Earth Day Crafts Food and Fun; With Free Printable Download

Earth Day is just around the corner, and it’s no secret we love being outdoors whenever possible. Whether, it is playing in the woods, gardening, or hanging by the lake. Therefore, it only seems natural to want to dedicate a day to honoring, preserving, and learning about the Earth.

Looking for some fun hands on activities or Earth Day snacks for the kids? I’m rounding up some of our homestead favorites, and sharing a bit of our Earth Day celebration with you.

Earth Day Crafts, Food, and Fun

Earth Day Collages

The kids had a lot of fun gathering old magazine, paper scraps, and tissue paper to create their interpretive Earth collages.

Draw a circle in the middle of an 8×11 sheet of paper or larger (I believe ours was 8×13)

Cut and/or rip paper in squares (hues of blues, greens, and yellows preferred)

Glue squares (hues of blue, green, and yellows) of paper onto the circle, and if desired glue a darker (black or brown) around the outside perimeter representing the earth’s atmosphere. {Note: this also really helps the earth “pop” on the paper}

Typically when the kids are doing a hands on project I try to read aloud (provided it’s a project they can do somewhat independently). – this week we enjoyed reading The Magic School House: Inside the Earth while completing our masterpieces.

Earth Day Dirt Cups 

We all know it is true – the way to their brains is through their stomachs. I’m not going to lie, I’m happier when I’m fed too – these dirt cups aren’t just for kids!

Earth Day Crafts Food and Fun; With Free Printable Download

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Earth Day Crafts Food and Fun; With Free Printable Download

Ingredients

  • Small cups for serving
  • Pudding mix (or pre-made pudding cups work too)
  • Oreo type cookie (we use a GF version from Trader Joe's)
  • Gummy Worms

Instructions

  1. Make Pudding according to package instructions
  2. Crush Oreos (we put ours in a bag and crush with the back of a spoon)
  3. Sprinkle oreos on top of pudding
  4. Add gummy worms to complete the look
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FREE Earth Day Word Search Printable

Learning about Earth Day just became fun with this Free Word Search! (and, Word Search Answer Key)

Kids can learn about Earth Day, have fun, and practice their spelling skills with this FREE Earth Day word search. Be sure and check out Education.com for more spelling resources and printables just like this.

Earth Day Treasure Hunt

We haven’t had a chance to do this super cute treasure hunt for kids via No Wooden Spoon, but hope to do so in the week ahead. (As soon as Mother Nature decides to let go of Winter that is.)

Be sure to follow along with all of our nature exploring on IG @myhappyhomestead.

Earth Day Writing Prompts

Do you have a reluctant writer in your house too?

Short little writing prompts are a life savor in our house – be sure to snag your free Earth Day printable writing prompt HERE. And, for my super-duper reluctant writers, our boogie boards have been the “cure” to the tears crying over dotted paper lines.

Wishing you all a wonderful Earth Day filled with crafts, creations, and delicious treats.

For it is when we take the time to look deep in nature we truly begin to understand everything around us a little bit better. ~Albert Einstein.

Blessings,

Jenny

 

5 Tips to Slay Your Mountain of Laundry and Not Lose Your Mind

Are there piles of laundry on your bed waiting to folded and put away? Are there piles of clothes oozing out of the hamper, and spewing onto the floor of the laundry room?

You are not alone!

As a busy mom to 4 kids twelve and under two of them being boys I know oh ‘to well the daily maintenance that is required in order to not drown in “mount clothes”.

Get your kids to help! Yes, they are completely capable even our 5 year-old is expected to do his share, and help with the laundry monster.

Here’s how I get my kids to do laundry without whining or complaining.

Our boys (5 & 7) help separate laundry into the appropriate hampers, and help transfer wet clothes to the dryers. They have also been instructed on “how to” load dirty clothes into the washer, fill the soap dispenser, and hit “start”.

You would be amazed at how well they do, and how excited they get when they get to help mom. It may only be saving me a couple minutes (switching loads, etc. ) but, minutes add up to hours.

Our girls (9 and 12) are expected to do a bit more. I will also add, we do not give our children a weekly allowance.

But, we do have “chore cards”. When a child is asked to preform a specific task; usually for the girls it is folding and putting away a load of laundry – I,

1) Ask “said child” to perform the chores (once they have been properly instructed on how to do so)

2) If “said child” is available, willing, and able he/she will do the chore when asked without whining or complaining

3) Mom inspects the work of “said child”, and signs off on their “chore card”

4) After a child has filled their chore card they may redeem their card for a $10 “pay day

5) Everyone wins!

