CELEBRATE EARTH DAY!
There are so many ways to celebrate Earth Day! We want to make sure our kids know how important it is to care for our planet, celebrate the earth and participate in protecting the environment! Over the years on Jasmine we have celebrated Earth Day with fun activities and age appropriate information for our kiddos.
Last year, we planted veggies in egg cartons that were then transferred into our real backyard gardens! This is something we all do yearly, we all have gardens and flower beds; so why not get the kids involved in the planting stages and show them the process of how things grow?! We also made "seed bombs" using blue and green biodegradable paper that were planted into pots and beautiful wildflowers were born!
We can't forget about the birds! We all have a semi wooded backyard so we always have birdies flittering around! We decided to make them some yummy PB bird feeders using items you already have around your house! Below is a look at our different Earth Day events over the years. If you need any ideas this is the place for you!
FOOD & DRINK
There are so many fun aspects to this day but we have to start off with these amazing earth cookies! These are just simple sugar cookies with some food dye and we have to confess even though sugar cookies are super easy to make, we made it even easier! We just grabbed a bag of the pre-packaged sugar cookie mix! Cheating - we know, but it didn't change the adorable outcome! We simply prepared the cookies according to the bags instructions and then separated the dough into two bowls, added green food coloring to one bowl and blue to the other bowl. We wanted the cookies vibrant, so the more dye, the better. Then to construct the cookie we just took small pieces of each colored dough and formed the ball, the more small sections of color the more realistic it looks! Bake according to the bags instructions and voila you have adorably themed cookies that look way harder than they actually were (hence making you look insanely talented, we wont tell your secret!)
Cookies can't be the only snack in the food spread, as much as the children would have loved that, we are Mom's after all and wanted to provide something a little more substantial to snack on.... which leads to this all green veggie and fruit tray! So easy, just cut up your veggies and provide your favorite dip, ours is ranch of course! To fit our theme of Earth Day we decided to do a tray of all green and used broccoli, green bell peppers, celery, and green grapes. You could add cucumbers too, but one of us absolutely despises cucumbers - so they were not invited to our party! We also added a side of green pea snack crisps, which added the perfect salty crunch! The veggie tray was a perfect talking point when we were doing the planting activities but more about that in a minute.
Most parties have a food table but having themed drinks really takes it up a notch! For the kids, we kept with the blue and green theme and made green ice cubes (simply green food dye in water poured into the ice cube tray) and had blueberry lemonade. The drink was the most beautiful colors of blues and greens and then melted into teal!
For the adults, we created two options. This get together was in the middle of a Sunday, so we wanted a cocktail and a non-alcoholic option. What says Earth Day more than an iced green tea?! We tried to keep it as healthy as possible but needed a little sweetness. After brewing the green tea, we simply added honey instead of sugar and a little bit of lemon; that's all you need! Let that chill for a few hours and you have a refreshing and pretty drink!
However, our favorite part of the get together.... Mojitos! We don't make them often but boy are they amazing! The green of the lime and mint was perfect for our Earth Day theme; its also light and refreshing which is perfect for a day time cocktail!
We wish we could give an exact recipe but we just make them based on feel instead of amounts... but we will try! You start with putting 2 lime wedges and a few sprigs of mint in your glass and muddle them together. Here is the secret; when you muddle, you want to smash everything together so you get the juices out but don't want to press so hard that you're destroying everything! When you do this, the mint gets bitter, so just a couple seconds until you have a nice liquid in the bottom. Then add a little simple syrup, somewhere between 1/2 an ounce to an ounce, depending on how sweet you want it. Then muddle just a little bit more to infuse the sweetness with the mint and lime, add your white rum about 1.5 ounces (we used Faber rum which is a local brand and delicious) add your club soda to top it off, place a few sprigs of mint and a lime wedge on top for garnish and you have a beautiful and delicious Mojito! Cheers!
