Saturday, April 10, 2010

Earth Day and kids - April 22nd

Earth Day is Always on April 22 in the United States. This Earth day the kids are going to learn some facts on recycling and the ecosystem in general. Last year the kids went to the movie theater to see Disney’s Earth Day that opened on Earth day 2009.

This year we are going to touch on ways we can improve the Earth for generations to come. We are going to print up a picture of trash that is floating around
in the ocean and a few others to show the children the repercussions of not taking care of our waste products. We will show them some sea animals that have been caught in trash and have deformities such as turtles with plastic stuck on them as well as some deformed shells that are the cause of littering and not disposing of trash correctly. If you live in a neighborhood that will take your recycles and you don’t recycle at this time, now is a great time to introduce a recycling trash can in your home. You can buy a different color trashcan and simply print out a Recycle Sign. We found this site HERE that has free recycle symbol clipart.

We will be focusing on how we can improve these situations in our lives and what we can do to help in our daily lives. The kids will then implement some changes and incorporate these into our lives.

Earth Day is a great day to spend some time showing and teaching the children about ecosystems and how an ecosystem includes both living and nonliving aspects. We plan to write a list of the non living things that can be in an ecosystem i.e. water, rocks, dirt, air and light and the living things in an ecosystem i.e. plants and animals. Then we can brush on how the living parts of ecosystems form communities and each ecosystem has its own community.

And now the really fun part...
Our Craft:

Creating our own terrarium.
Before we begin this project we will take a hike in our local park to collect some things needed for our terrariums. We can use jars to store the living parts of the terrariums we find and I will encourage the children to look under bark and rocks collecting such things as pill bugs, perhaps worms and snails if we find any. During this walk I will be discussing with the kids the different ecosystems we come across and how trash and waste products would and does affect these areas.

We are going to incorporate all that we have learned through this study of our Earth to create our own terrariums. We will use a container such as a 2 liter bottle or glass container with a lid, small plants, grass seed, rocks, sticks, bark and whatever else the children find on our hike. We will cut an opening in the top of the bottle for access or punching holes in the lids of the glass containers. Then we are going to make a model and landscape our terrariums. Next we will add the living portion of our findings to our terrariums and a water source. The kids are going to draw a diagram of the terrarium that they made and we will create a small chart under their drawing. We will place the terrariums in an area that gets light but not direct sunlight. The kids can then check the terrarium every day and record the changes they see in them.

This will be a great educational and fun day.

Our other suggestions:

  • You can also make homemade Plantable Paper. Further information and the directions on this quick and fun project click HERE

  • PBS also has a new movie they created called Earth Days and you can find more information on that HERE

  • Rent and watch Disney’s Earth Day movie. More information can be found HERE

  • Target stores will give away 1.5 million reusable bags with purchase on April 18, the first day of Earth Week. For more information click HERE
  • Go Organic on Earth Day. Found this website that list several organic recipes and also a link to download their free I- Phone application. To be honest with you the reviews listed on the i-phone app page only give this application 2 stars but maybe it will benefit someone. You can view the site HERE
  • Great site that gives you a list of 50 Things You can Recycle - click HERE

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