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3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission for my family.

I’m not a fan of celebrating holidays.  The whole thing just seems like too much work.  Spending a bunch of money buying decorations, searching tirelessly for ingredients and competing with other consumers for the last ham at the grocery store, cooking a ton of food, and having a messy house all for just a few short hours.  Still, it wasn’t until this past Christmas that I realized just how important celebrating something is.  Having a child leads me to revalue the joy and togetherness that holidays bring into our lives.  Simply because we are alive, well and happy to have each other.  It doesn’t have to be one of the traditional holidays, but it should be something that is important to our family.  I’d like for my son to have fond memories of a special day that we got together and did something fun for a good cause.  So we’re starting our own traditions!

Mommy Can LearnEarth Day is this Friday and while it isn’t a homemade holiday, what better reason to celebrate than the solitary planet that homes us and provides us with food, water, and air!  Here are 3 ways that we can do a little good for our planet that does so much for us.

Teaching your kids about sustainable living

Reading books to kids is the best way to teach them about, well anything!  Learning about the importance of sustainable living is a great way to get kids involved and thinking about preserving our planet at an early age.  And once kids take an interest in something new, they’ll be sure to remind us to do our part as well.  Here are 4 great books to get started:

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

Disney Go Green: A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling

The Earth Book

Earth Day activities

Earth 911 – Cool DIY projects with reusable materials.

Education World – Earth Day lesson plans and projects – great for homeschoolers!

TinkerLab – 50 Earth Day activities for toddlers and little kids.

Utilizing sustainability sites

Freecycle – A great resource for donating and receiving free reusable goods to avoid using landfills.

Healthy Home Economist – A list of organic, non-GMO, Monsanto-free seed companies.

I Want To Be Recycled – Everything recycling!

Local Harvest – Find local farms, farmers markets, co-ops, CSAs and even pick-your-own fruit gardens.

What do you have planned for Earth Day?

 

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Easy $20 DIY Felt Board

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I am not a crafty person by any means.  Despite my lack of talent in this area, I managed to make a pretty awesome felt board for my toddler. I’ve seen some pretty snazzy felt boards out there, but who has the time or money for some extravagant project?  Am I going to get a Mother of the Week Award for the best crafts?  Nope.  Nuh huh.  I’d be lucky to get a thank you (although his smile said it all).  So I’ve streamlined this process to make it easier, cheaper, less time-consuming and not as boring as you’d think.  Everything that I used came from the Dollar Store with the exception of the felt, which came from Michael’s.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • White felt $8 (the board is 39×27 inches so I’d say about 1.5 yards per side)
  • Color felt $5
  • Tri-fold presentation board (x2) $2
  • Packing/duck tape $1
  • Fabric glue $1
  • Googly eyes $1
  • Glitter pen (optional) $1
  • Scissors
  • A few pieces of paper and a pencil (optional)
  • Music, wine, dessert (see it’s more fun already!)

Step 1: Tape the backs of each tri-fold together across the top and bottom.  Leave the flaps free.  This will make the board sturdier and able to stand upright alone.

Step 2: Glue the fabric along the edges of each side of the board.  Make sure to get it as flat and taut as possible.  Cut off the excess felt.  If you have 2 kids playing at once, then you’ll probably want to do both sides.

You’re halfway done!

Step 3: Turn on your music, pour your wine and get comfy at the table.  Pace yourself!  You are using scissors and you wouldn’t want to bleed on your felt.  That would turn this into a $30 felt board and I’m trying to keep the costs down.  Thank you very much!

Step 4: Wild card!  At this point, you can get as funky, wacky or simple as you’d like while cutting out the designs of your dreams.  At first, I wanted to do shapes because that’s what we were currently learning (and my skill level was at triangles), but then I really started getting into it!  I worked at night so my toddler was asleep and Mister was… well, I don’t know what he was doing because I was so zoned into my project.

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BONUS:  An easy way to get fancy with your designs is to draw them on paper, cut the design out and lay it over the felt. Trace the design and cut the felt.  Simple.

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You can add googly eyes, glitter, puff balls or whatever you need to suit your creative palate.

GeorgeWeezy

George & Weezy

BarackMichelleBirds

Barack & Michelle

If you want to make a person and clothes, draw an outline of your person, fold it in half length-wise so that it is symmetrical and cut it out.  Then place a piece of paper over the cut-out and trace an outline of the body to make whatever kind of clothes you want.

Step 5: Present the felt board to your child and play with them!

So there you have it folks!  The easiest, cheapest felt board that will make your toddler think you are a rockstar.  You’re welcome ;-).  This board conveniently folds up to fit into a closet or behind a bookshelf for easy storage.  If you really enjoyed this project or you’d like to get a little more imaginative with it, you can make cut-outs for each season, numbers, letters, shapes, animals or any other learning activities and separate them into sandwich bags to keep them organized.  This would also make an awesome homemade present.

Leave a comment below to let me know how it worked out for you!