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

Yield: 6

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
https://jennyirvine.com/earth-day-crafts-food-and-fun-with-free-printable-download/

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

 

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How To Make Salt Dough FossilsI have wanted to make salt dough fossils for quite sometime. We are currently studying ‘Flying Creatures’ for science and making nature fossils seemed to be a perfect fit. I also teach at a local homeschool co-op once a week and we made this same salt dough recipe in class – 3 batches of salt dough later I think I have mastered the recipe and wanted to share it with you!

It is easy to work with, rolls out great, bakes up nicely, and provided hours of entertainment for many little people. Speaking of entertainment, did you make our best ever play-doh? We are due to make another batch soon. In the summer months we like to take our dough experiences outdoors for a messy, hands on, multi-sensory learning experience.

Whether you are looking to make nature fossils, cute baby foot print momentos, or ornaments – this recipe will surely be a hit for the whole family.

My head is already spinning with ideas. After all, Mothers day is just around the corner…I’m thinking a layered handprint casting is on order at My Happy Homestead stay tune for more!

How to Make Salt Dough

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups of flour
  • 1 Cup of Salt
  • 1-2 Cups of Water {depending on the humidity in the air - we used approx. 1 3/4 C}

Instructions

  1. Measure dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually add water to dry mixture.
  3. Mix with hands {it's just more fun that way} and it assures the perfect consistency. When it feel slightly moist {not dry} and not too sticky you're good to go.
  4. Roll or Pat out dough to approx 1/4in thickness. Use cookie cutters, knives, etc. for your idea shape. Press nature, hands, thumb prints, and small objects in dough until desired imprint is achieved. Careful to not push too hard and puncture the dough.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees on parchment lined cookie sheet for 2 hours
  6. Let cool. Paint with Acrylic Paint {we used water colors paint that worked too}
  7. Seal with Modge Podge.
https://jennyirvine.com/make-salt-dough-fossils/

How To Make Salt Dough Fossils-2

 

21 Day Tech Less Challenge; Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away

 

21 Day Tech Less Challenge - Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away-2 Do you have a love hate relationship with electronics? I know I do! I love it and I love to hate it.

But, recently I have found myself ‘hating’ it more than ‘liking’ it. Everything is in our face 24/7; the good, bad, and the ugly. Our kids are becoming increasingly aware of the crazy world we live in. And, we can agree it is crazy, right?

Over the last year I have fought it, ignored it, and knowingly made a choice to turn my back on it – the problem; our kids and their tech use. What started off as innocent gaming in the morning while mommy wrapped up her work – eventually led to asking for more screen time in the afternoon, and then asking for electronics again before bed.

I found myself increasingly frustrated with our children; their shorter than normal attention spans, lack of listening, and aggressive behaviors. With each passing day I resented those little devices just a little more. Until eventually I had enough and snapped.

I was scared to take them away. It was as if I felt like I was doing them some sort of disservice by eliminating something so prevalent in todays world. I struggled with feelings of being the ‘mean mom’. However, I knew in my heart – it needed to be done but, man the struggle was real!

Those little devices we hold in our hands have an ever increasing amount of power over us.  I’m guilty too {I’m sure you can relate} – if I’m searching something on my phone, can I really hear that my child is asking for a glass of water?

It’s only after I hear; “Mom, mom, MOM…for the 100th time….

I snap; “What?”

“What do you need?”

Why do we do this? Because we weren’t really listening to them in the first place. Heads down and self absorbed in our own little worlds – we are missing the little moments as well as the big.   Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away

These feelings of hatred towards these little devices only grew with each passing day…a tug on the strings of my heart. “I have to do something!”

But, what? I can’t possibly get rid of electronics in my homeschooled kids lives – after all I need to make sure our kids are ‘normal’. {By the way, when someone figures out what “normal” is please let me know – thanks}

I am a teacher. I see it. I hear it week after week in my classroom. I hear the conversations of my students – our children today aren’t talking about riding bikes, playing outside, or meeting at the neighborhood park. They are talking about “how do you get _______ ?” in such and such video game. “There’s a new update in________”, and “I found this great cheat on ______”.

Ok. let me make something clear – I’m not anti-electronics. I love technology and all that it has done for us. I blog {obviously}, I can be found on most every social media platform out there {Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and have recently ventured into the Vlogging world over on YouTube}.

Thanks to the internet I have friends all over the world – some of which I talk to more than my ‘in real life friends’. I pray for their children and their families as they do mine- they teach me and I teach them from afar. It’s wonderful gift.

The time had finally come – I needed and craved an electronic/life balance and, our home was well over due for some much needed limits and boundaries. It was time I stepped up my mothering game and not just choose the ‘easy’ road {any parent who has ever entertained children in a doctors office for any length of time will likely agree Steve Jobs is a saint.} I needed to regain control: control over the one thing I can’t buy more of – time!

21 Day Tech Less Challenge - Why I took are kids electronics away for 21 days

Our 21 Day Tech Less Challenge

We agreed that ’21 days’ would be a good ‘cleanse’ for our family – we didn’t get rid of all screens {we are still able to watch tv and use electronics for education/work purposes}.

We are currently doing a 21 Day #techlesschallenge on Instagram and have decided as long as technology is something we are engaging in TOGETHER than it is ok. But, six people with faces down in their own self absorbed electronic world was now, going to be a thing of our past.

We are already on day 3 of our 21 day #techlesschallege and the results could not make me any happier. Our kids are blossoming in so many ways – they have actually missed their little electric devises very little.

Shockingly, the child who is struggling most is the three year old. Likely because he doesn’t understand the abrupt disruption to his routine but, I know in time he too will ‘see’ all that he was missing with his face buried in that little square of bubbling lights, music, and sound.

If your reading this shaking your head – thinking ‘yes, this is my house’ then let this encourage you to make a change too. Join us and take the challenge; “putting family first, exploring more, and using tech less”.

If your reading this and patting yourself on the back because ‘your kids don’t use tech’ – humble yourself a bit and really ‘check’ do you have another vice that is holding you back from being the parent you were called to be? Reading? Television? Any ‘escape’ that carries your mind from the present situation…..change that and regain control of your most precious gift. Time!