More Laundry Slaying Tips From One Busy Family to Another…

I wash ALL of my kids clothes together – I know, gasp? Take a deep breath – yes, I do not separate my kids clothes.

Most of their clothes have been washed countless times, and for the most part fall under the category of “lights/darks”. If there is a particular outfit that requires special care then, I will set it aside and treat appropriately. But, for the most part 99% of our kids’ clothes are washed together in one to two giant loads.

Our kids have a large community hamper located in their bathroom. At the end of the day all clothes are to make their way to the community hamper (and, not to be placed on the floor) or, mom is likely to get angry.

We also have a separated hamper system (lights, whites, and darks) located in our master bedroom. The separated system helps me recognize the clothes that may need to be pulled for stain treatment and/or special temperature care.

Fold clothes as they come out of the dryer. Handle once, not twice! There are few better things on a cold winter day then, folding warm clothes. Remember wanting to snuggle in the basket as a kid?

Over the years I have tried to limit the “amount” of clothes that come into the house as well. If there are only so many clothes to choose from then, the loads of laundry are that much more manageable. Think about it, if you have enough pants that you don’t need to do laundry, but once a month – what in the world would that laundry mountain look like – huge, right?

Fewer clothes, means a more manageable mountain.

And, lastly having a “family closet” is pretty much amazing! If you can figure out “how” or “where” to put one – do it! Gone are the days of running around, and putting clothes away in six different locations. Once our clothes are washed, dried, and folded – into the family closet they go. I will share more on this system soon, but for now if you don’t I have one already – I would start thinking of where you may put one.

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How to Get Your Kids to Learn and Have Fun When It’s Cold Outside

Today, we welcome Jenny Wise (guest blogger) to My Happy Homestead. Jenny is a stay at home, homeschooling mom to four beautiful children. In Jenny’s spare time she enjoys sewing, crocheting, and taking long walks on the beach.

When the weather turns nasty, many kids have trouble finding ways to entertain themselves. Being stuck inside all day is no fun, and when it starts to snow and there’s no school, moods can turn ugly very quickly.

Fortunately, there are several fun, easy ways you can entertain your children when they can’t get outside to play, and many of them are even educational. Whether they want to learn how to conduct a science experiment with household items or how to draw, there are tons of activities your children can do at home with the help of online tutorials, apps, and learning websites. Some of these can even help your children get ahead in school or at a minimum keep up when snow days keep them home.

Here are some great activities your kids can enjoy when the weather is less than desirable.

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Learn and Have Fun When It’s Cold Outside

Science Fun With Common Household Items

There are all kinds of fun experiments and activities your children can do with common household items, such as duct tape, water, building blocks, and resealable plastic baggies. Check out this article for ideas on lesson plans and challenges your children can do either on their own or with a little help.

Dance, dance, dance

Dance is wonderful for both boys and girls of all ages. Not only does it improve coordination and strength, it’s a fun way to exercise that will get kids moving. Consider finding fun YouTube tutorials or buying a game like “Dance Dance Revolution” that will keep your little ones motivated. If your television, computer, or sound system is outdated, think about upgrading to help your kids enjoy their exercise even more. But don’t shop until you’ve done your research. Go here for more information on the best home theater systems.

Learn a new language together

Learning a new language can be fun for both you and your child, and there are plenty of learning apps for smartphones and tablets so that you can learn anywhere, at anytime. Language can help children connect with other cultures and opens up their minds to new ideas, which can be really beneficial for their education. Kids as young as four or five years old can learn Spanish, Japanese, or French—among other languages—from award-winning programs. Read this article for tips on the best ones to try.

Take a trip around the world

Help your child learn about different cultures, nature, and animals around the world with these learning apps, some of which are for kids as young as age two. Including games to help with reading skills, geography, and writing, there are several apps for both Android and Apple devices that will get your child interested in learning.

Art skills

Creativity is a wonderful thing, and most children have it in abundance. It’s important to foster those feelings and allow your children to try out different mediums, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting. Look online for some tutorials to help them bring out their imagination, and consider joining them so you can learn something new and work on being creative together.

Helping your children have fun when they can’t get outside to play will help boost their mood and allow them to stay on track with their schoolwork in some cases. Younger kids can benefit from learning apps that go over shapes, reading, matching, and rhyming. As an added bonus,  many of these things can be done independently allowing mom or dad the time to focus on what he/she may need to get done.

Sometimes helping our children learn, grow, and have fun is just a quick search away. 

This post was guest written by; Jenny Wise at specialhomeeducator.com 

Would you like to guest post on My Happy Homestead? Send inquiries to jenny@jennyirvine.com ~ Wishing you all a fun filled day!