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Sketching and Journaling in your Own Front Yard

A creative way to journal and/or sketch for any age child is to go on a hunt in your own yard or neighborhood!  Bring a pad of paper, we keep a spiral notebook for each kiddo in the kitchen that is easy to grab . Get on your walking shoes and just observe and listen. Have each child choose one thing to draw or write about.  On this day we found a lizard (or something like that) in a bush right outside out front door. What a lucky day!

Organizing tip: You can tape or tie a string to the pencil and to the end of the notebook.

                          I keep two holders/cans on the counter, one for me and for the children.

                             This way my favorite pens or permanent markers will not get lost or used.

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Here is our new little lizard friend!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Video for Kids

Here is a video found on You Tube with a fun song about the three R’s. After the children watch this you can discuss recycling and what you do in your household to help the earth. Also, if you have a video camera have them do their own commercial or song about recycling and saving the earth. What child does not love watching themselves on television!

One more quick idea, fold a paper into thirds and label each part (reduce, re-use, recycle) and either write or draw an example of each. Listen to Jack Johnson’s Three R’s song!

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Earth Day Art Activities

Use Nature’s Color to Paint:

To make natural earth colors, you’ll need red cabbage, beets, celery tops, carrot tops, and vinegar.
Simmer each vegetable in water, drain, saving the liquids. Mix one tablespoon of vinegar into each liquid, and let cool. When ready have the children use paint brushes to paint on a large piece of muslin or cotton fabric. Let the painting dry and then hang for everyone to enjoy.

Earth Painting:

This can also be called mud painting. Finger paint with mud outside. Let the children mix dirt with water until it reaches the desired consistency. Then, they can paint on cardboard or the sidewalk.

Nature’s Paintbrush:

On a walk collect items that may be interesting to use as stamps or brushes with paint. Let the children experiment with different items and create their own masterpieces with these unique brushes.

Nature Walk: 

Simply enjoy a walk outdoors together. You can have the child bring a journal and document animals or interesting things he or she may encounter. Bring a camera and make a photo tour of the walk.   Just enjoy the day!

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Nature Masterpiece

Collect a variety of items found in nature: sea shells, dried wheat, grasses, flowers, sand, rocks, pebbles, bark, twigs, and small branches. Put these out with glue and foam trays, hard paper or card board and let the children create a “nature masterpiece”.

Over one week you could collect different items on a nature walk, sort the items and then make a creation.

Clean Up the World Collage or Poster

We can make a difference one neighborhood or playground at a time!  Have your children collect some trash from a local area and then make a Garbage Collage.  You can also use trash from inside your house. Use labels, scrap paper, junk mail, etc.

In the classroom:

Create a “Do not Litter” Poster for the school.  Pick up trash for ONE recess and then glue it onto butcher paper to show how much trash was left each day on the playground. Yuck!  This is a great visual to create awareness of each person’s impact on our earth!

“Small Earth”

A great activity to do for Earth day! These small earths are made with coffee filters.

What you will need: Coffee filters, blue and green colored water (with food color) in container and eyedroppers.

Fill small cups or containers with blue and green colored water. The children use the eyedropper to pick up the water and place it on the coffee filter. This is a good activity for the little ones to practice their fine motor skills. Make sure you have something underneath the filters for easy clean up or do outside.

When the coffee filters dry they look like a small earth!

Tip: If you do not have eye droppers, use a straw, as long as your child will not try to drink it! Beware, my children did transfer this cool tip later at a restaurant!

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Below: These were done with tempera paint and water and I liked the brighter colors!
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Earth Day

So what is Earth Day?

It was founded by John McDonnell in 1970. It used to be celebrated on the first day of Spring, but now Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22nd. Earth day is a set aside day to recognize how we influence our limited resources from our planet. It is a day to commit and celebrate our responsibility to protect the earth and all of the creatures that live on it. Earth day should be everyday! The next few weeks I will be posting several ideas to do with your children or class to help teach or spread awareness of the earth.

Please leave your ideas or comments to share with others!

A few simple ideas to get started; Pick up trash in your neighborhood or playground, choose something from the garbage or recycling and invent another use for it and plant a tree.

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