Social distancing: 3 easy nature-inspired projects to get the kids involved in 2 months ago

Social distancing: 3 easy nature-inspired projects to get the kids involved in

It's Mother's Day weekend.

But as dinners out or visits to granny's house might not be on the cards this year, that doesn't mean we can't spend the weekend doing something lovely together. And granny can join via FaceTime too.

There is a lot of talk about the state of our planet these days, and I reckon that makes it a great time to introduce important concepts such as recycling, pollution, planting, composting, and reusing to your kids.

Our actions affect the environment. Big time. We are, for instance, collectively only beginning to see the full extent of what our love affair with plastic is doing to the planet. But how do you help kids understand the importance of conserving our natural resources?

The truth is there are so many ways to reuse items to cut down on rubbish that ends up in oceans or landfills. And so just to help you get started, here are three easy upcycling activities that will get you started to make every day Earth Day to your kids.

1. Seed Jar

Watching seeds grow is an amazing science lesson for kids, and with a seed jar like this, your kids will get an inside look at what’s happening below the ground as their seeds start to grow.

What you need

Glass jar

Paper Towels

Water

Seeds (try a variety pea, bean, sunflower)

What you do

Use paper towels to fill your jar. Kids can fold them and push them down into the jar, a great activity for little hands.

Then water your seed jar, don’t flood it. Carefully push seeds down into view and make sure they are snuggly placed.

You can mix it up a little by adding three different kinds of seeds, sunflowers, peas and beans to your seed jar. This is great if you want to conduct an experiment. Or you can stick with one type of seed.

Now all there is left to do is keep checking back to watch your seeds grow!

2. Recycled Art: Toilet Paper Roll Print

Reduce, reuse, recycle – all great mantras to adopt, and perfect for this simple Earth Day craft you can do with your kids today.

What you need

Empty toilet paper (or kitchen paper) rolls

Washable paint in bright colours

White cardstock or thick paper

Instructions

Let your kids dip the toilet paper rolls into whatever colour paint they fancy and then stamp down on their cardstock or paper. Once finished, let it dry, and voila; the most gorgeous, colourful art for your wall, mama.

3. Seed Bombs

Planting seeds is a wonderful kick-off to spring and summer, and learning how to make seed bombs is a great way to get your planting started. Note: These also make cute little gifts, we think.

Here is what you need

3-4 Packages of Flower Seeds

3 Sheets of Construction Paper (we used blue, green, and white)

Food Processor

Scissors

Water

3 Small Containers

Baking Sheet and Parchment Paper (drying seed bombs)

Instructions

Start by cutting your construction paper into one-inch squares. Place each colour separately in a container.

Once you have cut up all your paper squares and each container is ready, add water. Cover the paper completely and allow to soak for 20 minutes.

When the 20 minutes is finished (the hardest part is always waiting), take one container and squeeze the excess water out of the paper. Place the paper in a food processor and pulse until the paper becomes pulp.

Place the pulp back into its container. Go ahead and repeat with the next two colours until you have three containers of pulp.

 

Divide the packages of seeds between the three containers gently mixing them into the pulp.

Start by taking a bit of each colour from each container and forming it into a ball.

While you are making these, take the opportunity to talk about the importance of planting seeds, clean water, clean air, conservation and anything else they are interested in hearing about. Getting a little messy and hands-on with kids is super engaging and creates the perfect atmosphere for learning.

Place your homemade seed bombs on a parchment-lined baking tray. You can go ahead and press a few more seeds into the balls if you think they need a few more! Let your tray dry overnight.

Once dry, toss your seed bombs into your favourite flower pot or garden plot (Note: You still have to dig a hole first!)