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10 ways to teach kids about Earth day

April 13, 2010

10 Ways to Teach Kids about Earth Day

Reduce Consumption When Possible

(from Kaboose)

By Diane Peters

Think a child or a family can’t make a difference? Not so. Little things – like using a colorful cloth bag, or tossing potato peels and eggshells into thecompost bin -can help the environment. And if your child develops good habits now, they’ll endure as he grows.

Here are 10 ways you can encourage your kids to go green during Earth Day.

Reduce electricity
Explain to your children that lights, computers, televisions and furnaces use energy, and that energy is in short supply. Jessica Altman of Buffalo, NY, encourages her 3-year-old to always flip off the light when she leaves a room and shut off the TV when she’s no longer watching. Now the toddler even reminds others: “Turn off the light!”

Appliances like DVD players use energy even when off, so cutting the power totally is the only way to conserve. Go shopping together to buy power bars and plug your electronics into them (watch little ones closely so there are no shocks).

Take small steps
There are dozens of small things your kids can do every day to save energy and keep the world cleaner and greener. Your kids can:

  • Shut off the water when they brush their teeth
  • Walk, ride a bike or take the bus instead of traveling by car
  • Take faster showers or baths in just a small amount of water
  • Help hang clothes on the line instead of putting them in the dryer
  • Choose products that are not over packaged

Recycle
Explain to your kids that every bottle and can they use is waste that just sits in a big pile at the local dump if we don’t recycle. Get them involved by making it their job to sort recyclables and take them out for pickup. (Remind them to watch out for broken glass and ask for help if this happens.) If there’s no recycling collection in your area, find out where you can drop off items.

Consider recycled crafts too.

Compost
It’s easy to collect your own food scraps and garden waste and turn it into healthy compost in your own yard. Children can help buy a composter (they’re sold at home reno stores and sometimes through municipalities), and, like Altman’s young daughter, fill it with kitchen scraps and garden waste on a daily basis and even help stir it to get things breaking down. And, in a few months when you’ve got compost, they can take part in spreading it over the garden and seeing how “garbage” can become rich dark dirt to make a garden grow.

Do a donation tour
A great way to get across the message of “reuse” and “recycle” is to take kids on a trip to your local thrift store, recycling center, or church. If your children have old clothing, toys, shoes, or other items in reusable condition, make a family trip down to the donation center so they can see how their trash is someone else’s treasure. Teach kids how items can be reused for different purposes–for example old towels, blankets, and comforters can often be donated to local animal shelters for bedding. These real-life examples will teach kids that many items they would normally throw away can actually have a second life.

Coffe Ground Fossils

April 13, 2010

I’m not a coffee drinker at all butI have family members who are. I suppose I’ll just have to start using those used up grounds to make a few fossil crafts with my daughter that I found at Kaboose 🙂

Sweet Gum Pod Mouse

April 13, 2010

As a kid, I always remember having to watch out for all those spiky balls that fell from the trees around my house and my cousins. Now, in the neighborhood we live in, there is one sweet gum tree not very far with all it’s little pods all over the ground. Looking for ideas for Earth day crafts, I found this little mouse made from a sweet gum pod!

from Kaboose

Totem poles

April 10, 2010

Inspired by Inuit art and totem poles, Cider & Faun shows a sinple way to make a totem pole

our first totem

Found-Object Food Jar Terrariums

April 8, 2010

Robin Rivers of Our Big Earth has a great idea for little jars. Make them into a tiny science in a jar craft project.

crafts0908095

April 7, 2010

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

~Frederick Douglass

Family Nature Club

April 7, 2010

Ordinary Life Magic is another blog participating in Children and Nature Network’s declaration of April as Children and Nature Awareness month. Like 5 Orange Potatoes, she has started her blogging grass roots with Family Nature Club. She invites you to share your nature tales like:

Photograph your nature walks.

Tell us what you found in the grass.

Tell us about the (edible) leaves you tasted in your gardens.

Show us your terrarium.

Show us what you collected in your plant press,

tell us about the tracks you found,

the park you cleaned up,

share with us how blessed you felt to be outside, loving this beautiful world.

    To be a part of this visit her blog post, Family Nature Club and she will link your blog in the list of participants.

    Friendly Nature Crafts

    April 7, 2010

    I love this idea! Make nature pals from sticks, twigs, bark, pebbles, etc.

    Can’t see real fairies? Make your own fairy friends from flower petals!

    Do certain bugs give you the jitters? How about some nice friendly ones made from rocks, twigs and leaves 🙂

    From FamilyFun

    Mud Cupcakes

    April 7, 2010

    A cute way to end a nice nature walk with tokens, making mud cupcakes!

    From FamilyFun

    Spring Garden Crafts/Activities

    April 7, 2010

    From FamilyFun:

    Rainforest in a Jar Instructions

    Plant Pals Instructions

    Spring in a Bottle Instructions

    Topsy-Turvy Tomatoes Instructions (I definitely need to do this one with my little polar bear, she loves tomatoes!)

    And other ideas from FamilyFun:

    Garden Web Site (encourage eight legged friends to your garden)

    Doorstep Garden (using old boots for planters)