Happy Earth Day 2009!
Let's face it, Earth Day may not be the most celebrated holiday in the world--yet. But as we move toward a more eco-aware future, children all around the globe will learn its significance; it's a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.
We all play a part in this, and when it comes to respecting the Earth, the kids need to know that we "get it" too. One of the coolest green-living sites around, thegreenparent.com has an awesome list of "7 Kid Friendly Ways to Celebrate Earth Day." Try some of these ideas (we're doing 1 and 7) or do something your own way--the kids will love it!
- Create art with leaves: Collect a few leaves from the backyard or your next nature walk, add a little paint to the back and help your kids press the painted leaves onto paper, folders, cloth, old furniture…you name it. Check out this cool leaf printing tutorial for more details.
- Press flowers: What better way to show kids the beauty of nature than to let them hold it in their hands? Simply press a flower between two heavy books and let it sit for a few days. Carefully remove the books and use the flowers to decorate a card or present. For larger projects, read up on how to press and preserve flowers.
- Make an underwater viewer: Check out this quick and easy idea for making an underwater viewer out of a coffee can and some plastic wrap. Be sure to take it along to your favorite stream, river, lake, or pond to let your kids get a better view of what’s going on under those waves!
- Take a bird walk: Help you kids get a better appreciation for their feathered friends by going on a bird walk. Sure, binoculars and a bird guide are nice. But all you really need are your ears to show you where the birds are. Listen for bird songs and let your kids help find the birds. Compare songs, pay attention to habitats, and make up silly bird songs of your own! Need a primer on birds and their songs? Check out this link on North American Bird Songs.
- Make a bird feeder: Now that your kids know all about birds, help them make a treat for the birds to celebrate Earth Day. Just roll a pine cone in some peanut butter (organic, if you have it!) and cover it with bird seed. Hang with string from a nearby tree.
- Start a shell collection: If you live near the beach, take a walk in the sand with your kids and check out all the beautiful shells the beach has to offer. Sketch your favorites in a journal and help your kids learn which is which. Check out this shell identification guide to learn more.
- Inspect insects: Did you know that there are about 6-10 million species of insects on this planet? So far, we know about roughly 5,000 types of dragonflies and about 170,000 types of butterflies. And that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. Bugs are cool. Head out in the backyard with a shovel and a hand lens and see how many different kinds you and your kids can find.
Are your kids into Earth Day?