Nurture - April 12, 2021

3 Sustainable Crafts and Activities Your Kids Can Do for Earth Day

Teaching children to respect the environment should be an ongoing conversation, but Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to show gratitude for our planet and discuss ways to be good stewards of its resources. For young kids, these 3 sustainable crafts and activities are a great prompt to get them thinking about the world around them and its impact on it. As a bonus, they’ll also help bolster creativity and fine motor skills, something lots of little ones need help with if they haven’t been in the classroom lately. 

Fairy Gardens

Fairy gardens are pint-sized, potted gardens with a dash of magic! Perfect for both indoors and outdoors, your child can use their imagination to create their own miniature world. You don’t need expensive DIY kits for your child to make one of their very own. If you are already an avid gardener, you will probably be able to find most materials within your home. If not, these items can easily be obtained from local gardening centers, thrift stores, or nature-conscious neighbors. 

 

What you will need:
  • An empty pot or terrarium of any size
  • Soil
  • Moss
  • Rocks, pebbles, or seashells
  • Toys or figurines

 

The best part about fairy gardens is that there is no “wrong” way of making one. Encourage your child to embrace their creativity and see where their imagination takes them—even if it turns into more of an action figure garden than a fairy garden!

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Inspire your child to become a bird watcher with this classic, nature-friendly craft! Pine cone bird feeders are so simple to put together and they can be made in a variety of ways. 

 

What you will need:
  • Natural, dry pine cones (not scented or decorative ones)
  • Twine
  • Popsicle sticks or a plastic knife
  • Safety scissors
  • A paper plate 
  • Natural peanut butter or vegetable shortening 
  • Bird seed

 

Collect the amount of pine cones desired. It helps to collect ones with long peduncles (stems) and opened scales. Make sure you wash and dry the ones you collect or you may have a bug collection on your hands. 

Once dry, tie the twine around the stem and place on the paper plate. With the plastic knife or popsicle stick, coat the pine cone with peanut butter. If your child has a nut allergy, use vegetable shortening for this step. 

When fully coated, your child can apply bird seed by sprinkling it on the pine cone (hence the paper plate to catch the mess) or roll it in the seed. Finally, head outside, pick a tree, and tie your DIY bird feeder to a branch! 

To continue the fun, go outside for an adventure each day and record how many birds visit your feeder. Don’t be surprised if squirrels also come by for a snack! 

Upcycled Crayons

Need to restock your child’s crayon bin? Don’t rush to buy new crayons! All of those broken pieces at the bottom of the bin can be brought back to life with this easy method for upcycling crayons. 

 

What you will need: 

  • Broken crayon pieces 
  • Silicone molds or muffin tins
  • Parchment paper 

 

Preheat your own to 275ºF. Have your child help by peeling the paper labels off of the broken crayons and let them choose which colors should be combined in each mold. Place the mold or pan in the oven and bake for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. (Caution: The pan or mold WILL be hot!) Wait until the crayons are cool before popping them out of the mold. Finally, let your child draw with their brand new crayons!   

Tip: Teach your child how different color combinations can be used to create entirely new ones! Encourage them to mix red and blue, blue and yellow, or yellow and red. 

While these 3 sustainable crafts are hardly the only crafts you can do with your children to honor Earth Day, they are a great place to start! No matter what you decide to do, cherish this bonding time you have together and use it to encourage discussions about protecting our planet. 

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Photography - Alexander Safonov
Photography - Julie Wild
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