Encourage Your Kids to Be Little Chemists by Making Elderberry Syrup

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A Science STEM Activity Involving Elderberry Syrup

Recently, my two youngest kids and I were sick.  So for the first time I tried my hand at making some elderberry syrup. I had gone to a local health food store called The Vine and bought an elderberry kit some weeks before. The elderberry kit included some elderberries, some cloves, and cinnamon sticks. To the elderberry kit ingredients, you were supposed to add ginger, water, and honey.  The recipe comes with the kit.  I was given permission by The Vine to share their recipe.

Health Benefits of  Elderberry Syrup

According to many studies elderberry syrup has many beneficial properties.  For example, according to the study reported on in an article called the Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections, the flu symptoms of individuals who were given elderberry syrup lasted about four days less than those individuals who did not receive elderberry syrup.

According to the same article, elderberries have been used for years in folk medicine to treat things such as colds, the flu, and sinusitis.

STEM Activity for kids: Make Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients in elderberry kit

Recipe for Homemade Elderberry Syrup

2/3 cups dried elderberries

3 1/2 cups water

1 hunk raw ginger

2-5 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup raw honey

Combine all ingredients except honey in medium saucepan; cover, simmer for approximately 45 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool a bit, then strain into a glass jar.  When liquid is cooled to lukewarm, add honey and stir well.  Store in refrigerator.

Tip from me: When you are straining the mixture, take a spoon and press down on the mixture to get as much of the juice out of the mixture as possible. That juice is valuable!

It’s recommended for adults to take a tablespoon of the syrup and kids a teaspoon.

The first time I made elderberry syrup, it turned out to be an elderberry juice.  However, I didn’t add as much honey as called for (though I don’t believe I measured, it but I believe it was less).

STEM Activity for kids: Make Elderberry Syrup

The next time I decided to make syrup, I decided to let my 9 year old daughter take the lead. She loves to help me in the kitchen. She poured the ingredients of the kit into the pot. She grated the ginger. She also measured out the appropriate amount of water. She liked making the syrup because she felt like she was really helping me.

The mixture cooked for about an hour (You can let it come to a boil and then simmer).  Then the mixture was strained. The juice or syrup left is what you can take daily.  We forgot to add the honey, but later my husband added it for us.  This elderberry “syrup” came out thicker than the first time I made it.  I think a reason for this is because this time she added less water than I added the first time I made it.

STEM Activity for Kids: Make Elderberry Syrup

The next time I made elderberry syrup, I enlisted the help of both of my older children.  This time it was decided that we’d use more ginger than the previous times.  As my son reminded me, the more ginger, the healthier….lol.

It is important that your kids understand that as a scientist, when they are doing an investigation, many times it is required that an experiment be done several times before they make a conclusion.  Doing an experiment several times allows different variables to be changed to see how the experiment turns out differently.

Let Your Kids Do Some Simple Investigative Research

Opportunities such as these, are great chances to let your child take the the lead on a project. The steps involved were relatively simple. It’s also a great opportunity to let your child do some follow up investigative research. They can do some research to find out why the elderberry syrup has so many health benefits. You can turn it into a little research project for the child. Have her report back to you as a little scientist with her findings.

For Annaliese, I filled out a piece of paper, and I wrote the following:
Researcher’s Name:
Date:
Goal: I want to find out the benefits of elderberry syrup.
Findings:

STEM book to Inspire Your Kids to Be Little Scientists

A great book to inspire your kids to be little scientists is ADA Twist, Scientist.  Read my review of this amazing STEM book here.

Remember, to incorporate math and STEM activities into your regular daily activities.  You and your life are YOUR STEM lesson plans.  Make conscious decisions not to rush through life, but to use your daily activities as learning opportunities. However, if in addition you want SUPER organized done for you FREE STEM curriculum for young kids and older kids, you have to check out my blog post about a Free Engineering Curriculum Website.

I definitely recommend incorporating elderberry syrup into your regiment this fall/winter season!  Try your hand at making some.   Turn it into a STEM activity!

References

Zakay-Rones, Z., Thom, E., Wollan, T., & Wadstein, J. (2004). Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections. Journal of International Medical Research, 32(2), 132-140. doi:10.1177/147323000403200205

Reluctant math learner?

5 tips to get your reluctant learner excited about math (3)

Got a reluctant math student? Turn your child that shies away from math into one who asks to do math activities! Download your free tip sheet today.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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