nap.

Essential Oil Gummy Candies for Immune Support

What kid doesn’t love gummy candies? Unfortunately, many store-bought brands contain lots of sugar and food dyes that our kids really don’t need in their little bodies. So we’ve come up with a recipe that has the opposite effect of store-bought gummies—with immune-boosting properties from elderberry syrup, honey, and lemon essential oil.

Elderberry Gummy Candies

  • Servings: Yield=1 1/4 cups (300 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) homemade elderberry syrup, divided (see recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) mixed-berry, grape, or orange juice
  • 2.5–3 Tbsp. (27 g) powdered grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) honey (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 2–3 drops lemon essential oil (you can also try 1–3 toothpicks each of cassia, clove, and ginger if using orange juice)

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1/3 cup (80 ml) elderberry syrup and 1/3 cup (80 ml) fruit juice into a saucepan. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the liquid, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until the mixture gets bubbly and the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the honey, and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Stir in the rest of the elderberry syrup (1/3 cup or 80 ml) and the essential oil.
  4. Pour into a silicone mold or mini ice cube tray, and refrigerate until set (about an hour).

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  • Servings: Yield=4–5 cups (about 1 liter)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (90 g) dried elderberries
  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
  • 3/4–1 cup (180–240 ml) honey
  • 1–4 toothpicks clove essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks cassia essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks ginger essential oil, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place the elderberries, water, and vanilla bean in an electric pressure cooker (we used an Instant Pot®), and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 18 minutes).
  2. Once your pressure cooker has cooled down enough to open, strain out the elderberries and allow to cool until warm before you stir in the honey and essential oils.
  3. Use in gummy candies (recipe above), as a pancake syrup, or drink 1 tsp. (5 ml) or so (1/4–1/2 for children) several times a day when you feel a cold or the flu coming on.

Honey Suckers for Soothing Little Throats

One of the most helpful things for a sore throat is a spoonful of honey! A couple years ago we posted a recipe for Soothing Throat Lozenges, and we thought we could adapt the recipe a little to make it suitable for children. The result? Honey Suckers.

Honey Suckers

  • Servings: 30–40
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 drops essential oil (good oils to use include lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone sucker mold with sticks or parchment paper and popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t have a silicone sucker mold, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, then place popsicle sticks a couple inches apart on the sheet. You’ll need about 30–40 popsicle sticks.
  2. Place honey and coconut oil in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach a temperature of 300°F (150°C), and then remove the mixture from the stove.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into sucker molds, or drop spoonfuls on parchment paper over the popsicle sticks. You will need to work fast, since the mixture hardens quickly and will become hard to pour.
  7. Allow the suckers to harden (you can stick the sucker mold in the refrigerator for an hour). Cut strips of parchment paper, and fold them over the suckers to keep them from sticking together. Store in the refrigerator.


10 Ways NOT to Use Essential Oils

We often hear about the benefits of essential oils and how you can use them for practically anything, but it is also a good idea to learn about the ways you shouldn’t use essential oils. Here are 10 ways you should NOT use essential oils:

1. Do NOT put essential oils directly in the eye.

Essential oils may be beneficial for some eye problems such as conjunctivitis or cataracts, but the oils should not be applied directly in the eye. Instead, you can rub the oils around the bone that surrounds the eye. Make sure to dilute the essential oil and keep a carrier oil (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or fractionated coconut oil) on hand to further dilute the essential oil if you happen to get any in the eye. One of the best ways to dilute essential oil that has gotten into the eye is to pour a little carrier oil onto a tissue and use the tissue to dab at the eye. Remember not to use water to wash out the oils. Water and oil do not mix, and using water will actually drive the oils in deeper. Be very careful when applying essential oil around the eye, and never apply the oil directly in the eye!

2. Do NOT put essential oils directly in the ear.

Essential oils may help with ear infections and tinnitus, but as with essential oils in the eye, you should NOT put essential oils directly in the ear. You can instead rub essential oils around the ear or place a drop or two on a cotton ball, then place the cotton ball just inside the ear to help with ear problems.

3. Do NOT use a lot of essential oil at once.

Essential oil is very concentrated and should only be used in small doses. In fact, a drop or two is usually sufficient and may even need be diluted with carrier oil (especially for “hot” oils or for use on children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin). If, for any reason, you need a stronger dose, it is better to keep the dosage small, but apply more frequently rather than using more drops per application.

4. Do NOT use essential oils on young children without dilution.

As mentioned above, essential oils are very concentrated and should be diluted if using them on children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin. Click here for more information on diluting essential oils and the recommended dilution ratios.

5. Do NOT use essential oils internally for young children.

Caution must be used when using essential oils with young children. Children under the age of 6 do not need to take essential oils internally. The exception to this rule of thumb is when essential oils are used in cooking, because oils used this way are often diluted enough for children. For therapeutic use, topical application (diluted, of course) is usually sufficient for the needs of young children.

