Nature Earth Craft Challenge

Nature Earth Challenge (6)

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and although we can’t celebrate with others this year, Travis and I talked today about ways we can help the Earth as a family. This month’s craft challenge from Highlights magazine – to create an Earth with items from nature – was the perfect end to the lesson!

First we needed to head outside and gather materials. I challenged Travis to think of what colors the Earth needed: blue and green of course! We looked for tall green grasses and little blue wildflowers (which were hard to find), and came home with our treasures.

Nature Earth Challenge (1)

Travis actually loved the fact that we had more green than blue. He decided our planet was more grass than water, and had so much fun with it.

Nature Earth Challenge (2)

We made a big circle of glue on poster board, and then he was able to sprinkle down handfuls of the grass, or press the blue flowers in more carefully in other parts.

Nature Earth Challenge (4)

As he worked, we read about ways to “step up for Earth” as a family.

Nature Earth Challenge (3)

Our new family goals include: saving water by having the kids bathe together, not separately; and to save on paper towels by buying reusable cloths.

Nature Earth Challenge (5)

Happy Earth Day to all! There are silver linings even in this Covid-19 era.


Nature Earth Challenge (7)

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Carbon Footprint (1)

We have a family tradition of heading out on Earth Day to pick up trash, whether just as a family or by joining a group, as we did today at a local preserve. I’ve posted the details in the past, so here’s just a quick blog today on a quiz we received from Raddish Kids.We loved the way this made us think about how we can do even better for the Earth in the future.

First, Travis learned what a carbon footprint is, and how carbon dioxide contributes to the warming of the planet. We went through the quiz and answered questions like how we get to school (a car – our worst answer, at 4 points!) and what we mostly eat at home (vegetables – yay, we scored a 1).

Carbon Footprint (2)

After tallying your score, you can zero in on areas for improvement as a family. For example, our new goal is to reduce the number of trash bags we take out each week.

What will your family do for the Earth this year? Please share in the comments!

Clean Up for Earth!

Clean Up (4)

It’s never too early to teach your children love for this little planet we call home. We set out as a family this Earth Day to pick up trash at a local running trail. Find a park or trail near you on a beautiful day, and your kids will love it… and learn that everyone can help make a difference, no matter how small.

Travis was arguably most excited about the trash bags we carried along and the rubber gloves we got to wear, and headed off very proudly.

Clean Up (2)

Lots of bottle caps and candy wrappers in this neck of the woods!

Clean Up (1)

Whenever we found plastic or metal, we’d point out to Travis that those items don’t belong in the Earth.

Clean Up (3)

It was a beautiful nature excursion to appreciate Earth too, of course – butterflies and ants galore. Travis proudly helped throw our collection into the trash when we had finished.

Once we got home, I made a little pamphlet so we could remember what we had done and invited Travis to draw our adventure inside.

Clean Up (5)

The yellow was his plastic bag…

Clean Up (6)

…and then he told me this blue circle was Earth!

Clean Up (7)


Tissue Paper Globe

Tissue Globes (6)

Our Earth Day fun continued with this very easy tissue paper project. It’s a cute way to celebrate this beautiful planet we call home!

First, encourage your child to trace a circular shape onto the paper you’ll use as a background, which is great fine motor skill practice! Our paper plate was larger than our paper (whoops!) so I did some quick thinking and cut off the outer rim.

Tissue Globes (1)

Then it’s time to cut blue and green tissue paper into squares. Travis still can’t quite master this of course, but he had fun playing at it beside me while I cut up lots of little squares. (Note: No cats were harmed in the making of this project!)

Tissue Globes (2)

I showed Travis how to wad up the paper, dip in glue, and apply to his circular Earth, which was fun for a moment…

Tissue Globes (3)

…but then he quickly decided it was way more fun to use his finger as the glue applicator!

Tissue Globes (4)

I indulged this messy impulse, and added a wad of tissue paper wherever he had made our Earth sticky.

TIssue Globes (5)

Happy Earth Day!

Coffee Filter Globes

Coffee Globes (6)

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22! I wanted to help Travis start to understand what protecting our planet is all about, so we made this craft today in anticipation of the holiday. You’ll celebrate Earth Day while teaching your little ones how they can help!

First, make your Earth. We scribbled in green and blue marker on a plain coffee filter, and as Travis worked I talked about how the Earth contained more water than land, so we needed more blue.

Coffee Globes (2)

Then came his favorite part – spritzing his globe with water to bleed the colors! From there we left it to dry overnight.

Coffee Globes (3).JPG

The next morning, I traced Travis’s hands on black construction paper.

Coffee Globes (4)

We glued the coffee filter to a piece of paper, leaving half of it above the sheet. Glue the hands below, and now your child is helping to “hold up the Earth.”

Coffee Globes (5)

As a final touch, you can talk about simple gestures even kids can do (not wasting water, helping to pick up trash…) and brainstorm a sentence to add to the blank part of your paper.