Earth Day Activities for Kids & Parents
If you imagine yourself traveling out into space and looking down at our world from a distance, you’ll see that all the things we know—our homes, families, friends, food, forests, animals, rivers, and seas—are down here on Earth. If we believe just a little bit of what we read and see on the TV, and if we take it as fact that our “Mother Earth” is sick, stressed out, and generally very unhappy, then it’s plain to see that we must begin to look after our wildlife, care for our plants, reduce pollution, and generally clean up our way of living. Think about it—if Mother Earth is all we have, and there’s nowhere else to go, we simply have no other choice than to look after our environment very carefully. Believe it or not, one person can make a difference. Here are three projects for kids and parents can do together to help Mother Earth.
From renowned National Wildlife Federation naturalist and TV host David Mizejewski comes a new book to show you how to create a magical ecosystem right in your backyard!
This book demystifies the growing of fruit and vegetables and shows that, with the right approach, it can be done successfully as a weekend project or fit into a busy week.
Growing an Avocado from Seed
Produce your own produce! Did you know that you can regrow potatoes, spices, pineapples, celery, and more? Inside Regrow Your Veggies, you can find out how to grow vegetables from roots, cuttings, and scraps. Enjoy this avocado growing section from inside the book!
1. Gently remove the avocado seed, wash it thoroughly under cold water, and dry it off. Using four toothpicks, poke holes into the seed at even distances apart. Poke the holes slightly below the middle
half of the seed.
2. Place your toothpick-avocado seed construction on a small glass of water. The toothpicks ensure that only the lower part of the seed is submerged in water. A bright and warm location is important. Also, make sure to regularly change the water.
3. After a few weeks, you will start to see roots growing from the bottom of the seed. Eventually, the tip of the seed will break open and a small stalk will emerge. Continue to change the water regularly and give the plant some time.
4. After a few weeks, you will begin to see the first leaves. Once the plant is 6–8in tall, you can plant it in soil. Make sure that everything but the top of the seed is covered in soil. A bright area and regular watering will help your avocado continue to grow.
Get more tips on how to harvest and use avocados inside Regrow Your Veggies!
Don’t rebuy your veggies, regrow them!
- 21 delicious foods that can be regrown at home, from scallions and lettuce to galangal, Jerusalem artichoke, and mango
- Step-by-step instructions and photography to help you effectively propagate your favorite vegetables, herbs, and fruits
- Troubleshooting advice, including dealing with pests, pathogens, and mold
- Save money and time at the grocery store by sustainably regrowing your own produce
Add some things to your garden space that will attract honey bees and other useful pollinators to your area. All gardeners know the importance of pollinators, so we think it only makes sense to fill your
garden—and its vicinity—with plenty of wonderful flowers and flowering plants and trees that will help bring in honey bees from all directions. Here are several plants that will attract bees to your garden from Authors Samantha and Daniel Johnson in their Garden DIY Book:
1. Bee Balm. This is one of our favorite flowers to have around the house and garden. The vivid colors and unique shape of bee balm make it a fun plant to have around, plus the bees love it. Expect to see
some butterflies and even hummingbirds exploring the flowers, as well.
2. Dandelions. Some folks may dislike dandelions, but the bees love them, especially in the early spring before many other nectar sources are available.
3. Goldenrod. Goldenrod spreads quickly and can be unsightly once it fades, but in the late-summer while the yellow flowers are blossoming, bees will enjoy them.
4. Chives can be a fun herb to have in your garden. They’re hardy and easy to grow, plus they can be put to use in recipes. Chives bloom early in the year with a spectacular assortment of circular purple flowers that honey bees seem to enjoy a lot.
From a rain barrel and birdbath to growing potatoes and creating garden marker rocks, check out 25 fun-to-make projects for an attractive and productive garden with Garden DIY.
Make the most of your garden!
- 25 step-by-step projects that are easy to accomplish with only basic techniques and inexpensive materials
- Over 600 photos and illustrations take you through every step and process
- Create bee-friendly flower gardens, mason bee house, trellises, raised beds, cold frames, compost bins, birdbaths, garden gates, benches, and more
- Complete plans, how-to photos, construction and painting tips, and a cut list, skill level, and time frame for each project
All life needs water
Water is all around us, in lakes, rivers, and the sea, but purifying and pumping it takes power (producing harmful carbon dioxide). Here is a way to collect and filter water and save on that power. The filtered water can be used for washing, washing-up, or boiling (DO NOT drink it without boiling it first) and any wastewater from the sink is drained into a bucket and used for watering plants.
1. Arrange the bricks and slabs so that you have platforms that can support the sink and the two water barrels (one barrel should be at a slightly higher level so that the water can run downhill from one to the other). The heights of the platforms should allow room for a bucket to sit below the tap in the filter barrel, and for water to run from the sink along a gutter pipe into a waste bucket. Install the two barrels and sink, and connect the main barrel to the gutter with a downspout.
2. Mark the position of the overflow pipe on the main barrel and the inflow pipe on the filter barrel. Drill holes and link the two barrels with a short length of pipe.
3. Use odds and ends of batten and plastic guttering to make a channel running from the underside of the sink and down toward the waste bucket (which might need to be set in a hole in the ground).
4. Fill the filter barrel with the layers of filter material— gravel, charcoal, and sand—as shown in the diagram above.
5. If you like, you can paint the barrels in your favorite colors to jazz them up a bit.
Everyone’s interested in becoming more “green” these days—why should kids miss out on the fun?
- 28 exciting STEAM projects that combine creative play with eco-awareness
- Inspiring ideas range from building a wind turbine and a go-kart to creating light, growing vegetables, and making green gifts
- Support a firm foundation in STEAM, as science, technology, engineering, art, & math are key areas to help students to reach their potential
- Apply STEAM to fun activities and watch as learning takes on a whole new meaning!
More Gardening & Nature Projects
Savor the summer season with this strawberry jam recipe! From strawberry preserves to canning pickles, the new Preserving the Season book will inspire you to start canning.
A beverage garden combines two of the things I love most: great drinks and a garden filled with the ingredients to make them. Enjoy a excerpt including recipes from the new Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails, Teas & Infusions Book.
Composting makes the world go round. It recycles the nutrients that make plants (and animals) grow, feeds the bugs that keep the soil healthy and is a sustainable, low-cost way of dealing with “rubbish that rots.” And it can be fun too.
When you start your own tomatoes from seed, you can grow wonderful varieties that you just can’t find already started for you at a garden center.
With limited windowsill space, partial shade plants are an essential indoor plant for every jungalow. Catherine Delvaux, the author of 50 Simple Indoor Miniature Gardens, shares her top 10 indoor plants that can live in a limited amount of soil and light, grow well, and resist diseases and pests.
Gardens are all things to all people – a place for reading, a place for growing tasty vegetables, a place for creating a private paradise, or even a place for breeding chickens. No matter if you have an urban or community garden or a huge yard filled with different plant species, here are 10 tips from our new books that will work for any garden size.
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