Letter of The Week – Earth Day

Earth e !

Earth Day Craft

Earth Day is coming up so to extend our learning about the earth into our regular letter of the week craft we made an earth e today. My son loves this paint roller and for a craft like this where you cover over crayon it was the perfect painting tool.  I couldn’t narrow down my books to just 3 today, they range from toddler to school age so there is something for everyone.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white construction paper ( or paper plate), another sheet for the backing, a blue crayon, a black marker, green ( or yellow and blue) paint,scissors , glue,  a dish and a paint brush or roller. Earth Day Craft
  2. Start by writing a lowercase e on your white paper. If you are me fail miserably, try again on the other side ( yes this is a picture of my better e). Still mess it up. Earth Day Craft
  3. Grab a paper plate because that was your last sheet of white construction paper, make a stencil and trace it on the paper plate. Earth Day Craft
  4. Give your child the blue crayon and explain that this e is the Earth ( show them pictures of the earth if need be to explain how the blue is the ocean and the green is the land).  Have them draw some ocean- make sure they press hard. Earth Day Craft
  5. Time to pour paint Earth Day Craft
  6. Now mix it. I prefer to do this than use the regular green if possible. It’s some extra fun and extra learning. Earth Day Craft
  7. Roll it on! Earth Day Craft
  8. Let dry and cut out.  earth day craft
  9. Glue on your backing paper. Earth Day Craft

For more letter of the week crafts check out my eBook Alphabet Crafts !  From A-Z you will be learning and creating with your child .

Books

in the garden

In the Gardenby Leslie Bockol is a little board book all about growing your own fruits and vegetables in your garden. It is simple and although it’s listed for 3-6 year olds I would read it to 1-3 year olds. It identifies a number of fruits and vegetables and completes each page with ” I pick it and eat it!” my son loved the repetition and quickly completed each page for me while I was reading it to him. I think it’s a perfect book for toddlers and young preschoolers to introduce gardening to them.

The Whole Green World

The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston was an unexpected hit with my son.  Today reading it he learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, he saw the book in our pile to read and wasn’t taken with it, but I suggested maybe just reading the first page and he was hooked. The book is really about appreciating the whole world, from the view point of a little girl who grabs some seeds, plants them , waters them and savors the beauty all around her. My son loved the sing song text and the ultra detailed illustrations by Elisa Kleven. Which my son would study with every turn of the page asking me ” Mommy which bird, which book, which cake is your favorite?” making reference to the illustrations . It was a wonderful book to snuggle up with !

Herman and Marguerite

Herman and Marguerite: An Earth Story by Jay O’Callahan is a funny story with interesting and sometimes unexpected illustrations. The story is about a worm who has heard about the orchard above and wants to see it, but the sun is threatening and he is saved by a caterpillar! They develop a friendship and because of it the orchard that was once barren starts  attracting  animals again.  It’s not all easy along the way and the worm gets to return the favor of saving the caterpillar when she gets stuck between rocks on her way to spin her chrysalis. When she emerges as a butterfly her worm friend is there and so is a beautiful flowering apple orchard!   My son liked this book , I found it somewhat disjointed and what we both thought was odd was the random inclusion of photos of the author throughout the book. “Who is that weird guy Mama?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that one. Still he sat for the whole thing, and learned just how important worms are. It won’t be renewed over and over from the library though.

EcoMazes

EcoMazes by Roxie Munro is a new book that was sent to me by the publisher for review. The idea of this book is to showcase different ecosystems like wetlands, the tundra, desert and more through both a maze and search and find game. This book is not designed for preschoolers although my son loves it. We do the maze together as that is far too complicated for him, but he loves to find the animals on each page and has learned a lot about them too. What is awesome for older children ( 7-10) is that along with an answer key to the maze and pictures there is a full page of information about each ecosystem in the back of the book. This doesn’t talk down to the reader and gives great information using sophisticated vocabulary. I am excited to see how this book’s use changes over time in my home.

Earth Day Craft

Earth Day Craft

Whether you have a budding environmentalist or astronomer this planet earth banner is a fun decoration to make and decorate with for Earth Day! My son loved this and just kept going and going!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some coffee filters, blue and green food coloring, a pen, scissors, some party streamers, an eye dropper and tape . Earth Day Craft
  2. Start by drawing circles on your coffee filters. Earth Day Craft
  3. Mix water and food coloring ( I used a lot of color so it would show up on the filters.)
  4. Using the eye droppers add the colors to your coffee filters. Earth Day Craft
  5. He was in heaven he loved making these .  I had a few layers of paper towels under the coffee filters to absorb the extra which was great since he saturated many of the filters. Earth Day Craft
  6. Let dry.
  7. Cut circles out.  Earth Day Craft
  8. Tape onto the streamer . Earth Day Craft
  9. Hang up and talk about why you made this craft, how precious and fragile our earth is and how we can help preserve it! Earth Day Craft

Our Favorite Book About Recycling

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.
Edited for 2010 : My son adores this book now at 3, and it’s been a bedtime favorite for a while.  He really enjoys the crude oil tanker at the start,  seeing the bottle made and how it ends up at a store waiting for someone to buy it.  Any kids book that uses the word polymerization proudly gets an a plus from us!

