Nature Studies

Easy Earth Day Activities by Jen N.

spring

According to Earth Day Network, more than a billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.” First off, I thought Earth Day was a recent thing. When I researched further, I found it began in 1970.

In 1970 there was no EPA, no clean air act, no clean water act, really nothing in place to protect our environment. Fast forward to 2015. Although we still have environmental issues both new and old, there has been progress. After being asked how we celebrate Earth Day in our homeschool I started thinking that maybe we should spend at least one day a year thinking about our planet, our home. In the spirit of the day, we brainstormed a few projects to complete this weekend.

Bird seed on toilet paper rolls – 30 minutes (not including dry time)

Materials:

toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, birdseed

Smear peanut butter all over the toilet paper roll, roll it in bird seed, let dry. Afterwards you can take it and slide it on any tree branch nearby for the birds.

Plant in a reclaimed container.

Dig through your recycling bin and find a old container. You could use a steel can, the bottom half of a 2 liter bottle, the bottom of a cat litter container, the plastic bottom of a milk jug. Wash it out and punch some holes for drainage.

Let the kids decorate it with pictures cut out from magazines or their own drawings. Use Modge Podge if you want a clear coating finish.

Plant either a seed or flower in the container with dirt from your yard or potting soil.

This would be a great Mothers Day gift! If you started with seed, it should be growing well in time to hand over to Grandma.

Deluxe Soda Bottle Terrarium

  • One 2-liter bottle of soda (with cap)
  • Potting Soil
  • A handful of small stones or pebbles
  • A Marker
  • Scissors
  • Seeds
  • Seedlings (small plants) this is optional if you want to start right out with plants in your terrarium
  • activated charcoal (optional)
  • Sphagnum moss (optional)

Rinse out the bottle thoroughly and take the cap off. Drop the ingredients in this order through the top of the bottle in layers.

  1. Pebbles
  2. Activated Charcoal
  3. Spaghnum or Spanish Moss
  4. Soil
  5. More moss
  6. Plants

You can also cut the bottle in half for ease of planting. When we did this project we used the optional moss, but not the activated charcoal. It was fairly quick to complete, and we hope that our plant will grow in our terrarium.

terrarium

We also used this time to start some vegetable seeds and made a chart to track their growth. We added a seed booster to one tray. We will track the growth and see if it makes a difference.

experiment

If all of these projects sound too exhausting, just go outside and hang out. Talk about why we need to take care of the only planet we humans live on. If you are a internet family you can participate in this as well:

EPA and The Nature Conservancy are partnering on a photo project this April. We are encouraging everyone to show their love for nature by taking your very own #NatureSelfie photo. The goal of this project is to get people outside on Earth Day and connect with nature and share your love for our great Earth!

Read more: Go to the #NatureSelfie website for details on how to take and post your photos.

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