Celebrating Earth Day!
I'm sure all of us have certain holidays or special days that we connect to more than others. For me, Earth Day is one o those special days that I have always loved. There's no pressure put on any one for gifts, parties or the like... it's just about stopping to do something kind for Mother Nature, to teach, remind and model to others how we can each play a part in helping keep our planet healthy and clean.
Our kids love hearing us speak about the impact humans can have on our planet, animals, other humans. They enjoy the stories we read about others who have pioneered in this arena. But what strikes them the most is when they see us doing something positive and when they can get involved to help. I had a proud momma moment the other day when my daughter turned off her faucet quickly after wetting her tooth brush, proudly boasting that she didn't want to waste water!
The ways to celebrate Earth Day are endless. Here are a few ideas of things we have done, and a few other ideas from others as well.
1. Neighborhood Clean Up! Another mom and I try to get our girls together each month to walk the neighborhood and pick up trash. We grab plastic or gardening gloves, garbage bags, and some water, and hit the sidewalks. We make it exciting to see who can find the most interesting items or fill their bag the fastest. They beam with pride when onlookers thank them and they know they've helped do something positive for our community.
2. Plant a Tree! We have gone about this in different ways. You can do a paper cup or old water bottle to get some seeds growing, or go straight out to your garden or yard. My husband took a mango seed from the pit, helped it sprout in a solo cup inside and then eventually planted it in the ground. It's now taller than my girls (see pic) and we are hoping to someday enjoy its fruits.
3. Recycled Crafts! Take normal trash items from around your house and turn them into art! Great materials include paper towel rolls, old magazines, Amazon or other boxes, old beads or craft items, etc. Give them a theme and let them get creative on how to bring that theme to life (ex. space, nature, animals, musical instruments, etc.). Display their work to show them how proud you are!
4. Hug a tree! I'm a firm believer that talking to plants helps them grow, and playing in trees helps you value them. We make tree climbing a part of our neighborhood walks. We sit in their shade to picnic or enjoy a scenic view. We read books in/under them for a quiet moment. We pick their leaves to make a collage.
5. Learn about the Earth! How is our Earth composed? How does the water cycle work? How are mountains made? What do plants need to survive? What impact does pollution have? There is so much to learn here!! Last year we used playdough to make a small ball and added different colors over top to represent the different layers of the Earth (inner core outer core, mantle and crust). Then we cut it open so they could see each layer as we spoke about what happens in each layer.
The possibilities are endless here. We hope you find some fun ways to help your little ones learn how they can Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. :) We all need to do our part, and we appreciate you doing yours by teaching your kiddos at a young age.
Happy Earth Day!