6. Do NOT keep essential oils within reach of children.

Children are very curious and like to imitate the things they see. They watch you apply essential oils to yourself or to them and will attempt to do it themselves if they can get ahold of essential oils. You can probably imagine potential problems with this, especially if you have been reading the above cautions about using essential oils on children. Here are some things you can do if you come across the following situations:

  • Child has poured a bunch of oil on his or her skin: Rub as much off with a paper towel as possible, then rub on carrier oil to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child got essential oil in his or her eyes: Saturate a tissue with a carrier oil, and dab the child’s eyes to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child has ingested essential oil: Give the child milk, yogurt, or, if older than 12 months, honey to help dilute the ingested oil. You may also want to call poison control to see if they have any further instructions.
  • Child got oil on clothes, fabric, wood, or furniture: Soak up as much as possible with a paper towel, then treat as you would a grease stain.

Click here for more troubleshooting tips when essential oils aren’t used properly or an adverse reaction occurs.

Essential oils are expensive, so aside from the safety concerns of children using the oils on themselves, you will also want to keep the oils out of reach of children so the oil isn’t wasted.

7. Do NOT use essential oils with plastic or styrofoam.

Some essential oils (especially citrus oils), when undiluted, will eat away at plastic, which can destroy the oil and create holes in the plastic, so it is best to avoid using plastic with essential oils. Same goes for styrofoam. If the oils are heavily diluted, such as in creams or lotions, they can be stored in plastic containers that use stronger types of plastic like PET or HDPE. Click here to learn more about the different types of plastics we use in our containers.

8. Do NOT put oil directly on finished wood surfaces.

Just as with plastics, essential oils can eat away at the finishing on wood surfaces. Be careful when using essential oils around finished wood pieces, and remember to clean up immediately after noticing any essential oil has spilled on your wood surface to avoid any disfiguring.

9. Do NOT apply citrus oil while sitting in the sunshine.

Some essential oils (typically citrus oils) are photosensitive and contain natural substances called furanocoumarins. Furanocoumarins can react with ultraviolet light to create substances that may cause hyperpigmentation or burning on the skin. While these essential oils have many beneficial properties, care should be taken after applying these oils on the skin to protect these areas from direct, prolonged ultraviolet light exposure for 1–3 days.

10. Do NOT leave your oils in the cabinet unused.

Even though we have talked about the various ways you should use caution when using essential oils, we hope we haven’t scared you into not using your oils at all. Essential oils, when used appropriately, can be very beneficial to the health and well-being of our bodies. If you have essential oils, don’t let them sit untouched in your cabinet—use them! A great resource to help you learn how to use essential oils is the book Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.
Disclaimer: The essential oil bottles in these pictures were filled with water rather than essential oils. No children (or adults) were harmed while taking these pictures. We do not recommend trying any of the photographed situations at home.

Source: Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Soft & Squishy Soap Jellies

Kids love how soft and squishy these soap jellies are! They are perfect for making bathtime and learning about hygiene fun. You may even want to try them out on yourself! They make a great sensory experience for all!

Soap Jellies

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 2–3 small packets)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) distilled water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Castile Soap
  • 30 drops essential oil (lavender, melaleuca, lemon, orange, and peppermint are good options)
  • Body-safe soap coloring (optional) (a drop or two of blue tansy essential oil is a natural way to get a nice blue color)
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • Silicone mold or small soap mold
  • Small Spray Bottle of alcohol (optional)
  • 16 oz. PET Jar

Instructions:

  1. Place mold on a cutting board or cookie sheet or another flat, movable surface.
  2. Place water in a pan, and sprinkle the gelatin on the water. Allow gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes; then bring the water to a boil to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the castile soap, coloring, and essential oils. Stir gently until combined.
  4. Stir in the salt last. (Don’t skip this step! It makes a big difference!)
  5. Pour the mixture into your molds.
  6. You can get rid of air bubbles by spritzing the soap with a little alcohol from a small spray bottle.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until completely hardened.
  8. Store in a PET Jar in a cool, dry location (such as the refrigerator) for up to 1 week.

EO Life Hack: Teething Baby?

It’s no fun when teeth are coming in…for the baby or the parents. How can you help numb the pain and calm the baby down? Use essential oils!

EOLH_Teething_Baby

Homemade Sunscreen

Protect your skin naturally while out in the summer sun with this all-natural homemade sunscreen. It is easy to make and looks and feels just like store-bought sunscreen! Your family won’t know the difference, but you will feel better knowing what you are putting on your children’s skin! A few things to know about this sunscreen:

  1. This sunscreen has an SPF of 20+ because the zinc oxide has an SPF of 20, the coconut oil has an SPF of 4, and the essential oils used in this recipe are also beneficial for protecting against the sun’s rays.
  2. It may need to be reapplied every hour or so, especially during water play. The beeswax in this recipe does help it be a little waterproof, but stay on the safe side and reapply fairly often.
  3. Even though it looks like it goes on pretty white in the above picture, it doesn’t stay that way. Just rub it on the skin, spreading it all over, and after a minute or so it will melt and disappear.
  4. This sunscreen will last through the summer—possibly even 2 summers depending on how fresh your ingredients are.

Continue reading

Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray

Rest peacefully tonight with the help of this pillow spray! This can be especially helpful for children—try placing these bottles on a bedside table for your kids to use during the night to spray away bad dreams and other nighttime fears!
Continue reading

Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.

NOTES:

Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.