Tag Archives | bird feeder

Earth Day ~ What Will Your Legacy Be?

With 200 articles in the Mommy Footprint vault I’m hopeful I’ve shared all of my Earth Day tips over the last year.  I’ve kept a few tips up my sleeve in time for an Earth Day article and hope you enjoy. <wink>

The tag line on the Mommy Footprint site is “what will your legacy be?” and that is still the driving force behind this blog.  Changing small acts in everyday life is what will impact our world the most.  A few upcoming acts I pledge to write about include:

~ starting a database for readers of where PVC plastic lurks that effects children in their household, classroom, etc.

~ Talking about products that are next to the skin or worse (!) inside our bodies that are produced with chlorine, dioxins, and chemicals.

~ Trying to convince high-end, educational facilities to eliminate toys or products that young children can mouth or bath with that are made from PVC; my goal is to have it completely removed from the Vancouver aquarium gift shop because of the precedent it should uphold to the marine life it educates the public about. 

~ Hold companies accountable for the products they sell to consumers when they are manufactured and sold containing harmful chemicals or materials.

~ Encouraging parents to create eco-friendlier events for children like birthday parties, family BBQs and special events; a guest or child from these get-togethers will always notice something different and the ball of education starts to roll.

~ And always watching for new ideas or concepts to engage children with nature.  Like anything in life – children bore easily so it’s up to parents to keep creative ideas flowing even if we feel exhausted and struggle ourselves.  There is no greater accomplishment in my life than having all my children engaged and joyful in nature…and no matter how tired I feel, the fresh air has always been healing for my body and soul.

Enough about me.  Here are some ideas for unique ways to celebrate or kick-off family goals this Earth Day:

Show kids recycling codes on plastic. Post a chart with each resin code with a child friendly description and let kids take on the task of sorting household plastics for recycling.  It’s like an easy math problem or game that kids would love.  Incorporate the topic of plastic packaging into this new activity.  Teach your child about the massive amounts of plastic that cannot be recycled and how as a family you can reduce and purchase products more responsibly.

Mark storm drains in your neighborhood or surrounding community at your school.  I’ve talked about this activity a lot because it was the highlight of my summer last year with my sons.  I got 1-1 time with them to talk, and they loved telling people why they were doing it and putting documentation on door knobs.  Then of course hammering the decal into the pavement ~ what child wouldn’t enjoy this?  For more information read Ultimate Eco Activity For Your Family.

The Hummingbirds are out and hungry in my neighborhood.  What a treat to still have Black Capped Chickadees to watch in our back-yard and Blue Jays in our front ~ and to now have Hummingbirds join the crowd. Too fun!  If you don’t have a bird feeder, purchase a cheap one.  Guaranteed your local thrift store will have a hummingbird feeder for sale.

Plant one vegetable in a pot or garden with your child.  Teach your family the power of one small act and the many positives that result from a household garden.; no pesticides, no cost to purchase from the store, better taste, and the pride of growing something yourself.  Make a pledge to add a vegetable to the garden every earth day – imagine what it will look like in a few years.

Write a quiz for your kids on products that can or can’t be recycled.  Have samples of these materials and test their recycling knowledge and ask them to pick out items that can or cannot be recycled.

For a list of adorable Earth Day crafts, check out the Crafting Our Way To A Greener World article on the Kids Stuff World site.  I especially love the globe cookies and egg carton owls.  I wish you a wonderful day on Earth Day (April 22nd, 2009) and hope you find joy and a bit of magic, with discussions and conversations with friends, family, and children about why celebrating the earth’s health is so important.

Share
sig

1

Resources to Get Parents and Children Outside Enjoying Nature

After a few days of enjoying bird watching, making home-made bird feeders, forest walks, and basically falling in love with trees and nature again, I want to share a few sites that continue to re-inspire me.  It is so important for children and parents to get outside and enjoy at least an hour of outdoor time each day.  I feel like a new person when I get out and explore tree stumps or explain to my children how wonderful it is to see and touch an enormous tree because it means they’ve been on earth for many years.  The process of getting all my kids dressed for cold weather and listen to the complaining about gloves or boots not fitting properly is almost enough to just abandon the whole idea, but once we are finally outside, the kids have the best time and I feel like a new mother ~ ready to teach, inspire, and I regain lots of patience.  Nature really is magical and has a healing effect on myself and the kids.

Don’t know where to start with encouraging family enjoyment and the outdoors?  Purchase a Nature Bag.  This gift will far out-last its value because the ideas it inspires in a forest, backyard, or adventure walk are precious.  I always try to remember my child won’t tell me how much they appreciated a treasure hunt, eye-spy or scavenger hunt….until they have children of their own and remember it fondly as a grown-up.  Adults always come back to concepts and activities they enjoyed as children once they become a parent, so help create memories that imprint your child’s memory over a life time.  It is parents finding the time, energy and enthusiasm to setup such a special activity.  The two moms that created the Nature Bag make it easy including leaf viewers, a magnifying glass, a blindfold, and their eco-activities included in a booklet that are truly amazing.  Really, re-introduce your child to nature this Valentines Day and enjoy the rewards this gift will bring your entire family. Click here to find locations that sell this product.

I have deep respect for the two website that inspire me constantly with new ideas about how to get my children to enjoy nature and fun activities.  The BEST activity all four of my kids enjoyed this winter season I learned from the mom writing for Nature For Kids.  You really get the sense that she knows what works for children and nature, she reminded me of the craft of making peanut butter bird feeders.  Pine cones you collect, cover with peanut butter, and then roll in birdseed.  Hang up high and away from your house, so only birds are encouraged to feed ~ this had been such a blast for even my two year olds to participate with.  The amount of birds we’ve watched come to our backyard with these feeders is simply amazing!  This leads me onto a connected eco-activity…

Green Hour – I’ve mentioned them before and I’m a huge fan.  This site simply exists to help re-connect your children with nature for one hour each day. The amount of nature-based activities they’ve listed are simply amazing, but their ‘bird journal’ stuck in my brain because this activity combined with the bird feeder, has simply been the best kid’s activity ever in this household. I purchased my boys a bird sight-seeing book, and then gave them a journal and pen.  They write down the page number from the book and species of bird and record a mark for each of these birds that come to investigate the bird feeder.  I had no idea that our backyard was filled with Black Eyed Junco birds….I would have just assumed they were Chickadees.  A great help for kids that can’t read is to print off pictures of the bird species for their journals so it’s easy to cross match with their book!  It’s hilarious and wonderful that my kids act like a rock star entered my backyard when a ‘Winter Wren’ or ‘Bewick’s Wren’ makes an appearance.

Kids are just naturally drawn to nature.  That must be why a tip for colicky babies is to take them for a walk or when children are just miserable, you put them in boots and give them freedom to ‘go nuts’ in a puddle…suddenly, these ailments are gone.  It is parents finding the energy to make the outdoors exciting and fun.  I hope some of the resources I’ve mentioned help your family discover how refreshing and fun nature can be ~ just go outside.

Share
sig

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes