Kid Activities
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Earth Day-Every Day! Menu

March 27, 2012 20:04 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

 This catagory consists of several  sections...click on the one you'd like!

•Earth Theme: Art, Crafts and Games


Earth Theme Variety and Snacks

July 16, 2009 19:55 by Barbara Shelby

 

 CANCEL SALES CATALOGS!


Read about a school that started "The Catalog Canceling Challenge" in 2007 and since then other schools and scouts have joined the fun. So far 5,000 kids in fifteen states have canceled almost 40,000 unwanted sales catalogs! It saves trees, water, energy, and our climate. In fact, these kids have saved over 600 trees so far!

It's a pretty straightforward idea that kids enjoy. Click here if your program would like more information. (Also, please see comment box at page bottom from the Catelog Cancelling Challenge.)

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ANIMAL SAFETY

This is good reminder to include in a newsletter or at an Earth Club meeting...

Sometimes plastic ring-type holders found on six-packs of aluminum cans can end up in the water... fish and other animals that live there can get caught in them. Help your child make these holders less hazardous by using scissors to cut through each ring in the holder before throwing it away.

I was in Traverse City one summer; at the Hotel's water edge was a duck with plastic ring wrapped around his beak. I was told that it was there for at least a day. The duck was frantic and trying to remove it. Several hours later...someone was finally able to get it off...(Photo is of duck with six-pack rings caught on head)

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OLD SHOES...

For information visit their website. To keep recycling equipment running smoothly, there are guidelines:
• Athletic shoes only (any brand)
• No shoes containing metal
• No cleats or dress shoes
• No wet or damp shoes

Put out notices and containers—and start collecting!!!
Ever thrown out a pair of worn-out athletic shoes? Did you know that IT TAKES ABOUT 1,000 YEARS for those sneakers to biodegrade? Wondering what to do with the ones you've already got? RECYCLE THEM.
 
Every year, millions of pairs of athletic shoes are thrown away, not only wasting landfill space, but wasting tons of reusable material. Since 1993 Nike has been running a program called Reuse-a-Shoe. So far they've used 24 million pairs of athletic shoes to create sports surfaces. It’s part of the "Let Me Play" campaign, one of Nike’s longest-running environmental and community programs, where worn-out athletic shoes of any brand are collected, processed and recycled into material USED IN SPORT SURFACES like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.

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 BE SURE TO READ THE LORAX BY DR. SEUSS!

It's MUCH more than a children's book!!! It's a GREAT LESSON for all ages! (Beside the movie, there is also a 25 minute video!!!)
The Lorax appears and speaks for the trees, since they have no voice of their own. The Lorax warns of the dangers of raping the land for the Truffula Trees, but the Once-ler is so greedy, he pays him no heed. As you can guess, the land soon dies, and all that is left is destruction and pollution. The Lorax sadly flies off, never to be seen there again. But, as it should be, the story ends with hope. He entrusts to you a seed, the very last seed, to start again for the Truffula Trees.
 
BUILD A THEME AROUND THE LORAX
SOME Activities to supplement "THE LORAX" for a Theme...

1. Discuss the IMPORTANCE OF TREES for people and animals.
With the children...list all the ways the forest is helpful.

  • The trees hold the water in the soil with their roots.
  • The forest keeps the surrounding area cool with its shade.
  • The forest provides homes for many animals.
  • Forests clean and enrich the air we breathe. Their leaves and needles take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen through the tree's bark.   

2. MAKE A MURAL with trees, etc.
 
3. PLANT a small tree.
 
4. Make ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAGES
Have children cut out magazine pictures of trees, flowers, birds, sun, clouds, etc. They then glue them on sheets of construction paper to make a collage about their environment. Post collages on wall... talk about the world they live in... And how we can help take care of the trees and birds.
 
5. DO TREE RUBBINGS
Give children a piece of paper and a large crayon with the paper off. Show them how to use the crayon sideways to make a rubbing.

6. MAKE A TREE: Give each child a cardboard toilet tissue tube for a tree trunk. Help each child make several hand shapes out of green construction paper for palm fronds (leaves) have children tape the leaves to the inside of the top of their tree trunks. Before they glue the leaves on--they can color or paint the tubes.
 
 7.  MAKE PLAY DOUGH and make it different colors of the earth! The children can make trees, worms, and flower shapes. (There are more than 40 recipes in the Goop, Gak Category and 40 in the Play Dough Category...even one for fossils and dough that looks like mud!)

8. NATURE/FOREST SCAVENGET HUNT (With Pictures for those that can't read) Normal otherwise...

  • Make a scavenger hunt list with pictures you have drawn on a sheet of paper.
  • Some ideas: a feather, small stone, acorn, various leaves in your area, small twig or stick, dead bug (draw him with legs up, pine cone, flower (only if they can pick one), worm, pieces of grass, clover leaf …and any other ideas you can come up with.
  • Make sure that you go over the list with the children just in case your not the world’s best artist.

