Earth Day for Kids

Hard to believe it’s Earth Day already, it feels like just yesterday when I wrote last year’s Earth Day for Kids post. It was such a big hit, I’m bringing it back again this year. Fast forward one year later and I find myself a more seasoned mother, with older, wiser children (they’re 1, 3 & 4) and our opportunities for interacting with nature and taking care of our planet have grown two fold. There are so many fantastic things parents can do with their kids it was hard for me to narrow it down to just 10. Since this is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, I think I might do a follow-up 40 things to do for Earth Month post as well … but for now, here’s my Top 10 Recommendations on how to spend Earth Day with your kids.

1. Take them on a Treasure Hunt they’ll never forget! – If you haven’t tried geocaching, then you have no idea of what your missing. This global phenomenon (did you know there are over 1 Million charted geocache courses!!) is the PERFECT family fun activity perfect for all ages and fitness levels. It’s like high-tech hiking (you’ll need a GPS or a really smart phone) and treasure hunting all at the same time. Kids will love the thrill of the hunt and the surprise at the end; parents can revel in the mix of nature, fitness and intrigue that comes wrapped up in this outdoor adventure. For more information on how to get started on your first Geocaching adventure, check out http://www.geocaching.com.

2. Pick Something – Visit http://www.pickyourown.org to find a nearby farm where you can pick something (strawberries are in their prime right now) with your little ones. Spend an afternoon collecting your bounty, give them a taste test over an old-fashioned picnic on the farm, then rustle on home and let them choose a few from scratch recipes to make with all their pickings. (Or just dip them in melted chocolate and whip cream, yum!!) Then rush on over and let me know how it went! Planning to do this with my kids next week (Yay!)

Strawberries (La Trinidad, Benguet)

{Image from MVI}

3. Leave your Mark (in a good way) – You don’t have to travel far to see the damage humans are doing to our planet. Just take a drive down your street or a trip to a nearby park. Litter is everywhere and just like forest fires :) , only you can prevent it. So grab some gloves, a few bags and head out with a mission to leave your patch of Earth cleaner than you found it. Children will see first hand why they shouldn’t litter and hopefully start a lifelong habit of cleaning up after themselves and others. What better way to tell Mother Earth how much we care than to spruce her up a bit.

4. Try Planting – Speaking of sprucing, why not beautify your yard by planting something new with your kids. Try something fun that has lots of color, or a bold foliage or better yet something edible you can share together later.

5. Get Crafty – Raid your recycle bin and create something fun together. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Check out the Eco Art Camera we made for some inspiration to turn your trash into treasure. I’ll post a link with some other great crafts I found on the web. Drop back by and leave a pic of an Eco Toy you made with your kids.

Eco Art Camera

6. See A Movie – I know, I know spending a day indoors is not my typical recommendation for what to do with your kids on Earth Day or how to spend your days period, but Disney’s Ocean movie opening on Earth Day is worth a little quiet time with your loved ones relishing in the majesty of the seas. Unless you have access to a major body of water and a brilliant tour guide, you probably won’t be able to teach your children as much in as little amount of time. It could be life changing for you as well. (Personally, I can’t wait to see it – but hey, I cry when I see whales at Sea World so what do I know) If you have older children, you can download an 8 page guide to be used to make the learning experience more concrete. (use the link above and go to the Educational tab)
EXTRA BONUS: If you see the movie this week, Disney will make a donation in your honor to save the coral reefs

UPDATE: This year’s Disney Earth Day movie is Bears, a portion of your ticket purchase during the first week will go to the National Park Foundation.

7. Go on a Bird Watch – Teach your children to appreciate the small things in life and marvel at the wonders of our flighted species.  Their songs, their resourcefulness (just take a look at those nests) and their amazing ability to soar above the heavens. Valid proof that someone is watching from above and is an almighty being. After you’ve identified as many types of birds as you can, make a lasting friendship by hanging some homemade birdie treats for your fine feathered friends.

8. Go Vegetarian – For a day, for a week, for as long as you’d like. Use this meatless period as a chance to teach your children about all the healthful benefits of eating a plant based diet, not to mention showing compassion for animals and the value of sustainable resources. We’ve been going meatless for 2 days a week all year, but this week we’re strictly no meat eaters. We’re really enjoying the Vegetarian Family Cookbook that we borrowed from our local library. (Here’s a pic of my almost perfect Honey Whole Wheat Pizza – as soon as I perfect the dough recipe I am totally sharing!)

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza

9. Go to a Garden – Botanical Gardens may be the hidden gems of the city, honestly I had never been to a Botanical Garden until last year and I am a total convert. They are a treasure trove for parents and children alike. The perfect place to get a little exercise, revel in the beauty of nature and share a picnic with someone you love. Plus, if you’re a mother to young children or multiples you MUST check them out. Nature at its finest pretty much toddler proofed just for you. It’s the only place I can go and let the kids roam free without worry. And they’re hardly ever crowded. EXTRA BONUS: Our Garden hosts all sorts of amazing outdoor concerts, festivals and get togethers year round. Our favorite so far was the Bootanical Halloween festival but Chocolate Day wasn’t too bad either. (I bought my entire family (6) an annual pass for around $60 – the best $60 I’ve ever spent)

10. Go Camping – Even if its too chilly to stay out all night, pitch a tent and spend at least the evening outside finding fireflys, roasting marshmallows and listening to all  the evening music nature has to offer. Heads Up: Sat. June 26 is National Great American Backyard Camp Out night, consider this time a practice run.

Hope you enjoyed this list, choose your favorite 2 or 3 and plan an Earth Day your kids will never forget. Be sure to drop back by and let me know how it went. Happy Earth Day!!!
better late to the party than never –> I’m part of the Earth Day Blog Hop

Stacy

Stacy is seeing the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of her children. She writes about the little things, the big things and all the “stuff” in between at Kids Stuff World.

Comments

  1. says

    Stacy, this is a lovely post and thank you for including it in the blog carnival. I hope you come back again! I’m excited to have found your blog! These are great ideas and, I’ll admit, we just spend the day playing outside- but maybe next year we’ll incorporate one or more of these ideas into our schedule! Thanks again! Shannon
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Be Outstanding: Kids and Earth Day =-.

  2. says

    Great ideas, Stacy! I also just recently discovered the wonders of botanical gardens & arboretums & am hooked! The kids love them, they’re usually somewhere not to far away & they’re a great place to spend a few hours connecting to nature. Happy Earth Day!

  3. katherinemarie says

    Lovely little IDEAS that can make a HUGE impact… thanks!!!!! I’d really like to try NUMBER ONE!

  4. says

    Great ideas! I think Big Roo would LOVE geocaching even if he’s only three. Someone else suggested this to me recently so I MUST look into it.

    Thanks for the strawberries reminder. We tried that last year but he was more interested in the cows nearby than picking the fruit. Maybe we’ll have better luck this year!
    .-= Melissa (@adventuroo)´s last blog ..My New Official Title =-.

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