EGG CARTON SEED PLANTING
Onto the activities! We planted vegetable seeds in recycled egg cartons. We gave every kid an egg carton and let them fill it up with soil made for vegetable plants. Then in each egg space, they created little holes with their fingers to place the seeds in. We had a variety of vegetables for the kids to choose from, they could do as many or as few as they wanted. This is the fun part, when the kids have free rein, some were very meticulous about having equal amounts of the vegetables and some only liked one or two and filled up their whole tray with those, so cute to see what each kid decided to plant. When they were finished we covered the seeds with dirt and sprayed them with water... the seeds have already started growing and they kids are so excited!
WILDFLOWER SEED BOMBS
We also made some DIY wildflower seed bombs. The bright blue and green colors in these seed bombs are so pretty and the kids loved getting their hands a little messy! All it takes green and blue construction paper chopped up into 1 inch squares. Keep the colors in separate bowls and soak them in water for 10 minutes or so. Ring them out and put the wet paper in a food processor or blender to shred (still keeping the colors separate), once the shredded paper is back in the bowls, dump a packet of wildflower seeds into each bowl and mixed them thoroughly.
The kids each took small amounts of each color and packed them together until they formed a ball to the size they desired. We let the seed bombs dry for about a day and then planted them in a pot. Wildflowers are typically meant to be in the ground but we wanted each kid to get to go home with something pretty, so we planted them in the pots for them to water and take care of! We already have some little greens popping up, it'll be so fun to see what flowers come up for each kid!
TOILET PAPER ROLL BIRD FEEDERS
Since the kids are all getting older now, we are able to transition our activities a bit for tweens and don’t have to be as hands on as we have in the past. As definitely was the case with our Earth Day activity this year. This one is a shout out to one of our parents, retired 5th grade teacher. He used to do this with his class every year and then with Carter which made me think of it. Toilet paper roll bird feeders, takes you back to your younger days, right??
Fast forward to a few weeks ago as we started hoarding paper towel rolls without telling anyone and then kept finding them in the trash...this happened a few times until we figured out we were working against each other. So with rolls in hand we got things set up and sent out a call to arms…children needed for Earth Day activity!! The girls were so excited to lend a hand for the craft!
After they checked out the stickers, which are all pretty cool and can be found here they got down to business. Like we said, with them getting older this was clearly in their wheelhouse. They each had a knife and some peanut butter and got started spreading it on the toilet paper rolls. Once finished with that they rolled them in the bird seed, making sure that it was completely covered, then hung on a tree outside.
Toilet paper roll or paper towel roll cut into separate pieces
Twine or ribbon
Bird seed/ meal worms
Cut small holes in the side of the toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Attach twine and knot on inside, do the same to other side. This will be used to hang the feeder from tree limb.
Spread peanut butter over entire toilet paper roll.
Roll peanut butter covered rolls in bird seed.
Watch and wait for birds to come.
Pretty simple and easy, right? Let us know if you try it and send us some bird pictures of you are quick enough to get some!
Can we also talk about these balloons?! We found them and fell in love, thought they would be perfect to set the tone for our impromptu Earth Day gathering! Not everything has to be a huge deal, a few fun decorations a snack (candy in the cutest globe candy holders) and a drink and these ladies were more than happy and had a fun hour without their phones.
There are so many fun and simple ways you can celebrate Earth Day and practice a less waste more earth friendly lifestyle. Doesn’t matter what age you are, here are a few easy ideas to keep you on track all year long:
Save Energy – turn off the lights. I am sure as a mom you say this 10 times a day…hahaha
Recycle – it’s easy, saves money and creates jobs. Win, win, win
Be kind to the bees - Honeybees and the other pollinators and the invaluable pollinating services they provide us with helped produce approximately $19 billion worth of agricultural crops in the U.S. alone in 2010; that’s estimated to be one-third of everything we eat. Also the local honey that they produce has been shown to help with allergy sufferers.
Plant a Tree - Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world's biodiversity.
Use both sides of your paper, or use scrap paper to take notes – Not much explanation needed for this one.
Save water - Conserving water is important because it keeps water pure and clean while protecting the environment.
Clean up your trash - Litter can travel far and wide from the side of the road, a forest trail, and even from a landfill. Less litter in forested areas, rivers, and oceans benefits both animals and humans.
This list is clearly not inclusive, but these are all things that you can do with kids and adults of all ages to get them engaged and involved. What are some ways that you like to celebrate mother Earth? SHOP THE POST
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