A few weeks ago I had talked to my sons school about recycling which didn’t go as planned so I was very excited when his teacher started talking to me about Earth Day. Well it seems that through our conversations she has decided to have a whole weeks lessons dedicated to the environment AND she asked for my help. I’ve always been a little sad that I’m never home on Earth Day (always away on business) so I’m excited that she will be celebrating with the kids. So this weekend I sat down and wrote out some ideas to share with her next week. Now mind you these are 5 year olds so I have to think on their level. Here are some of my ideas; I’d love to hear yours.
Day One: (In no specific order) Reduce. Talk to the kids about where their trash goes. Talk to them about landfills. One activity: Bury a few items in the play yard and label them with a stake. Have the kids guess how long it will take for the items to disappear. Then have the kids check the items every few days to a week. I think they will be surprised to see most of the stuff still there. Another activity: This one is more geared toward the bigger kids but can be scaled down for them. Edible landfill. I did this project years ago when I worked for the State of GA. You take fruit rollups for the liner; cookies and grahm cracker crumbs for the layers and then top it with ice cream. The idea is that the ice cream will slowly make its way through the layers but should stop by the time it gets to the liner. And…they get to eat it.
Day Two: Reuse. Since day 2 is actually Earth Day I thought Reuse would be good. Ideas: wastefree lunch (ask all the parents to pack reusable items instead of disposable), worm compost, and growing a garden from seeds.
Day Three: Recycle. Teach the kids that instead of throwing things away they can reuse (day 2) and also recycle. Activities: crafts from trash! Talk about which items can be recycled and where/how. What happens to items once they are recycled…what do they become…show examples (cereal box, egg cartons, etc.)
Day Four: Water Conservation. I have to think of some ideas…this is where I stopped yesterday. I thought about having a park ranger from the local park/beach come talk to the kids about taking care of the beach; the sea life; etc.
Day Five: Energy Conservation. I have some free coloring books I got from ENERGY STAR and EPA online. They are all geared towards the kids and feature Horton from Horton Hears a Who that comes out at the movies next week. It’s never to early to teach the kids to turn off the lights. We can also talk about different types of power…solar power, wind power, etc.
I’m also planning on going into the classroom on Friday and talking with the kids. Answering all their questions. I’m SOOOO excited! Even if she doesn’t take all of my ideas I think it’s a great idea to teach the kids about the environment at this age. I’ll let you know how the plans go and take some pictures of the activities.