Make a Mud Pie, Build a Fort

Enjoy Earth Day With These Fun Activities While kids–when they're young–may not know much about the Earth, there is no doubt that they know how to appreciate it. When was the last time–as an adult–that you hugged a tree, made a mud pie, built a fort in the backyard, or laid down in the grass to watch the clouds pass? We are busy 'adulting'.  It doesn't always lend itself to these fun activities, but it should. It's about choices, and making time for the things that make us happy, and make us feel good. So, to celebrate Earth Day this year go and enjoy the Earth. Forget the to-do lists, laundry, and grocery shopping for a little while. You'll be glad you did. Here's a list of things to-do with children–or to appease your inner-child–not to be confused with a to-do list. Plant A Garden                                                        A mother and her daughter are repotting plants at the garden table Getting your kids interested in sticking their hands in the dirt shouldn't be a difficult task! Gardening is surely an activity that will stay with your child as they grow up. Running out each day to check on planted seeds is exciting, waiting for the first sign of a sprout. Just simply planting seeds is a great activity in itself to help connect to the Earth, and gardening will allow children to see (in a gentle way) the cycle of life. Planting a garden will also help to teach children about the importance of patience. While we all wish they could, plants and flowers just don't bloom over night. It's a slow and steady process that requires time, care, and attention. Learning about what has to be done after seeds are planted is essential, too. This will, in turn, teach children about responsibility in caring for something (side note: if they're begging for a pet, taking care of a plant may be a good place to start them!). Upcycled Arts & Crafts First and foremost, understand and teach your kids about upcycling. Dishfunctional Designs simple explains upcycling as repurposing a new item, “With upcycling, an item is no longer being used for its intended purpose, but is repurposed–given a new purpose–and along with this new purpose (and this is the important part) it is also given an increase in value (usually both aesthetically and monetarily.) "It is worth more in its new form.” All through with a paper towel roll? You've got the perfect starting piece for an upcycled DIY project. Did you know a paper towel roll can be used to create a homemade kaleidoscope? Your daughter recently dropped spaghetti sauce on her favorite white sweater? Parting with it may not be something she's willing to do just yet. Why not have a fun tie-dye day with her? Repurpose what would have otherwise been a throw-away sweater for a colorful “new” one! Make a Bird Feeder Get outside, and get lookin' for your natural resources. There are plenty of ways to make your own bird feeder, of course, but scouring the backyard or park for pinecones is too fun to pass up. So, for this one we say pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed is the way to go. These are really easy to make, and sitting back and watching the birds fly over to enjoy a tasty treat will be fun for the whole family. If you don't live near an area where pinecones are plentiful there are a ton of other resources you can use to create a homemade bird feeder–check them out at DIY & Crafts. Recycling Project Recycling is such an important element of taking care of the Earth. Help children understand this by making recycling fun, and a family affair. Sure, it may be hard to imagine how to make recycling “fun” for a child, but there are ways to do it, we promise! We've almost all got our own recycling bags or bins, so why not use them as an object for a game. Kids can be notoriously competitive, so why not host your very own recycling competition? With personalized recycling bins or bags for your children they can spend a week seeing who can recycle the most. Babble even suggests making a trip to a recycling center. This will definitely be a new experience for the whole family, and an eye-opening one at that. As Babble says, visiting recycling centers will give you and your family a chance to, “Meet the people that work at the recycling center and learn about where all the recycled material goes. You can also find out if there are ways you can volunteer as a family at the recycling center.” Not sure where recycling centers are located? Visit I Want To Be Recycled to learn more. Show your gratitude to the Earth, enjoy it, and treat it kindly. Spread the Earth Day love & fun and partake in one–or all–of these activities! Have a favorite activity you don't see listed here? Share it with us in the comments section!