As parents it is incumbent on us to help our kids be more conscious of their eco-footprint which is why I love the concept of ThinkEarth.org “Thinking Earth” means becoming aware of the environment around us and learning to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and minimize pollution. And one is never too young to learn those lessons especially if parents provide these 5 Green Activities for Kids to Encourage them to ThinkEarth!
And spring is the quintessential opportunity to squeeze some earth friendly lessons into your kids' day. An entire environmental curriculum is available at ThinkEarth.org, including videos, stories, posters, songs, practice sheets, and complete lessons. It only takes a few hours for kids to do, and provides engaging and worksheets and videos on things like natural resources, pollution and sustainability to help empower them with behaviors that can make a difference to the planet, and generally help them learn about being good stewards of the earth. And here are 5 Green Activities for Kids to Encourage them to ThinkEarth and learn how they can help the environment with some fun activities at home.
5 Green Activities for Kids to Encourage them to ThinkEarth
Plant a garden.
Gardening is the perfect way to get kids involved in the natural world. Whether you have a garden or just an outdoor container, kids can plant, water, weed, and watch the greenery grow. If possible, plant some vegetables or fruits so that your child can harvest and eat what he or she has grown!
Make recycled paper.
Junk mail, used writing paper, newspapers can all be put in the recycle bin; but kids can also use this paper to make their own paper – with color and decoration if they like! Kids learn that resources are needed to make all the paper we use and that old paper products can be used to make new paper products. Many “recipes” can be found online at pbskidsl and make-stuff and BABBLE DABBLE DO
Or follow these instructions:
Gather newspaper or mail or writing paper, a bucket or big bowl, water, electric or hand beater, piece of screen or felt, rolling pin (optional).
Tear the paper up into small pieces.
Fill the bucket or bowl with one part paper pieces and two parts water. Allow to sit overnight.
The next day, use an electric or hand beater to pulp the paper, beating the mixture until it looks like mush.
Place a handful of paper mush on a piece of screen or felt and mold it to the size of a sheet of paper you wish to make.
Press out the excess water by hand or use a rolling pin.
Let the paper dry one or two days.
When it feels dry, remove it from the screen or felt.
3. Build a bird feeder.
Kids can attract, learn about, and help feed the birds in your area by easily making their own bird feeder with some recycled materials and bird seed. Kids can make a simple feeder by covering a pinecone or cardboard tube with peanut butter, rolling it in birdseed, and hanging it with string or ribbon in the yard or outside a window. Or they can use a pipe cleaner to string fruits (grapes, berries) and grains (cheerios, popcorn), form into a circle, and hang. A milk carton, a water jug, or a plastic bottle can be turned into a bird feeder by cutting access holes in the side, inserting wooden spoons or pencils or popsicle sticks for perches, decorating the outside, and filling the bottom with mixed bird seed. And Legos are great for kids to use to design and build their own bird feeders.
Love this Bird Feeder DIY tutorial from Mommy Gaga–which involves a simple upcycling of a toilet paper tube, 2 sticks, peanut butter and seeds (can be sesame) if you do not want to buy bird seeds
Make natural cleaners.
Many of the cleaning products that we use are filled with chemicals that often are not good for the environment, people, or pets. But you, and your child, can easily make natural non-toxic household cleaners. For example:
Mix together in a spray bottle:
-¼ cup white vinegar
-¼ cup rubbing alcohol
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-2 cups water
-8-10 drops essential oil
Spray onto glass surface and wipe off.
Non-toxic and yummy smelling “green” cleaner
Love this Orange Cleaner from fountain avenue kitchen Soak orange peels in vinegar for two weeks in a sealed mason jar then pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use as a non-toxic and yummy smelling “green” cleaner. I love using vinegar to clean with but have always wondered how to make it smell better – can't wait to do this!
Fill a glass jar with orange or lemon peels that are free of any food.
Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Cover completely with ½ white vinegar and ½ distilled water.
Screw the lid on the jar tightly and let sit for 2 to 3 weeks.
Strain the liquid into a spray bottle.
Add several drops of essential oil.
Use to clean in the kitchen and bathroom.
5. Recycle plastic bottles.
Kids can help clean up the environment, recycle resources, and make some money!
Plastic bottles are easy to collect and recycle. Find out if a recycling facility in your areas pays for plastic and what kinds of plastic they take. Most plastic containers display a recycling symbol with a number from 1 to 7 inside the symbol to indicate the kind of plastic. Your child can ask neighbors and friends to save plastic bottles and other accepted containers (perhaps make and distribute flyers) and then arrange to pick up the recyclables and deliver them to the recycling facility.