Since Earth Day was on a Sunday this year, I thought it only appropriate that I dedicate a full week of Em's tot school to teaching her why we celebrate a holiday specifically for our Earth, and what types of things we can do specifically to help make it more beautiful and clean! Sustainability and living green is something that I've always been fairly passionate about but am not very vocal with because I know that there are so many others that do SO much more than me, but I knew that if I wanted Em to share this same desire to live a cleaner life that she was going to learn it through teaching and example, so this week just felt like the perfect opportunity to put a little bit more of a focus onto the little things that we already care about and work towards each day in taking care of our little green slice of home. Because I'm a big believer that caring for the Earth is something that should be done every day and not just once a year, I'd encourage you to still incorporate this activities into your own tot school routine even with the holiday already passing. With spring & summer coming up, these are perfect activities to do with your kiddos to celebrate the warm weather and all the beauty that comes with it!
Tot School Week 8: Earth Day
Theme: Earth Day
Snacks (One per day):
Books (We read one book a day specific to the weekly theme):
Monday - Earth Day Create a Book Activity & Earth Themed Phonics Cards. The little create a book I found for Emery was filled with cute pages about different things that she could do to show love towards the earth, and the point of the vocabulary cards was more to help her understand what some of the things that we'd be doing this week were actually called. For the sake of also working to show Emery to not create unnecessary waste, we actually left the pages for the book out on her table for a couple of days so that every time she wanted to color a picture she was using the same paper, and using both sides of the paper for coloring as well (a specific suggestion from her "10 Things I Can Do to Help My World" book).
Tuesday- Sing songs about recycling & recycle old plastic grocery bags. Emery is literally the only person on this planet that appreciates my tone-deaf singing voice and loves hearing little songs throughout the day, so when I found these two cute poems about recycling put to common nursery rhyme tunes I knew they'd be perfect for our recycling day! Our part of Kentucky unfortunately isn't the most recycling friendly part of town (we don't have separate garbage bins for it, etc) BUT I remembered that our local grocery store had large bins at the front of their store where people could bring in their old grocery bags to be recycled. We usually use reusable grocery bags to cut down on waste (plus they're bigger and more durable), but had collected up a few of the plastic ones over the months from shopping trips where we either had more groceries than bag space or had accidentally left our bags at home. After singing our recycling songs that morning, Em and I walked to our local grocery store (for exercise and the sake of keeping the air cleaner), and put our collection of plastic bags into the recycle bin. Emery loved being able to put the bags in the bin and kept saying "we-cycle" to everyone she saw throughout the rest of the day to show off her newly learned word. 😂
Wednesday- Earth Play-dough activity & Nature Walk. We started out this morning by reading our "What a Wonderful World" book, which is literally just the lyrics to the classic song sung by Louis Armstrong put to beautiful colorful illustrations in a child's board book. Emery LOVES this book (and the song now too because of it), and I thought it applicable since the overall theme of the song/book is appreciating the different things in the world around you. After reading the book, I opened it to a page that had an illustration of the earth on it, then gave Em our homemade blue play-dough and some green buttons (green play-dough could work too with older kids) and let her make her very own "earth" with the supplies. That afternoon Kyle happened to get home early from school and had some rare free time, so we went and walked our favorite nearby walking trail, pointing out the "trees of green, red roses too....skies of blue, and clouds of white..." and all of the other beautiful parts of the trail.
Thursday- Garden-themed sensory bin. Every year in the spring we plant flower boxes as a family tradition, but because of yo-yo type weather, have been waiting to put them in until after Kyle's finals/random cold days that would freeze the flowers. As a way to help get Emery prepped for the real thing, we pulled out some old silk flowers from our garden-themed halloween costume a few years back and put them in the bin with some kid's gardening toys from Target's dollar section and let Em practice "planting" the flowers. The weather on this day was actually pretty nice, so we moved the activity outside onto our porch to help tie in the outside element - Em loved being able to play with her bin outside, and the cleanup was easier too since the stray rice wasn't falling into carpet so overall the activity ended up being a win!
Friday- Earth themed kid yoga & putting up bird feeders. Emery will do parts of my yoga/pilates routine with me every morning, but on Friday I wanted to make the yoga a little more centered around her and connecting to the world around her. Along with example, most yoga is taught to kids by connecting the different poses to things around them that they already know and recognize, so when I found this list of earth/garden themed yoga poses for kids I thought it'd be fun to try with Emery. Em's level of bounciness and energy is EXTREMELY high (even for a toddler) so I really enjoy using yoga as a way to help calm her down a little bit while still doing something that involves movement to keep it fun. That afternoon after her nap, we put together some bird feeders that I'd picked up from our local feed store and picked out some trees around our complex to hang them up in. I'd looked into doing some sort of DIY bird feeder as well, but after some research found that at least for us just buying the pre-made feed/cages to put it in was a cheaper and easier option. Emery has been loving birds lately, so having an activity focused around doing something nice specifically for them was really good for her. As an ode to our sweet KY home, we bought feed specifically for our Northern Cardinals (our state bird) as well as other song birds, and the music that they've been making around our apartment ever since has been so fun to experience!
That wrapped up our Earth week of tot-school! Our next tot-school blog post will be focused on counting from 1-10, we hope that you'll all feel welcome to join us next week for all of the counting fun! Thanks so much for following along! Happy schooling!