The other day I was planning out my daughter's homeschool lesson for this week. I tend to look at any upcoming "important" days, such as National Chocolate Day or something like that so we can do a fun activity for that particular day. When I realized that Earth Day was this week, I knew we had to do something fun, yet educational.
Now conveying the importance of Earth Day to a five year old without giving them the gloom and doom of "if you don't clean up our act, the Earth will not be a nice place to live" speech isn't easy. So, I did what most moms (and possibly dads) do - turn to Pinterest to find activities and information (well, at least that is what I do most of the time).
It was amazing (and at times overwhelming) the amount of ideas and information you can find on Earth Day activities to do and information to learn about. Not to mention, learning that Earth Day isn't just about planting trees or learning about recycling, but also focusing on simple things such as planting your own food and using fewer chemicals.
So I chose five general topics that were both fun and educational (even for me too) to focus on that involved crafts and/or learning about : Recycling, Gardening, Food, Home and Personal Products.
1. RecyclingWhen looking for ideas about recycling, I wanted to look at something that wasn't mainly about how to recycle (only because she knows why we recycle), but what you could do to products that are recyclable. Basically turning something used into something new and different.
I found a great post by Mom's Messy Miracles, 5 Ways Preschoolers Can Go Green, post, which was perfect for ideas on turning common household food containers into something new and fun. The upcycled jar to vase and recycled milk jug planter are just two of the projects that will be added to our Earth Day fun.
My daughter loves to help me garden, but I wanted to do something different than just planting seeds (which we have already done in preparation for this year's gardening season). So why not talk about how vital good bugs are to the garden, which is a perfect into to teaching about the use of pesticides.
But then the thought of bugs, especially ones that fly, well, let's just say that it would become a disaster REAL quick. But for some reason, she thinks worms are cool (as long as she doesn't have to touch one).
Now, growing up, we had a worm composting bin. I must say it was pretty cool to just dig around for worms in the bin and not get in trouble for digging a hole in the yard looking for worms. But I also wanted to teach about the importance of good soil condition and the benefits of worms in your garden, not to mention how and why we compost.
So I turned to my friend and fellow blogger at Do-It-Yourself Danielle and her excellent tutorial on Worm Composting. I must admit that this project will be fun and even one that my 11 month old can enjoy too.
Growing Safe Foods
Now the idea of growing safe foods isn't necessarily something that is probably considered an Earth Day project or learning experience, but since we will be working outside on our worm composting, it would be the perfect time to touch on the aspect of keeping our foods in a more "natural" state and learn about GMO crops and how they are not healthy for us.
3. Healthy Living
On Earth Day we focus on keeping Mother Earth clean. But I wanted to take it one step further and discuss how using chemicals to shampoo with or even wash our clothes can be harmful to us. I plan on using the information in my guest post that I wrote a guest post for Whole Life Service, Are you Living Healthy?, which discusses how you can eat organic, non-GMO foods, but if you are still using chemical laden shampoos, laundry detergents or even room deodorizers, then you are still exposing your body (and others around you) to dangerous, toxic chemicals.
Cleaning the Home
In keeping with the Earth Day theme, my daughter will learn about using homemade cleaners and even essential oils in keeping the home clean. Since one of her chores is to help clean the house, we can use this opportunity to learn about why we use chemical free products and instead use ones with essential oils for not only disinfecting, but also making the home smell good.
When talking about essential oils, I contact my friend Angel at Whole Life Services. She knows a ton about essential oils and what they can be used for.
These are just a few of the things that we are going to learn about and do as part of our Earth Day celebration. How are you going to celebrate Earth Day?
For all You Moms (and Dads) - Here is an Awesome BONUS
Whole Life Services has so graciously offered a discount on her Try It and Love It - Green Home collection at a 22% off savings for Earth Day. Just use the promo - EARTHDAY. I use a lot of her products and trust me, you won't be disappointed.