Thursday, April 7, 2016

Teaching Together Blog Hop #7

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Teaching Together Blog Hop. I, together with Whitney at Work it Mommy, Amanda at Tickled Pink, Courtney at A+ Life, and Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls, thought that a link up focusing on preschool activities, homeschooling ideas, and play at home learning would be a great way to pool together all sorts of fun and educational resources. A place to share and be inspired. Check back on the original post for full details, and/or past blog hops for great ideas!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Teaching Together Blog Hop #7: Earth Day Ideas for Kids

With Earth Day on April 22nd, I thought I'd share a few simple ways to celebrate with young kids. I'm always talking to Aria about being less wasteful. That seems to be the big one for her age range - turning the water on full blast to brush teeth and wash hands, flushing the toilet twice, turning on all the lights in the house for fun, using half a roll of toilet paper to wipe, etc. Having a constant dialogue about being good inhabitants of our Earth and respecting everything else that we share it with is a year round job. And one more people should have with themselves more often - we just had a giant fish kill numbering in the thousands locally because of what people are putting into the water. Dead fish washed up on shore for miles. Not pleasant.

Earth Day is a great reminder to take a look at things your family does as a whole, and see where you can make improvements. Maybe even make a goal or two to work on for the next year - using less grocery bags, recycling more efficiently, etc. But, Earth Day doesn't have to be all dead fish and long chats it is a great day to be a little extra festive. Kids retain things better when it's enjoyable and fun, yes? So here are some things Aria and I have done in the past for Earth Day and just for fun, or celebrated a bit early for this year's Earth Day that I think would be great to do on the 22nd or all month long!

Make a Stained Glass Earth Craft:
stained glass earth project
stained glass earth project
One of my absolute favorite, super easy, AND totally customizable crafts - stained glass art. This is the first time we tried it using contact paper. Previously we've used wax paper and glue, but contact paper is even easier and less messy. I'm a convert.

What you'll need: contact paper, blue and green tissue paper, construction paper or any paper, and scissors. A marker too if you want to write the name and date on it, but not necessary.

How to: Cut a square of contact paper. Cut a hollow circular frame with the paper - I traced a bowl and a slightly smaller bowl then cut the whole thing out followed by the inside. Place your frame on the sticky side of the contact paper. Pull apart the tissue papers into little squares, you do not need a lot. Maybe an eighth of one sheet of tissue paper for each color. So that will get you set up. Just let your kid go to town sticking the tissue paper onto the contact paper, loosely attempting to keep it all inside the frame. When it is full of paper cut another similarly sized piece of contact paper and place the sticky side on top of the sticky/papered piece. Flip the whole thing over and there is your earth. Just trim the contact paper from around the circular frame and then hang in a window.

Read Earth Day Books:
read earth day books
read earth day books
All holidays are better with a stack of books. These are the ones we found at our library:  I Can Save The Earth, A Tree Is Nice, Fancy Nancy: Every Day Is Earth Day, The Giving Tree, The Lorax, The Curious Garden.

Make a Bird Feeder:
make a bird feeder
We did this for our Spring bucket list last year, but it would be perfect as an Earth Day project. We still have enough bird seed leftover to make 700 more of these babies. Click here for the instructions.

Collect Sticks & Paint Them:
collect sticks and paint them
I saw this idea last year when I was looking up things to do on Earth Day. We didn't do it then, but I kept it on the back burner because I thought Aria would enjoy it. She loves sticks and painting, it's a natural choice. We went on a stick hunt in the yard, then came back to the porch and Aria picked the biggest one to paint. She had a few others but she just wanted to paint the one. We actually did this yesterday, so I'm still waiting to see what she decides to do with it today.

Make Dirt Pudding:
make dirt pudding
This one was on our summer bucket list, and a total hit by the way. Gummie worms might be Aria's favorite treat ever. A perfect fun snack to sweeten Earth Day. It would go great with ants on a log - celery with peanut butter and raisins dotted along the pb like ants. Even better would be taking both on a picnic lunch or dinner along with garden veggies, fruit, and sandwiches.

Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt:
go on a nature hunt
Going on a nature hunt is a good way to spend Earth Day. Walk around your yard with a little container and have your kids put any little treasures inside. You can even turn it into a collage - we did something similar for our leaf themed Teaching Together Blog Hop. Or, you can use this amazing printable from Sara at Running from the Law to find specific things on your nature walk.

Make Earth Day Cookies:
make earth cookies
Another easy Earth Day treat to make are these Earth cookies. You take either homemade or store bought sugar cookie dough, split it in half, and color one half blue and the other half green. Pinch a bit from each color and roll into a ball, then bake according to your recipe or the packaging. When they come out you have these adorable Earth cookies.

Plant Something:
plant something
Planting something is a natural way to spend Earth Day. I think kids get a lot out of the whole experience. Now if only I had a green or even semi green thumb. We planted flowers in our front yard last spring, and it's gone completely wild again. I'm terrible. But, really weeding is probably my least favorite thing ever. Maybe a tiny herb garden instead!

Make Mud Pies:
make mud pies
Encouraging your kid to get dirty. Yeah, that is always going to get you some brownie points.

Go Fruit Picking:
go fruit picking
If you don't have a garden of your very own to pick something from, go elsewhere. It's strawberry season in Florida currently.

Make a Butterfly Feeder:
make a butterfly feeder
I don't know about the rest of the country but it is the start of butterfly season here. We got tons of these beauties in the yard last year, so I thought it would be a fun project to make a butterfly feeder. We missed our window though and made it too late for the butterflies to enjoy. But, it is still hanging up. We just need to make more sugar water. Hopefully some butterflies can enjoy it this year. Click here for all the details on how to make your own!

Sweet Turtle Soup

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  1. I was just thinking about Earth Day the other day and needing some fun activities. I love all of these. The earth stained glass might be my favorite. :) That and the cookies. Haha! Can't wait to give them all a try.

  2. I love Earth Day and these are great ideas!

  3. I LOVE all of these ideas. I am going solo with the boys on Saturday, so these are great ideas that I need!

  4. You are the craftiest mom and come up with the best activities. We are gearing up for Earth day, too. There is a park clean-up in the town where Mason goes to school and I plan on taking him to be part of it. :) Love the stained glass craft and the cookies!

  5. I am loving all your ideas! We love doing the sun catchers with the contact paper... So easy! Our moms club is doing an earth day activity where we are painting flower pots and we just made a butterfly house at Home Depot... So much fun! And as soon as it warms up I totally want to plant a garden with Noah. Now I just need to make your dirt pudding cups and I think I'll be all set :)

  6. I totally forgot about Earth Day. There are so many great ideas here. The earth stained glass turned out really pretty. I think I may already have contact paper too, so that just leaves the tissue paper. So sad about the fish. I just looked up the news article, the pictures are really depressing.

  7. So many good ideas! I really love those Earth cookies- that's genuis. Love the stained glass craft too. And yum, dirt cups! I used to kind of hate them as a kid; no idea why. Now I could eat a few of them though.

  8. I am a huge supporter of preserving our earth. Sometimes I take it a little to close to home and feel guilty what we as a society are doing by destroying our how does burying power lines effect the land and dirt and soil and then therefore the vegetation and animals??

    Ok, sorry about that. I love all of these ideas! Thank you.

  9. I love this idea! I feel like Earth Day is often so overlooked. This is a wonderful way to celebrate! I especially love those world cookies. So cute! I would have never thought to do anything like that!

  10. Im so glad you posted this I was just thinking about Earth Day! Its like you can read my mind ;)

  11. These are all such great ideas! Love them all. And yes the lights battle is a tough one for me! My dad was an electrician and was always making us turn off lights even if we left the room just to pee. We will get there. Someday.

  12. Such a great collection of ideas and those earth cookies are super cute! All of our favorite projects usually revolve around food.


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