4 Ways to Teach Kids How to Recycle

The other day I was able to convince my three-year-old to sit down and watch Blue Planet II with me on Netflix. He has a deep love for the ocean (like his mama), but he LOVES to watch Boss Baby, Hercules, and Coco on a loop. It was a grand achievement to get him to watch something outside of his core selection. As we progressed through the episodes, we came to an image of a sea turtle caught inside a pile of trash in the middle of the ocean. As David Attenborough dictated the life and hardships of this turtle, I saw an intense look of worry spread across my child’s face. He could not quite understand why this sea turtle was having to struggle. I had to explain to him that some people do not care for the sea turtles like we do and that others pollute the ocean, impacting all creatures living underneath the surface.

To say he was disappointed in the litterbugs of the world was an understatement. We continued to watch Blue Planet II when suddenly I was smacked across the face with one thought – I have yet to teach my son about recycling.

At this point in the story, I welcome your judgement, because I am ashamed of my actions. I started a Be Green club in high school for heaven’s sake; my son should know how to recycle.

It is never too early to teach our children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have taken a few actions within our household to implement environmentally conscious behaviors that even our one-year-old engages in. Here are the four ways you can introduce recycling to kids.

  1. Recycling container – We have introduced a recycling bin within the house to collect all recyclable objects. We would typically pile them up and take them out to the main bin on the side of the house, but by simply purchasing a storage container, the boys are excited to recycle. They almost fight to see who can put the recyclable in the bin first. WWE championship of recycling.
  2. Get creative – What’s the saying? “Someone else’s trash is another man’s treasure.” With an egg carton, toilet paper roll, and tabs from a can of soda you now have a lively robot, shark, or man-eating dinosaur. Making a creative moment out of recyclables makes learning just a little more fun.
  3. YouTube videos – There is nothing like some screen time to make my kids stop in their tracks. While there are some awesome TV episodes that focus on recycling, there are so many options on YouTube as well. The SciShow Kids channel on YouTube not only has fun and educational videos on a variety of topics, there is a great episode all about “How Recycling Works!” Jessi and her robot Squeaks are great at paving the way for my kids to make smarter decisions when it comes to waste and recycling.
  4. Matching games – My three-year-old is currently obsessed with matching games. Matching like recyclable items, such as aluminum cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, etc. teaches him what can and cannot be recycled. Finding the big green recycling symbol is the “special” match, so he’s always on the hunt!

Since we started this adventure to keep Mother Earth happy and healthy, my kids (at least my preschooler) is a little more conscious about his actions. Before he throws anything away, he asks, “can we recycle this mommy?” It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not, we have a responsibility to take care of this planet. It is vitally important we teach our kids the importance of caring for the earth, so that it is a safe and wonderful place to live in for years and years to come.

How do you reduce, reuse, and recycle in your house? Let me know in the comments below.

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Miffy Fun – Rain Stick

Have you ever felt like you’ve done a day full of activities within the span of three hours? The weekends start early at my house and our most productive hours are first thing in the morning. We’ve gone on daring adventures, finished our errands, taken morning naps, etc. by 10 AM. When you have two kids who are lively little fellas, having an arsenal of fun activities to fill the rest of the day are essential.

Miffy and her friends have a wide variety of activities (i.e. arts and crafts, songs and dances, recipes, and more) for you and your kiddos to enjoy. My oldest has been talking about the weather at school, in particular rain. With Miffy’s April Shower activities, we spent part of our Sunday making a fun Miffy inspired rain stick.

Here’s how to make a rain stick at home:

What you’ll need:

  • Paper towel roll
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Rubber Bands
  • Dried rice
  • Items for decorating – i.e. construction paper, stickers, wasabi tape, crayons, markers, etc.

Let’s make it rain:

  1. Decorate the paper towel tube, like you’ve never decorated before! We made our rain stick look like Miffy, because she’s our favorite little bunny.
  2. Once decorated, seal one end of the paper towel roll by wrapping the end and securing it with plastic wrap and rubber bands.
  3. To make the rain sound, you will need to fold a segment of aluminum foil into a spring-shape and place it inside the paper towel roll.
  4. Carefully pour ¼ cup of dried rice or beans into the paper towel roll.
  5. Seal the opposite end of the paper towel roll with the plastic wrap and rubber band.
  6. Listen to the sounds of rain.

My kid is obsessed and wants to take his rain stick to bed, but that request is still up for negotiation. If you are looking for a fun activity that includes learning about the weather, music, and arts and crafts, this is the one for you! Make sure you check out Miffy and all her friends over at www.miffyfun.com.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MiffyandFriendsUS/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/miffy_official_usa/?hl=en

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MiffyOfficialUS

Website – https://miffyfun.com/2018/04/06/april-showers/

Christmas Crafts for Siblings

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new and cute crafts to do with the kids around Christmas time. Each year we gift our family members with new piece of personalized artwork. As the “director” of these artistic projects, I always try to do something different from the year before.

It was easier to create a festive craft when it was just one kiddo, but now with two, we have to come up with ways to incorporate both boys into the priceless masterpiece. My parents, in particular, love hand print and footprint crafts. So, I have come up with three Christmas art projects for siblings which include hand prints and footprints.

All paintings include toxic-free paints; safe for kids and animals.

Oh Christmas Tree!

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This cute craft highlights one of our favorite holiday symbols, the Christmas tree! Even though my 8 month old is only 4 pounds less than my two and half year old, my toddler has slightly bigger feet. For this painting, I pressed my toddler’s foot as the Christmas tree and used a press of the baby’s hand as the star on top of the tree. I added polka-dots and “OH” around the tree for additional pops of color.

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Perfectly Packaged 

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I used the wrapped presents under the Christmas tree as the inspiration for this colorfully pressed painting. As I was thinking about what hand prints looked like, I thought of a bow; the perfect touch to a perfectly packaged present! Since my kids are still little, this painting required a little more of a mommy touch with the designing of the present and the wording.

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Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

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Who doesn’t love good ole’ Rudy? Another hand print focused craft, the placement is critical. Have you ever tried to straighten your 8 month old’s hand as it is covered in paint in order to place it perfectly on the canvas? No?! It’s a challenge!! This is by far my favorite Christmas craft. Rudolph looks so cute (can I keep these out all year long?) and festive. You will want to make this painting with your kid(s).

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*Spoiler alert* for my family – you will be getting these crafts for Christmas. I challenge you to contain your excitement.

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What do you think of these sibling Christmas crafts? Do you think you will try these with your kids or kid? Let me know in the comments below or if you have any other craft ideas. I am always looking.

Merry Christmas and happy Holidays!