Tag Archives | eco activity

Great Eco Activity For Kids Involving Potatoes & French Fries!

This eco activity isn’t an overnight project, but it’s one your children will enjoy from beginning to end. Actually, the fruits of my son’s (and 19 other children in his preschool class) labour will pay off big tomorrow when they make French Fries in class. Sorry, I’ve skipped ahead; let’s start at the beginning of this project.

♥ Find free tires that can no longer function on a vehicle
♥ Place the tires in a shady spot in your garden and fill with potting soil and plant potatoes
♥ Water and nurture your potatoes for several months
♥ Pick all the potaotoes from the soil in the tires
♥ Discover that potatoes can be made into French Fries from amazing and inspiring teachers
♥ Lastly, talk about nothing else for all of the hours you are awake after hearing the news that you will be making French Fries in class the following day. <grin> Also, make your older brother jealous that you get to do these cool things in preschool, while he is stuck learning all day. <big grin>

What do you have at the end of these steps? A very happy child.  My 4 year old son that helped plant the potatoes last Spring, visited the preschool weekly over the summer to ‘tend’ to the garden and water the tires of dirt. He worked so hard to dig up all the potatoes today and was rewarded with the news about French Fries. He is so excited and will see, taste, and watch his love of planting making it onto the snack table, ready to dip in ketchup. This is his first week at preschool and he loves it! The imaginative teaching and concepts used by his teachers are simply magical and best of all…effective!

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Build-A-Bear and Educating Children About Endangered Animals

I discovered a few interesting facts involving endangered animals that I wanted to share.  I’ve had endangered animals on my mind since the boys and I visited our zoo last weekend.  We never miss an opportunity to discuss animal issues, especially when we say hi to the tigers that Francesco believed he’s rescued from extinction from his birthday party donations.  The boys mentioned at the zoo that perhaps it would be nice to save a different animal species at his birthday party next year.  The impact and dialogue that resulted from Francesco requesting donations in lieu of gifts, just continues to build.  Every hawk/eagle that circles the sky, one of my boys always comments that we’ll have to save them next.  I love that they are thinking of helping animals above the fun of receiving presents. I’m still receiving positive comments and feedback from parents about this idea.

The highlight of our zoo visit is the miniature train you can ride that tours the entire zoo.  The part that I enjoy the most is the train conductor who gives interesting and adorable animal facts over their loud speaker while driving the train.  They are such cute bits of information for the kids – here are a few:

♦  All zebras have the same number of stripes…they are just organized in a different pattern on each zebra.

◊  If you shaved all the fur off a tiger, the stripe pattern would still be visible on their skin.

♦  Flamingos are not naturally pink.  The alpha and beta-carotene in their diet makes them this color…without it they would be gray.

◊  A giraffe’s heart weighs 25 lbs.  Also, a  giraffe only sleeps for 1/2 hour per day (24 hour period).  If a giraffe naps for 1 minute…that is considered a deep sleep.  (Yikes!!)

♦  And lastly, what started me on this topic – the Siberian Tigers at our zoo, will likely be extinct in the wild by the year 2010.  Right now they are considered extremely endangered.

Francesco has always loved those tigers at the Vancouver Zoo and it makes us so sad to think about how endangered their species is.  It got me thinking that a ‘softer’ way to introduce a younger child to the plight of endangered animals is to engage them in a really fun activity.  Take them to Build-A-Bear!  This may sound like a contradiction to most Eco activities, but we are talking about a great way to provide information and education without the child even realizing it.  Build-A-Bear makes it easy by featuring World Wildlife Fun Friends.  For every animal purchased in their WWF Collection, Build-A-Bear will donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund.  What a great idea! 

hmmmm ..can you imagine if Webkinz did the same thing?  With how many Webkinz creatures they sell…the dollar amount would be incredible!  I’m just thinking out loud, but I might need to send off an email.  <smile>

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Eye Spy Eco Activity or Kid’s Birthday Party Idea

At Angelo’s year end wrap-up party for preschool, the children and parents were surprised with an incredible forest walk.  We are lucky enough to have some forest left nearby our little school.  It wasn’t your ‘standard’ forest walk to find bugs or climb stumps…it was an eye spy adventure.  The teachers had pulled objects out of the classroom and placed them in obvious (and not-so-obvious) spots along the forest trail.  There was a doll baby perched in a tree, colored markers scattered along the forest floor, pretend food from the play kitchen, larger objects for kids that weren’t searching very hard <smile>, etc.  There were squeals of delight as they recognized what didn’t belong in the forest and where and what the object was used for at the preschool.  

Isn’t that a great idea for a fun Eco summer activity or birthday party event?  There was zero cost and the children LOVED it!  My girls were also on the walk and enjoyed it, so the age range for this could span easily from 2-10 years old.  My children would think it’s hilarious to find everyday items from our house on a nature walk in our nearby creek.  Place object in tree stumps, hang things from trees, and give them some easy to find treasures too.  Continue Reading →

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