Kid Activities
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Earth Theme Variety and Snacks

July 16, 2009 19:55 by Barbara Shelby



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.)




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)



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.



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.
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.
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.
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.

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!



• 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...




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!



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.)



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 ...

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!


  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!




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.


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.



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



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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March 28. 2010 16:04

Dear Kid,

Thanks so much for featuring our "Catalog Canceling Challenge" project on your website here! Let me know if I can help anyone who has any questions. We welcome any new schools or scouts to join! Over 5,000 kids in 15 states have now joined! We're approaching 40,000 canceled catalogs and 600 saved trees, help us break past this goal.

-Ted at

Ted Wells