Tag Archives | eco-friendly presents

The Easter Bunny & Random Kindness

There is one part to setting up Easter egg hunts on Easter morning that I always miss – the fact my kids can’t help me set up. When planning fairy walks or party activities my kids are always right by my side planning and then executing – they love it!  So today while my kids where all home we came up with the idea to leave Easter eggs filled with sustainable goodie along the Inlet trail and park in our community. We used 8 plastic eggs we’ve been reusing for years and filled them with a felt pirate eye patch, finger puppets, basil seeds, felted jewelry, and a fairy leaf bed/pilllow set. We used plastic for the outside to hold the treasures because we hoped the eggs would be safe for a few days out in our rainy West Coast climate. I highly recommend this activity for kids with the excitement building up to Easter hunts, activities, etc.  but strongly petition you to please not fill them with junk!  Even a couple of pennies or treasures from the forest would be fun: acorns, gem stones, etc.  Just the magic of finding an egg in a playground with a note and goodie inside would be amazing for kids. Funny enough we talked with two adults that found one of our eggs under a park bench and they were beaming. Not just little smiles, you could tell their day had been made!  They turned out to be kindred spirits of the Peter Pan syndrome I have “never wanting to grow up and believing in fairies”.

Here is how we planned our random act of kindness egg hunt!

Egg setup. We selected plastic eggs to reduce moisture for the goodies inside. I let the kids select Eco-friendly presents to put inside based on their personalities. I didn’t want them to put candy inside because most parents would want their kids eating candy left by strangers…so we selected handcrafted, mostly felt or plantable treasures. I used new items from Green Planet Parties and included the logo in the note we left, not for marketing purposes, but so that parents would know that these items are new and safe to play with. The note simply read: “You are receiving a random gift of kindness. Enjoy your Easter treat and consider leaving one for someone else to find!”

Egg planting. We decided to walk through the forest in our local inlet that leads to a park and pier. The kids were very exited to leave the eggs in tricky spots for other children to find in the perimeter of the park. The boys watched a pair of kids find one of their eggs and loved listening to the shriek of finding a treasure and having them rush off to show their mom.

Here is a picture of the first egg we planted in the forest. The rest of the eggs that were planted along the trail looked beautiful too!

 

We don’t know who found those eggs we left in the forest (walking back along the trail we noticed most of the eggs had been picked up already).  But the best reaction of the day was from hiding this egg under a bench along the pier:

We had tied the egg under bench and then ambled down the pier. We took our time looking in the water, checking out a boat anchored and when we got to the end of the pier there were two lovely ladies and they looked tickled…but I didn’t assume they found the egg because we had just left it under the bench. They watched my kids play and showed them the felt eye patch they had found in the egg..my kids smiled and said they were the ones that put it there!  These two adults just loved the experience and they had already paid it forward and left some change in the egg and re-hidden it. So much fun!  I think it’s adults that need a bit of magic in their lives. We are always knocking ourselves out to insert magic whenever we can for our kids…but adults need to see magic too. The adults seemed to have the best reaction to this idea and it’s something that is really fun. This time of year is a great time to leave random acts of kindness and the best part is you can use eggs!

An important point here is that egg fillers do not have to be a plastic, crappy, toxic affair. Here are some earth friendly ideas that actually fit inside standard eggs!

Felt Finger Puppets

Pirate Eye Patches

Felted Rings

Felted Ponytail Holders

Seeds – we left basil seeds

Wooden eggs

Felt Moustache

Pocket Doll

Fairy Leaf Bed and Pillow

Fair Trade Worry Dolls

Wooden Decoder

Felted Toadstool

Bird Call

Felt Dressup Watch

Remember to have fun and tailor the act of kindness to something close to your family’s heart! Let us know about the stories you discover with leaving random acts of kindness on the Mommy Footprin fan page!

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School or Teacher Year End Gift ~ Rain Barrel

Wow did I ever stumble onto some magic yesterday.  Our preschool decided to give the school a rain barrel as the year end gift for the school.  Well – it’s turned out to be the best project ever and this idea could easily double as a gift for grandparents, father’s day, gift for a school or teacher because it has nothing but positive elements.  I love giving practical, Eco-friendly, educational, affordable, and naturally beautiful presents and this project was all of these as the finished product is amazing. 

Did you know that many city municipalities in North America subsidize composters or rain barrels?  I contacted the Parks and Environment Division at the local city office and purchased a huge rain barrel with the down spout converter and tap kit for $40.  The city pays $50 for them and then subsidizes a percentage of the cost to make them so affordable.  Best of all, the material our rain barrel was made from is recycled food containers. 

So being the outgoing, graduating class from our preschool the gift was this rain barrel but the magic started happening when the painting and personalization of the barrel started.  I could hear Jackie, our very patient coordinator for this project, telling the children that the barrel would collect rain water for everyone to water the garden at preschool ~ all while helping each child paint their hands and fingerprints to personalize the barrel with the garden/flower/bug theme. This turned into a perfect eco-activity to educate children on the importance of water conservation, reusing, and helping the environment.

I’m so glad we took before and after pictures of the barrel.  To personalize, the children painted their hands and fingers to leave prints that Jackie turned into magical butterflies, flowers, bugs and the end product is gorgeous!  It started out as a very plain blue barrel and now it’s something decorative and functional for a school to water their garden.  Even if you just purchased the barrel and just put hand prints of all your children it would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift ~ all for under $50.  Use paints that will stand up against wet weather and you are good to go!

Here are the before and after pictures of our barrel.  I hope they inspire you.

Before:

During:

Note: Jackie gasping in awe of perfect handprints!

After:

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