nature journal

Earth Day Every Day!

Today is Earth Day and I am a strong believer in taking care of our planet today and every day. Nature is the greatest learning tool for children. A hike through a forest, a walk on the beach, fishing for crawdads in a brook, or running barefoot through a meadow can ignite a child’s imagination, fill them with wonder and challenge them to learn new ideas and take care of other living things. Not to mention connecting with nature can bring a huge sense of calm to both children and adults. I’ve said it before, but fresh air does wonders.

This Earth Day I challenge you to do something with your children (and not just color a picture of the Earth).

Here are 10 fun ideas to help you get inspired!
1. Plant a tree, a shrub, a flower, a seed! Not only will you be helping the environment, but you can teach children about the stages of growth and have them learn how to take care of another living thing. Trees are a weird obsession of mine and I’m always encouraging the little ones to climb on them, or take shade under their long branches for a reading or picnic break, or tie a swing on one and feel the wind as they rush back and forth through the air. Simple, fun, beautiful and free memories can all be created from playing in nature.

tree swing{Image via here}

2. Make a fairy garden! Using smaller plants create a special pint-sized garden for magical fairies to visit!

fairy garden{Image via TinkerLab}

3. Recycle! If you don’t already, now is a great time to start! Create separate bins and have your kids help determine what can be recycled.

4. Reuse! There are several ideas online for reusing old coffee containers, water bottles, paper towel rolls to create kid friendly crafts!

5. Use literature to help teach the lesson. The Lorax is one of my favorite books that discusses taking care of nature. Hopefully after reading it, your children will “speak for the trees.” :) The film version is also pretty cute.

the-lorax-book-cover

6. Make it fun with Earth Day snacks! I love the idea for compost pudding! The kiddos will gobble up this delicious treat and learn what compost is and how it can help our environment. You can download these adorable “compost pudding” labels here.

compost pudding

{Image via here}

7. Go on a nature walk! Point out the different types of trees, flowers and shrubbery. Try and find small insects, bugs, birds’ nests, and small animals. Talk to your children about habitats and how keeping the balance of them is so important to everyone!

8. Make a birdfeeder using a pine cone, peanut butter and bird seed. This easy project can hang anywhere in your garden and your little ones will love to watch as the birds nibble on their edible art.

bird feeder {Image via Dana Made It}

9. Make a paper bag journal (pictured above from  Our Big Earth). Do you have a bazillion paper bags from the grocery store that you just won’t get to use? I have my set 10 or so that I recycle but somehow they keep piling up! I love the idea to create a journal from these bags. These would be great to take on your nature walk and have the children draw and write about their experience.

10. Children love to be given responsibilities, so this Earth Day make them Captain Recycle or Chief Planter. They will love being in charge of making sure the whole family does their part to reduce, reuse and recycle!

I’d love to hear about all the ways you and your family are honoring planet Earth this year! Share your photos and ideas via Twitter @Kinship_Parent!

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