Monday, May 3, 2010

Earth Day Festivities

It has always been a goal of mine to celebrate Earth Day with my kids. Last year I think I actually forgot about the holiday until afterwards. This year I planned way in advance. I came up with a plan of activities to do through out the week including crafts, games, and projects. I designed an FHE lesson to go with the theme, and even found some really yummy treats to make.

Overall I will admit the week didn't go as planned, but that was only because some of the kids were sick and it became really cold.

My Earth Day Week Plan consisted of this:

Monday: Family Home Evening dedicated to the creation story, decorating pots, planting seeds in them, and then a special treat: Rice Krispie Colored Earths.

Throughout the rest of the week I wanted to make coffee filter worlds, habitat boxes, and color pictures for decorations at our Earth Day Party planned for Thursday.

I wanted to take the kids on a walk to pick up garbage and then go to the Montezuma Wild Refuge about 10 miles from our house. They have trails and everything. Most important... it's free.

I had even found some cute movies the boys would like for a special Earth Day Movie night. Owen and Adam like Bob the Builder. He has a great video about a special project. The whole theme of the movie is "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" The Bernstein Bears also have an episode about saving the earth where they come up with projects they can do in the community to help out. Of course I don't remember the titles of these movies, but they do exist because we have them.

Lastly, we were going to go all out and have a special Earth Day Party on Thursday. I had planned on decorating, making dirt cups for the boys, possibly decorating some sugar cookies, having a great meal and just having fun with the whole idea.


Monday night went as planned, except for planting seeds. Owen had no desire to do this. Also, there was no immediate satisfaction for him. Instead we went outside and planted my flowers from Easter in the backyard. I do believe the woodchuck that lives near our house has already eaten them.

The Earth Rice Krispie treats turned out well. The boys really liked them. All you do to make them is follow the recipe for regular Rice Krispie Treats, but split the melted marshmallows and margarine into two pots. Add food coloring to each, one blue, and one green. Let the mixture cool off a little, otherwise it's impossible to shape the balls. Once the balls are shaped-Voila!Like I said, they were a definite hit!After Monday we didn't do anything until Thursday. It was cold and kids were sick. On Thursday I tried my best to make the day really fun, but all of my efforts seemed to go wrong somewhere. In the end the kids didn't know the difference and were completely content and excited about the holiday, but I felt bad.

We tried making the coffee filter worlds. They are really easy. Take blue and green markers, color a coffee filter and then spray it with a spray bottle. The colors spread and run together. It looks like the Earth when finished.

I got out the markers and coffee filters. Owen and Adam each colored one, and then... I couldn't find our spray bottle ANYWHERE. We didn't get to finish them. Of course the next week I found it, but they weren't interested then.Instead I pulled out some Endangered Animal Coloring pages I had found. They didn't care one bit and loved coloring the animals.After the coloring pages, we had a simple lunch and then the boys took a nap. While they napped I tried making the pudding for the dirt cups. I had read that Oreo cookies and Jello Pudding mixes are dairy free. Surprise! It's true. Although there are some types of the pudding that do include dairy. Anyways, I had purchased vanilla pudding mixes and vanilla Oreo cookies, along with some gummy worms. Owen's milk worked great with the pudding mix. Adam's formula... not so much. It never thickened. When it came time to actually have the treat that night, Adam didn't get any. I was really disappointed. Although, Owen didn't eat any either. When he looked at it, he refused to eat it. He's a very picky eater. Unless he's tried something before, the chances are good he'll refuse.

So, my husband and I enjoyed the special treats. Meanwhile, Owen ate all of the gummy worms while Adam ate WAY too many Oreo cookies.

After Owen finished the gummy worms, he also ate Oreos. I was bumbed my plan hadn't worked as I had planned, but we still had LOTS of fun celebrating the special holiday. Owen now knows what the Earth is and picks it out any time he sees it. Adam now knows what an Oreo is and actually has been known to wake up at 4:30 AM asking for them.

We never did end up watching a movie because the boys wanted to watch Go! Diego Go! instead. But hey, that's all about endangered animals so it counts too right?

I'm vowing that next year will go much better. We're definitely going to make the habitat boxes and go to the Montezuma Refuge. Meanwhile, it's still very safe to say we're having fun with food allergies as we celebrate Earth Day!

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