DIY Kid Activities: Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is natural moisturizer made from the calendula marigold, which is a bright yellow or deep orange flower that is known for having anti-inflammatory properties.  It’s great for your skin, especially dry skin.  Skincare products made with calendula oil can be very expensive and are typically made with a small percentage of the oil.  Instead, try making your own at home!  Kids will love watching the process of drying fresh flowers, and then you’ll have a super moisturizer that makes skin shine!  I’ve tried a few different oils as the base, but I prefer sunflower because it’s not as heavy on your skin, especially your face as other richer oils, such as olive oil, and it provides a good dose of vitamin E, too!  It’s always important to take care of the largest organ of your body — your skin!

Time: About 1 week for drying flowers thoroughly and 3-4 weeks for infusing oil, but very little active time.

Materials:

  • Fresh blooming calendula flowers (20-30 flowers)
  • Sunflower oil (about 1-2 cups, depending on your jar)—I usually use organic
  • Glass jam jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • Cheesecloth for straining

Adult Prep:  None needed!  Just gather the materials.

Kids’ Activity

  1. To dry the flowers:
    • When in bloom, pick the calendula flowers off of the stem, right below where the stem meets the blossom.
    • Flatten the flowers, taking off green bit at the base of the blossom, where the flower meets the stem. Place the flowers on a baking pan so that they dry evenly.  Place them in a dry, dark place to dry.
    • Dry for about 1 week, until paper-like.
  2. Put the dried flowers into the jam jar and fill the jar with sunflower oil to cover the flowers (as close to the top as possible).
  3. Shake the jar to mix everything up.  Allow the oil to infuse for 2-3 weeks, turning it upside down once a day to keep mixing the ingredients.  You want to keep the jar out of direct sunlight, but not necessarily in a dark spot.  I like it keep it in plain sight to remind me to do the daily flip!
  4. After 2-3 weeks, strain the oil with cheesecloth, retaining the oil and discarding the flowers.   The oil should be bright yellow!
  5. Place in a dispenser and use as a moisturizer for face and hands.

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA

A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too!  In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.

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