Recycling Think and Sort Game

easrth day activities for kids

There is no way I would have ever expected this game to be half as popular as it is with my son. He has always loved garbage and recycling, but he took what I thought would be a fun activity and made it something he uses with this other toys. Calling it his recycling depot he has plopped it down on our family room floor all weekend next to the lego fire station and ferry dock. Oh and he continues to sort and re sort the items too! He’s using his imagination, pre math skills and problem solving too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 containers, some card stock, magazines , scissors, and double stick tape.
  2. Start by cutting out different recyclable and non recyclable  items. This is where they need to really stop and think . If you are doing this with a younger or easily frustrated kiddo do this step yourself and have the game ready for them to figure out. My son was reading when I did this step , it would have been too much for him to make and play the game.
  3. Tape them onto the card stock. I am using some of the 250 plus business cards that read notimeforflashcards,com  <— did you catch the comma? I digress. 
  4. Make simple recycle and garbage signs on some card stock and place in the containers.
  5. Ok time to play.
  6. Something I loved about this was how hard he thought about each picture. With the kleenex he said ” Well we throw away the tissue with boogers but recycle the box…” then thought for a while before deciding. After this super simple activity he has been asking ” Is this recyclable Mama? “About everything in our house!

Books

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.

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Snake and Worm Crafts

Ewww! Snakes and worms? Who would want to make snake and worm crafts? Kids! They love them . Here are some of our snake and worm crafts and activities for you and your kids to enjoy.

Shape Snake

Worm Painting

Snake S

Worm Hunting

Jingle Bell Rattle Snake

Worms in the Dirt Dessert

Apple Craft For Kids

apple craft for kids

We made this apple craft weeks ago but wanted to wait until people were settled in the school year and the leaves turned a little more before posting. Originally I planned this as a garland ( which is why there is no paper plate in the materials picture) but decided that a wreath would be nicer and my son could do more of the steps with me if it was a wreath.  So grab an apple, some paint and make this fall decoration for your house today.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an apple, a plate, some red and green paint, knife,  craft paper , painters tape, scissors, glue and a paper plate.
  2. Before inviting your child to come paint cut a large piece of craft paper off a roll ( find them for cheap at walmart – in the office supply section) and tape it to your work surface with painters tape. 
  3. Pour some red paint into the plate.
  4. Cut your apple lengthwise.
  5. Start printing! If you have never done this with your child show them how to make a print by stamping and removing. If they just want to smear it that is fine too – you can just cut the smears into apple shapes if you want to make the wreath or just let them explore. My son did a little of both.
  6. Next dip your child’s thumb or finger into the green paint to make stems.
  7. Let dry.
  8. Cut the apples out.
  9. Cut the middle of the paper plate out.
  10. Add glue to the ring of plate. Did you notice the new PJs? It’s the next day, when the apples dried my son was not interested in finishing the craft, so we waited until the next day. Don’t force them to finish ( I am preaching to myself here too ;)   ) keep it casual and fun.
  11. Add the apples!

Apple Picking!

I have more than a few apple picking field trips under my belt and you can too with  this website that lists a wide range of pick your own farms in the US and around the globe.

www.pickyourown.org

Happy Brown House

Animal Track Painting

I can’t even remember what inspired this, I know my son thought of it but I can’t remember now what preceded me saying ” How about making animal tracks?”. All I remember is that he bounded to the table, which is not always the case . This is a fast project, to stretch it out introduce new paint colors , new animals and more paper one at a time.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun toy animals, a plate, paper,markers and paint.
  2. If you want you or your child can draw some scenery.
  3. Spread some paint on your plate and dip your animal in.
  4. Start making some tracks.
  5. Add the next paint color and more paper if you want and keep going.
* After we painted we went for a walk outside and pretended to look for and follow animal tracks. We tippy toed for mouse tracks , hopped for bunny tracks and stomped around the patio when we “found” elephant ones. *Books !



Animaliaby Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!

“Peek-a-Zoo!”by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound , so it grows with them. Also the flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.
“Is Your Mama a Llama? “ by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite most of this book . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.

Shape Turkey Craft For Kids

When you are teaching shapes it’s easy to fall into a rut, this activity is a great example of how to mix shapes into art seamlessly. This is a fun way of including Thanksgiving crafts into your math lesson.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need Various colors of construction paper, googly eyes, scissors, glue and markers.
  2. Give your child a piece of construction paper you have cut into a big square, have them decorate it with markers ( or crayons) if they are old enough you can ask them to draw the very first thanksgiving, or maybe a farm scene. If they want to just go abstract that’s perfect too.
  3. While your child is drawing cut out 5 hearts 4 large and one tiny.
  4. Next cut out a large oval, a rectangle , a small circle and a triangle.
  5. Time to start gluing! Start with your hearts. Arrange them so that the points are down , they are going to be the feathers.
  6. Next glue the oval lengthwise over the bottom of the hearts.
  7. Now the rectangle. When something has to be glued in a certain direction I like to add the glue first so my son can see how it goes without me looming over him, then he can succeed on his own!
  8. Add the circle for the head.
  9. I did the googly eyes because my son was trying to put it in his mouth (will it never end?) , also add the triangle and tiny heart for a beak and waddle.

Song!

I have a turkey, big and fat.
He spreads his tail and walks like that.
His bowl of corn he would not miss
And when he talks, it sounds like this
Gobble Gobble Gobble!