Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Earth Day! How We Celebrated

Happy Earth Day! 

I hope that you all enjoyed your day! Little Michael and I spent the day talking about Planet Earth, why it's important to care for it and different things that we can do to be good stewards of the Earth and what God has created.

Little Michael has been really fascinated by the birds that have made our backyard their home. I'm pretty sure a nest full of baby birds just hatched, since I can hear tiny little "tweet, tweet, tweets" from the small tree on our side yard. That combined with (what I assume to be) a mommy and daddy bird darting in and out of the tree add up to a new birdy family! I have been trying to think of ways that we can make our backyard as attractive as possible to our little birdy friends and bring in some Earth Day relevancy to little Michael.

I had been looking around Pinterest for some craft ideas and this morning, as we finished up our milk, the light bulb went off! A recycled milk carton bird feeder!

I washed out the milk carton and little Michael helped me gather our supplies.

*Additional tools not pictured: scissors and/or a razor blade to cute the milk carton open with.* 

Creating your Recycled Milk Carton Bird Feeder:

Step 1: Clean out your milk (or juice) carton 

Step 2: Cut an opening on each side of your carton with the razor blade/box cutter/scissors. You can cut whatever shape you want. I made a "house shape" (square with a triangle on top). :) *note: this is one of the "adult" parts of this craft. I did not let little Michael help me with this part. He is 3, so this would be up to your discretion as a parent and your confidence with your childs ability to use sharp instruments.*

Step 3: Puncture a hole beneath your opening for the stick that the birds will perch on. *note: this is another part of the craft that I did, since I used our razor blade to cut the hole.

Step 4: Push the stick though one hole and then through the other. I used a candy/lollipop stick that I got at the craft store in the candy making section. I had it on hand and you can use whatever you have in your closets. Other ideas: chopsticks, twigs from outside, un-sharpened pencil...

Step 5: I punched a hole on either side of the top of the carton, right under the triangle where the top seam is. Little Michael picked out his pipe cleaners to thread through the holes and we twisted them together. You could also use yarn or string. 

Step 6: Fill the bottom with bird seed

 Step 7: Take outside and hang it somewhere where you will be able to see it easily. We hung ours from our patio cover. It is the perfect spot! We can see the birds fly in to have their snack from our back slider door. The birds have been expressing their thanks by singing so beautifully for us! 

This was such a fun and easy craft for us to do together! Although there were some aspects of it that little Michael couldn't do all by himself, due to safety concerns by me, he still had fun!

Books We're Reading this Earth Day:
  • Plant a Tree for Me! - A Sesame Street board book where the monsters from Sesame Street talk about how trees are good for the environment and it goes through the life cycle and seasons of tree. 
  • What Do You See? - This is a fun lift-the-flap book about endangered animals that teaches children that they can help them survive. Bonus- the book is made from 100% recycled materials!

  • One Tree - This book is about the life cycle of a tree and the different animals and insects who benefit from it. One tree can be a home or food to so many different creatures! I also love that this book is made from recycled materials, printed with eco-friendly inks and the last page has some great info that helps parents further the conversation of eco-conscious choices with their little ones.

  • Little Helpers -  A cute book about how all the little things we do every day can make a big difference to the planet.Also made from recycled materials, printed with eco-friendly inks and the last page has info that helps parents further the conversation of eco-conscious choices with their little ones.

We had a such a fun Earth Day! How did you celebrate?

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