You May Also Like :
Table Top Recycling Center
Recycled World
Nature Jar

Investigate The Earth

Get Outside!


If the weather permits I am urging you to go outside and enjoy this beautiful world today. There are so many things we rush past or fail to notice and if we show down, and look at it through our kid’s eyes, we’ll learn something and so will they. Today I want to show my son why we want and need to save our environment by appreciating what we have.

Nature Detectives

It’s amazing when you introduce a simple tool like a magnifying glass how outside time changes.

We looked at bugs.

We looked at weeds

We looked at flowers

If you want you can make a small notebook for your child to record or draw what they saw on their nature walk. I chose to skip that and spend the time talking about it with my son over a picnic lunch. Each time he told me what he found he’d jump up to show me exactly where in our backyard he found it.

Happy Earth Day

For More Outside Ideas
Click Here !

Earth Day Musical Activity

Earth Tambourine !
We have been talking a lot about planet earth and music at our house. I decided to mix the two together to celebrate the earth with some home spun music. I used ribbon to secure the two plates together but if I could have found my stapler, I would have used it. Stapling is by far the best way in my opinion to keep the plates together.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 paper plates,something to make some sound ( bigger is better- pasta, O cereal) some green crayons, blue paint, a large brush or sponge( we used this sponge because my son saw it and he insisted, a regular sponge would work great), a stapler or a hole punch and ribbon.
  2. Give your child the plates and have them draw the land of the earth with green crayons. They need to press hard for the wax to be think enough for the paint to be repelled. After I showed my son how to press hard and make the green dark he was good to go. Do both plates.
  3. Cover the plates with the blue paint.The paint should be repelled from the wax, if the paint is covering it, just blot it with a paper towel. Do the 2nd plate, let dry.
  4. If you are doing the ribbons for securing the plates, punch the holes in both plates at the same time, make sure the holes are close enough together that the stuff inside doesn’t fly out.
  5. Put the pasta or cereal Os inside ( I’m using cereal Os because they were left out after an unfinished snack yesterday and I thought that is a perfect example of not wasting! ).
  6. Tie the plates together with the ribbons. Or if you are stapling, now is the time!
  7. Make some music and celebrate our wonderful world!

Books!

” The Adventures Of A Plastic Bottle “ by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

“It’s Earth Day” by Mercer Mayer . In this book in the Little Critter series, we follow along as Little Critter tries to make a climate change machine to reverse the effects of global warming. Along the way other green choices are explained like taking the school bus instead of each child being driven in their own cars, not letter water run, and the three Rs.

“BIG EARTH, Little Me “ by Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life, and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth.

Earth Day Inspired – Letter Of The Week !

Tree T !


So this was not quite what I imagined in my perfectly optimistic head, but my son liked it, after doing it we were reading a book that had trees in it and he said “Look mama, T for Tree!” I wanted to make it from mostly recycled materials, to stick with the Earth Day theme we will be doing all week. Below I have linked a reader submitted spring tree craft that would be a great add on to this activity!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cardboard egg carton, green and brown paint, glue, scissors, a marker and a large piece of construction paper.
  2. Start by drawing a large T on your paper.
  3. Cut a long piece of the cardboard off the top of the egg carton for the trunk.
  4. Paint the trunk brown
  5. Paint the bottom of the egg carton green, for older kids I would cut them before painting, but little guys need to have a larger object to paint.
  6. Let the paint dry.
  7. When the paint is dry enough to handle cut the egg carton into “Leaves” aka smaller pieces.
  8. grab the glue and add glue to the bottom of the T
  9. Add the painted trunk
  10. Add glue to the top
  11. Add the egg carton leaves.
  12. Let dry.
Books!

” the alphabet tree” by Leo Lionni is a stunning book. The book is all about letters that come together to make words and then after a caterpillar informs them that they need to say something they join together to make sentences. Up to this point the book is a brilliant teaching tool , but for me the best part is yet to come. When the words get together they decide to say ” Peace on earth goodwill toward all men” and then the caterpillar asks them to jump on his back so he can take the words to the president . Considering it was written in 1968 it’s quite the statement. A fantastic activity to do with your child after reading this would be to ask them what they would write to the president ? For younger children using letters on leaves you could spell out easy 3 letter words like they do early on in the story. All in all a brilliant book.

Chicka Chicka abc by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a favorite. A lot of parents are familiar with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom but not this shorter board book version that is perfect for young toddlers . I started my son with this one and moved on to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at about 2. The colors are so bright even the youngest of babies will like it and the rhythm of the text will keep toddlers going too!


“Up , Up, Down” by Robert Munsch is a cute and funny story about a little girl who climbs and climbs and falls and falls! She decides to climb to the very top of the tree. This time she doesn’t fall and doesn’t come down until it’s time to lecture her parents withe their own words. Kids love this book, it’s silly , it’s about climbing and has giant band aids in it, what kid wouldn’t love it?

Additional Activity
Sent In By You


Isn’t this beautiful?
Bring a little of the outdoors in , and reuse bubble wrap with this adorable spring bud craft !
Pop over to The Entertaining House for the full how to.