With Carol Baxter
Tips for teachers, parents and kids on how to live "greener" everyday lives. >
Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Every month, I will answer your questions onhow to bring environmental studies into the classroom, how to deepen ourenvironmental awareness and how to live more "green". I'll suggest seasonalactivities that can help our children get closer to nature and givesuggestions on how to encourage them to be loving caretakers of our greatplanet earth. I want to encourage our children (and ourselves) to fall inlove with nature. When you love something, you will take care of it.
I look forward to hearing from teachers and parents about environmental projects that you've done that have been successful. E-mail me at email@example.com and I'll share with others what you are doing.
Also, I want to hear from Kids! E-mail your poems and stories aboutnature, ecology and our great Planet Earth, to Teachgreen@aol.com and I willshare your feelings with other kids in the Earth Patrol Kids section at theend of this site.
Questions and Answers
Question: I've been reading through your columns and thoroughly enjoy it. You've put some great information out there for teachers and others to draw from.
I will be presenting a topic "Creative Arts for Children Using Recycled Materials" to my class in Administration of Early Childhood Education. I'm looking for some resources, do you have any favorites? Do you know of any websites that contain lesson plans for art projects using recycled materials? What about any books? I need to find projects that are appropriate for the preschool/Kindergarten age group.
Thank you so much for taking the time to pass along any advice you have!Best of luck with your book - I will look for it when it comes out.Sincerely,Lisa Antonic
Answer: Hi Lisa, Thanks for e-mailing!I am so happy to hear that you are focusing on recycled crafts. The world of art surrounds us, or shall I say, art materials are everywhere!!!!
Here are a few books I like, some projects specify recycled materials, other craft ideas you can substitute recycled materials for store bought ones.
- My First Nature Book: Alfred A Knopf, NYC, NY
- A Child's Seasonal Treasury: Tricycle Press, PO Box 7123 Berkeley, CA 94707
- Likeable Recyclables: Learning Works PO Box 6187, Santa Barbara, CA 93160
- 365 Art and Craft Activities: Publications International, 7373 N. Cicero Ave. Lincolnwood, IL 60646
Good luck with your presentation. If you have ideas to share, please e-mail me again! Stay green,Carol
Welcome to Spring!
Spring, the season of rebirth (which officially begins on March 21st), is a perfect time to honor the Earth with the celebration of Earth Day. This year, April 22nd is Earth Day's 30th Anniversary. If you haven't officially celebrated Earth Day in the past, make a point to rise to the occasion this year. Earth Day 2000! How can you not?
Here are just a few ways you can celebrate Earth Day 2000 with your family:
UPDATE: Although Earth Day, April 22, has past: Every Day is Earth Day! Here are some ideas for you to think about NOW for Earth Day 2001 ..... or.... some ideas if you want to sponsor a neighborhood Eco-Fest for your neighborhood this summer. Earth Day is Every Day!
- Bake a cake and gather friends together to celebrate the "Birthday" of the Earth. (Of course, it is not the "real" birthday, just a date picked to honor it.)
- Organize a community clean-up.
- Devote the day to Nature. Go for a walk, rake the lawn, prepare your gardens for planting, etc.
- Rent a Nature movie.
- Read books on nature or the environment.
- Reflect on the things that you love about the earth. Write in your journal, make up a story, draw a picture, write a poem.
- Write to your local, state, and federal representatives and ask them to concentrate on an environmental issue that concerns you.
- Write to a corporation and congratulate them on their "good" environmental practices OR ask them to clean up their act.
- Put on an eco-play.
- Make things out of recycled materials.
- Clean out your closets and bring things that you don't need anymore to a thrift shop.
- Trade clothes and things with your friends. Have a swap meet. Don't throw things away!
- Visit a nature center in your area.
- Go to a science museum.
- Organize a toxic materials drop off site for batteries, paint cans, etc.
- Set up a table in a public place and let people know how you feel about taking care of the earth.
- Adopt a park, playground, or street.
- Adopt an endangered animal from an environmental organization.
- Plant a tree.
- Start a recycled craft book collection for your home. That way, any day, your family can pick a fun recycled craft.
This year, plan an ECO-FEST at your school or in your community. It's easy! You CAN do it.
We are sponsoring an ECO-FEST at our elementary school. We are devoting a Saturday in May to the Great Planet Earth. The intent of our ECO-FEST 2000 is to give our students, their families, and the community the opportunity to learn first hand about the many environmental issues that are of concern in our area and how the public can more actively get involved.
Here are some suggestions for you:
From 10:00 am to 11:30 am, organize a "menu" of environmental activities in and around your town.
Families can choose to participate in one activity from the offerings. Arrange to have a volunteer at each activity to lead the group. Some suggestions are:
- Clean up: Pick a park, street, or other public area and clean it up. Supply bags.
- Bird Sanctuary or Nature Center tour.
- Beautifying your schools: Participants can prepare garden beds. Flowers can be planted by children at a later date. Have volunteers bring garden tools. Ask for landscaper and Master Gardener volunteers to help oversee this project.
- Plant a tree at your local school.
- Trail walks through a local park with the Audubon Society.
- Railway Walks: New to most areas, learn about the nature trails on abandoned railway tracks.
- Grocery Store Tour: Learn how to purchase products that have little or no packaging, organic produce, and products made of recycled materials.
- Set up a drop off site for toxic materials. Paint Cans, batteries, etc.
- Weed walk: A master gardener will teach you about the important properties of weeds in your area.
- Visit an Organic Farm.
At 1:00 pm-4:00 pm., The ECO-FEST 2000 Festivities! Hold them at your school or other public place.
- Invite all area non-profit environmental organizations to set up booths. The goal is to make the public aware of the organizations that work every day on environmental issues, to educate and excite children, and to give people ideas on how they can be more involved.
- Organize student exhibits on Solar energy, gardening, composting, recycling, pollution (home and outside), etc.
- Set up an "ART" shop where kids can build things out of "recycled" materials. Also, have on display, functional and practical things that can be made out of recycled materials, such as bird feeders.
- Have a gardening center where children can plant a seed to take home and people can ask gardening questions of Master Gardeners. Set up a compost demonstration and hold a plant sale.
- Have an Eco-Health section that would focus on lead poisoning, sun safety, healthy nutrition, Lyme's Disease, etc.
- Have games for kids to play made from recycled materials, i.e. bowling (made from liter soda bottles)
- Sell healthy snacks, organic fruit and juice drinks instead of typical concession snacks.
- Have separate bins for garbage and recyclable garbage.
- Have entertainment. We will have booked Haitian drummers and dancers that will perform and give drumming workshop. A wonderful lady called the Bug Lady, will show how she makes fantastic bug costumes.
- Kids Speak: Set up an "open mike" where children can give 1-3 minute presentations on environmental issues.
- Planet Earth Mural: Pick a theme and let the children paint or use sidewalk chalk.
- Have an "environmental quote" wall. Post quotes by great thinkers and then invite children to write their own quotes and add them to the wall.
- Have an environmental poster contest.
- Invite local celebrities.
- Invite the local press.
- Print a directory of local environmental groups and websites to pass out to the attendees.
- A percentage of the proceeds can go to an environmental organization that the children vote on.
Remember, Earth Day is every day. So, an event like this can be held any time of the year. Start planning the fun now!
Good Luck and Happy Earth Day, Every Day to you all.
EARTH PATROL KIDS
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