April 22 is Earth Day – a good occasion to think green and do eco-friendly activities together, talk to your children about mother earth and teach them ways to be more conscious about the environment.
Start You Garden
If you (like me) haven’t started yet, now is the time to start thinking about that garden (I would really like to have a couple of raised garden beds this year – we only have a teeny-weeny outdoor space, but enough to place a couple of boxes and grow some vegetables). Whether it be a bigger vegetable garden, a raised bed or a few pots on the porch, you will be able to at least grow some fresh herbs to spice up the summer meals.
Let you child help decide what you should plant and then look for either some organic plants or seeds. I find seeds to be a little harder to grow, but super fun for a young child to plant. You don’t have to, but it can definitely be a good idea to prepare the sprouts indoors if the weather still tend to be a little cold. You can buy full kits for planting seeds, but it’s really not necessary! All you need is a container: a plastic box, a bowl, egg carton etc. – whatever you have in the house (think about recycling food containers from the super market like the plastic boxes that are sometimes used for salads, tomatoes etc.) Get some good organic soil, maybe you have your own compost? And you’re ready to plant
Earth Day falls on a Sunday this year, so we have a great opportunity to spend the weekend doing some fun eco-friendly activities with the kids. A scavenger hunt is a great outdoor activity:
Make some small drawings or paintings and cut them out as little cards, or keep them on one piece of paper. Use cardboard or something equally solid and you can save them for future scavenger hunts. Make two of each and you have a memo game. You can also cut out images from magazines and glue them on card board, or if you are in advance, you can take photos of the items to find. If the items are very small you could glue the image inside an egg carton and let the kids fill it up with the items corresponding to each picture as they find them.
The organic Naturebag is great to take with you outdoors and it includes everything you need to prepare your scavenger hunt and to take notes on the way of things you find.
Craft Ideas for Kids
Another fun activity which involves nature is to go out and collect some stones in different shapes and sizes and then paint them when you get home. They can be made into bugs and other animals or simply decorated with flowers or an abstract painting – can be a cute little gift to the grand parents, father’s and mother’s day etc. Let the kids paint bigger stones and place them as art in the garden …
I came across this beautiful idea from IntimateWeddings.com: a birdseed heart! On their page meant as a cute wedding favor, but such a great craft for kids – birdseed ornaments! Use any shape of cookie cutter to make some nice snacks for the birds while having fun. I have a whole box full of Christmas shaped cookie cutters (Christmas tree, bell, candy stick, angel etc.) they would make really cute birdseed ornaments throughout the winter – and who wouldn’t like a little bird feeding angel outside the kitchen window?
Find the instructions to make a birdseed ornament here.
Egg cartons can be recycled and used for so many things (like in the scavenger hunt as mentioned above). These flowers seen on MakeandTakes.com are another fun little craft idea for kids that would be great as an Earth Day craft made out of stuff that you probably already have in your craft supplies.
This was just a few ideas that I hope you can use. Please share your recycled and eco-friendly craft ideas in the comments