9.  PARACHUTE WITH LEAVES FALLING
Place pre-cut leaves (lots of them on a parachute. Put on some music and play games with letting the leaves gently fall. 

10. HELP THE BIRDS! See Bird Theme for other ideas for Birds!

     Lend a helping hand to the birds by supplying them with simple nesting materials.

  • All you need to do is fill a mesh bag (like the kind onions are packaged in ) or a berry basket; use dried grass, short lengths of yarn and string, stuffing from old furniture or a feather pillow---also hair from brushes.
  • Loop the strands outside of the mesh or basket so birds can grab them.
  • Hang the bag in a location that the birds can safely access; watch the birds collect--hunt to see if you can find one of "your" nests!

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YOU CAN ALSO...

• If the weather is nice -- READ OUTSIDE under a tree! Have a picnic or a snack there! 

Get a "Sounds of the Rain forest" or woodsy and animal-sounds CD to play .... It will be soothing for the kids (and you) as well as enriching.

Do a COMMUNITY SERVICE project. Litter spoils the woods and can hurt the animals and visitors. As a special project, have the students pick up litter in your area (with plastic gloves on)--and then dispose of it properly. Make a list of the things that were found. Contact the media to do a story on the children's concern for their environment.

SNACKS: See below...

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SNACKS FOR EARTH THEME...

 TASTE THE RAINFOREST

Buy food found in the Rainforest: Bananas, star fruit, coconut, chocolate, papaya, bananas, mangoes, etc.
Have children try all the different flavors. You can add dimension by adding a graphing of who liked what best.
When you do things like this, be sure to indicate the treat on your snack and daily activities calendar –
Example: Snack Today: We’re tasting the Rainforest!

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EARTH COOKIES:

Make or purchase round cookies. To resemble the Earth, have children spread cookies with green and blue frosting. (Put green, blue and a bit of yellow frosting on cookes in horizontal lines. With a tooth pick-swirl the colors together.)

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NATURES BOUNTY

Have children snack on a variety of foods that come directly from nature: Apple slices, orange segments, fresh berries, and sunflower seeds.
Remember to write ...
SNACK TODAY FROM NATURE'S BOUNTY!
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TRASH SNACK
Ingredients:
Flat bottom ice cream cones, Cheerios, miniature marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and peanuts.

  • Take 4 lunch bags and put a different food item in each one.
  • Write “old tires” on the bag of Cheerios
  • “Styrofoam” on marshmallows bag
  • “Sticks” on the bag with pretzel sticks
  • “Stones” on the bag with peanuts
  • Serve the “trash” in trash cans (Ice cream cones)

When serving the snack the kids can take a scoop from each bag or they can combine and mix the ingredients in a large bowl.
Nice that there is NO trash when the children have finished eating!
Idea adapted from practicalkindergarten in answersyahoo...
This idea would be nice combined with a project related to litter and trash!

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  Two recipes for DIRT CUPS. One mixes cookies into the pudding and one doesn't.
#1 version

Canned or Pre-made Chocolate Pudding Mix
Milk (If making pudding)
Oreo Cookies
Gummy Worms
Cool Whip
Cups, Spoons,  Zip Lock Bags
   • Place Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag; have children break them up by banging the bag. Cover the bottom of cups with crumbled Oreos.
Use canned pudding or Combine pudding mix and milk to make your own pudding, pour into the cups--leaving 1/2 an inch of space at the top. Refrigerate pudding until set. Add crumbled Oreos to the top of each cup and garnish with a gummy worm.

 #2 DIRT CUP version
2 cups of cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) JELL-O Instant Pudding (chocolate flavor)
3-1/2 cups (8 ounce container) COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed
1 package (16 ounces) chocolate sandwich cookies (like OREOS) (crush them into tiny pieces in a plastic bag)
Gummy worms or insects
Measuring cup
Medium mixing bowl
Wire whisk
Rubber scraper or large spoon
Measuring spoons
8-10 paper or plastic cups (8 ounce size)

  • Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and add the pudding mix. Beat with the wire whisk until well blended (about two minutes).
  • Let pudding stand for five minutes.
  • Stir whipped topping and 1/2 of the crushed cookies into the pudding (very gently) with rubber scraper until mixture is all the same color.
  • Place about 1 tablespoon of the remaining crushed cookies into the bottom of each cup.
  • Fill cups about 3/4 full with pudding mixture.
  • Top each cup with the rest of the crushed cookies. Add gummy worms and insects to decorate.
  • Put cups into the refrigerator for about one hour to chill them-- and enjoy!

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FOUR 'BIRD SNACKS' FOR HUMANS

#1 PIDGEON POOP SNACK

4 cups peanut butter crunch cereal
3 cups rice krispies
2 cups pretzel sticks broken in 1/2
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 bags white chocolate chips
Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and melt white chocolate chips in microwave and cover and mix, then lay on wax paper until cooled. Break into pieces.

