I thought it would be fun to host "an Earth Day party." Thing One loved the the idea; probably because it sounded so much like "a birthday party," anyway who doesn't love a party? I wanted to use recycled materials and do earth-friendly crafts. I like to celebrate Earth day not as a tribute to the planet, but to the One who formed it, in all it's beauty, and entrusted it to us.
For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.
-Folliott S. Pierpiont (1864)
Here's our Earth (play)Day:
I saved up recyclables for quite a while in anticipation. I wanted to use yogurt containers for the kids to start seeds in.
I covered them with a piece of scrapbook paper, secured with double sticky tape,
or wrapped with colorful duct tape. Of course you can just use them as is, but I thought a tiny bit of paper or tape was so easy and made them so much more cheerful.
I cut gallon milk jugs apart. The bottoms became saucers for the planters. I cut a slit in the bottom of each yogurt cup with an exacto knife. Once they were filled with dirt I turned a scissors blade in the slit to expand the slit into a small drainage hole.
The top of the milk jugs became many things. I intended for the kids to use them with plastic eggs or balls to play that scoop and catch game (where you flip the ball out of scoop and the other person catches it with theirs). Thing One can actually catch it sometimes, it's great coordination practice. The kids however thought these made great hats! Too funny.
I had seen these cookie cutter bird feeders at Eighteen25. They were a great preschool activity, the kids just squished the gelatin bird seed into their chosen cookie cutter.
They have to dry overnight, but then you can push them right out, and hang them on your favorite tree.
Then we let the kids choose their containers to plant in and fill them with dirt. They got to choose between green beans, purple beans, or wildflower to plant.
I soaked the beans for a couple of hours before they planted them, because that's supposed to help them sprout faster.
Once the seeds were all tucked in the dirt, the kids used a cleaned out dressing bottle to water them. This worked great because it comes out in a little stream instead of all over. Plus it was just another thing from the recycle bin. I had cleaned it out thinking it would make a great "water gun" for Thing Two this summer. He's going to have to defend himself from Thing One and I don't think he'll be wielding a squirt gun just yet, but I'm sure he can squeeze this and get something out of it, so it might be enough to at least hold Thing One at a distance! : ) Anyway it turns out it also makes a good watering can!
We had some lunch and ended with an earth cookie-cake. This is my favorite way to bake cookies. I use the Nestle Toll House recipe, (plus high altitude changes) and just divide it between two round, greased cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes instead of 8 and you have two giant cookies. It's so much faster and easier than regular cookies I have a hard time making them by the spoonful anymore. Plus they turn out soft and chewy every time. My friend frosted it to look like earth.
And we finished up our earth day party, watching The Lorax. It was fun, and always good to get together with friends. But I will say when I planned this mid-April party I did envision us outside, the kids playing in the grass and dirt--you know, enjoying nature.
Instead we were inside because the great outdoors looked like this. Yes, welcome Spring, how happy we are to see you; how thankful for your warmth.
I hope you all have a great weekend and maybe do something fun for Earth Day, whatever the earth around you looks like right now.
With all that's happened this week: be safe, and be strong, friends.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
2 Corinthians 4:8