Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Love your Mother Earth Day

Picture this: grandmother and granddaughter off to Ben White Raceway, not to visit the beautiful horses, although they would get a carrot or two, but to shovel up a box of manure. Could you tempt your grandchild with such “fun?” Would it be fun for you? You could certainly use the free fertilizer to grow the most beautiful roses in the neighborhood.

Now, you don’t have to go that far to impress the young ones, but sometimes an outlandish project such as that is a good way to make a point. Most grandparents today were not raised on farms like our grandparents were. There may not even be a farm nearby, but here in Orlando, there are still plenty of places where you can see Mother Earth’s beautiful face.Take a kid fishing, make a pole from a tree branch, find leftover fishing line along the shore and in the weeds of most any lake (unfortunately) tie on a tiny pine cone for a float, and make a hook from a safety pin. Then dig some worms from the rich vetatation in nearby woods and you are set for quite an adventure.
Traditionally, Arbor Day kicked off Spring and citizens all over the country were urged to plant a tree each year. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, when Arbor Day celebrations were changed to emphasize the critical importance of the environment and make the American public aware of the destruction of the earth's natural preserves. Still not a recognized federal holiday, Earth Day has helped Americans realize how they can and should do all they can to protect the environment. Here are a few things you can do: .
Even better than recycling is re-using and if you throw in an added bonus of growing fresh organic herbs, you are truly an earth lover. Make an herb garden with your grandchildren and just for fun make a Ladybug Rock while talking about the beneficial role insects play.
Tin can herb garden
  • Use hammer and nail to punch holes in bottom of clean, dry can (one with smooth opening at top)
  • Cover outside of can with leftover wallpaper or gift wrap held in place with liquid school glue
  • -or- Paint can with 1 layer of leftover house paint and decorate with paint or stickers
  • Seal with acrylic sealer spray
  • Place pebbles in can – enough to cover bottom
  • Add potting soil to 2/3rd level of can
  • Plant herb seeds (see package directions)
  • Place cans in baking pan or tray
  • Staple (or glue) seed packet to wooden popcycle stick and poke into soil near edge
  • Set container in sunny location and water daily
Lady Bug Rocks
  • Wash and dry small oval rocks that are smooth and even
  • Paint the rocks with acrylic craft paints
  • Use black sharpie to draw line down the center
  • Put dots on lady bugs’ backs using eraser end of pencil
  • Spray the finished bugs with acrylic sealer spray
  • Attach google eyes to dry lady bug
  • Sign and date the bottom
(These make great gifts for Mother or Father’s Day)
Another way to let your grandchildren feel really involved in Earth Day, is to take on a project that will improve your corner of the world. Find an area that is subject to litter bugs (but safe enough to walk), arm yourselves with trash bags, spray on a bit of earth friendly bug repellent, put on sun-block and hats, and do your part to plant a tree, clean a beach, park or roadside. End the adventure with a special treat of ice cream or cool fresh fruit and you have made a memory.

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