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#2 BIRD'S NEST SNACK
1/3 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup chowmein noodles
Candy bird eggs (jelly beans)

  • Melt butterscotch morsels in a medium microwave safe bowl.
  • Add chow mein noodles to melted morsels and mix.
  • Shape into a circle on wax paper.
  • Use a large spoon to make indention in center.
  • Let nests harden. Add jelly beans or chocolate eggs.

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#3 CHOCOLATE BIRD NESTS

Make the above version, but instead of butterscotch chips, use chocolate chips! (Image by KidActivities.net)

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#4 BIRD'S NEST SNACK 

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan.
Add 1 cup of brown sugar. Boil and stir for one minute.
Add a 3 oz. can of chow mein noodles.
Put the mixture in 12 paper baking cups in a muffin tin. Use your thumb to press noodles into the nest while still warm. DO NOT BAKE.
Give children jelly bean eggs to put in their nests.
*You can also put MELON BALLS in the nests...

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Other Earth Themed Pages

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Earth Theme Projects: Recycling, Litter, Donating Coins

July 16, 2009 19:53 by Barbara Shelby

 PLAN A PROGRAM RECYCLING EFFORT...

  • Contact an agency to see if it would be willing to remove your items for recycling. Find out how they must be sorted and stored.
  • Collect and recycle everything you can.
  • Donate the proceeds if you turn recycled items in for cash.
  • Contact for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort!

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COLLECT LITTER IN YOUR PROGRAM AREA
Set a Collection Goal and Keep Track on a posted litter-meter.
Be sure kids wear protective disposable gloves when collecting litter. 

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WASTE WATCHERS!

Introduce recycling to your school by having kids set up a recycling bin for paper. Ask school officials to set up bins in the cafeteria for plastic, aluminum and glass. Students can help educate their schoolmates about recycling by designing posters that describe what can and cannot be place in each recycling bin.

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 COLLECT  FOR…

Collect money (Coins for the Rainforest) and adopt” a bit of Rain Forest. 2500 square feet can be purchased from Arborday website for $10.00 in the program section of the aborday site.

Just search Rainforest Rescue. ***Have kids decorate plastic milk jugs and place them about the building and office/lounge areas. Be sure to put an article in your newsletter and promote the project verbally and with posters.

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CLASSROOM RAINFOREST PROJECT

Grades: Appropriate for Pre-kindergarten to Grade 12.

One Michigan 2nd-grade celebration of Earth Day became a sustained commitment to caring for a rainforest.

 
To better understand tropical plants and their connections with society, the students did research in small groups, then drew or constructed models of plants, transforming their classroom into a model rain forest. (See Photo) During their research, the children discovered they could adopt acres of the real rain forest to help preserve it, and calculated how much money they needed to do this.

The students maintained their obligation to the environment in their fund-raising efforts. They created and presented, to parents and other classes, a program on dangers facing rain forests. They charged each person who attended an empty pop can, which they recycled for money to purchase sections of rain forest.

As a follow-up to their presentation, the students wrote, illustrated, and bound their own story books about rain forests. They donated the books to local doctors' offices, schools, and libraries so that the community could continue to learn about this important resource. Adapted from Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas, 1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.

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  PENNIES FOR PANDAS ... and Pumas ... and Pelicans ...etc. Great Idea from a Real Group of Kids! 

To one 2nd-grade class, the study of endangered animals was a vague subject. They grasped the definitions of words like "threatened" and "extinct," but it was difficult to imagine animals that were so familiar to them — like pandas — simply not existing. A student-led fund-raising project in support of endangered animals brought the issue into focus.

Grades: Prekindergarten to 5 (This is something that would translate easily to an After School Program) In Minnesota a group of second graders did this project--but all grades can do the same!

The students prepared by reading a play about rainforest animals.

They worked cooperatively to chart information about a variety of endangered animals and make illustrated books about each one.

The children then pulled key ideas from what they'd learned and created flyers that they distributed to households near the school. In the flyers, the students informed their neighbors about issues facing animals and asked them to contribute aluminum cans and pennies, which the students counted and used to adopt two animals from the local zoo.

The children also organized a school-wide contest to see which class could contribute the most pennies.

In celebration of the successful fund-raising drive, the students performed the play about rainforest animals for parents and fellow students. Even before the curtain rose, they knew they were already playing one of the most important roles of their lives: caretaker of the Earth.
Adapted from "Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas,"  1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.

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  Reduce... Recycle... Reuse...

How can we help our environment? Make your own version of this wonderful display board by Bev Evan at Display Photos

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BE GREEN DURING NEW SCHOOL YEAR!  Kids...

•Ride your bike or walk to school.
Use last year's school supplies.
Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
Buy recycled paper.
Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic.
Use a lunch box, not paper bags.
Donate last year's clothes instead of throwing them away.
Buy online to avoid driving.
Buy organic food.
Turn your computer off when you're not using it.
Decorate your lunchbox.
Make your own bookmarks.
Organize a clothes swap with your friends.
Carpool to sports.
Use refillable pens and pencils.
Reuse your backpack. Decorate it with cool patches.
Tips from
NationalGeographic

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