Eco-Friendly DIY Projects You Can Make With Your Kids

There is nothing better than crafting with your kids to impart to them the value of taking care of our environment. Making it fun, and informative you will be sure to impress on their minds a love for nature and all that is clean and beautiful about it. Eco-friendly becomes a way of life this way!

Going into spring, I wanted to instill in my children a sense of season and all that is beautiful and exciting about it! Think – new blossoms, spring veggies and fun! Here we go. These 8 crafts are things you will not only be able to use as a learning method, but also in having fun with and creating a stronger bond with your kids.

 

Let’s go gardening!

 

There is something so special to a child to get to eat the vegetables planted by their own hands. This project kept us busy for a few Saturday mornings, and their excitement was a treat!
Egg carton planters

I had been storing up all my egg cartons for just this purpose. It looks earthy and can be written on, that is off course the paper mache type holders. If they are flat at the bottom it can be separated. If not, it’s best to keep them attached so it doesn’t run the risk of falling over. I am a fan of making things look fun and whimsical, so I decided we would make labels for the seedling planters.

We took

  • colored paper string,
  • cardboard, a punch for the hole and
  • some colored sharpies.

 

I did the cutting and punching beforehand, and had the children write the type of seedling they were planting on there, and fasten it with the string. After cleaning the crafting mess, we got the potting soil and seeds, and got our hands dirty.

We planted carrots, cherry tomatoes, peas and strawberries – all things children will be able to pick, rinse and eat on the spot! With all the excitement created, be sure to keep a fresh fruit salad or something delicious and fresh for the hungry tummies that will follow.

After a few weeks, we spent another Saturday morning preparing the soil and planting out our seedlings. Make sure to plant the peas and cherry tomatoes by a fence or create a support structure for them to grow against. Even a pallet will do!

Bird feeder!

I have a whimsy for garlands and decorating trees. We turned this into a fun project that also helped the children understand the value of caring for wildlife. As a bonus, they will also see all kinds of seed eating birds in their own backyard, more than they would have normally.

 

You will need:

  • A packet of bird seed
  • An envelope of gelatin
  • Enough water to mix the gelatin as per instruction
  • Cookie cutters,
  • Straws
  • Colored string
  • Wax paper
  • Coconut oil for non-stick purposes.
  • A small basting brush

Boil the water and dissolve the gelatin in it as per packet instructions. Mix in a ¾ cup of birdseed. Oil the cookie cutters and wax paper. Place cookie cutters on the wax paper and press the cooled seed mixture into the cutters, smooth it out with the bottom of a measuring cup. Press a straw all the way through where you intend tying the string so the feeder can hang off a branch. Let it harden overnight, then make an outing of hanging it on branches.

 

Eco-Tie-Dye

We also decided to have fun with some old, white T-shirts by doing an eco-tie-dye. We took this outside to minimize the inevitable mess, and carried a big old tub outside. We soaked the shirts in a tub of equal parts cold water and vinegar. Tying the T-shirts in sections, we had a blast squirting the wet T-shirts with some food coloring. We then tied the T-shirts up in a plastic bag and let them sit overnight. Be sure to wash shirts by hand and separated from each other; the color may bleed or run out of the shirts entirely. You can also add eco-friendly clothing labels with your family’s name to make it extra special! Visit this website for more information.

ParkLives is back in Birmingham this Summer

Following on from last year’s ultra successful Summer programme,  ParkLives is back in Birmingham, offering a range of free, family friendly activities in parks across the Birmingham area. This year, the activities are branching out, and include brand new and unusual family-friendly sessions such as Circus Skills, Vigor Boarding and even outdoor barn dancing.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Monika Meszaros 31 with son Kaniel 3 on the giant Connect Four

The ParkLives initiative is run by Coca Cola Great Britain in conjuction with Active Parks Birmingham, and is firmly committed to getting families fit, active and enjoying the beautiful outdoor space that we have in abundance in Birmingham. This year, 60 parks will be running programmes until 4th September, including Lickey Hills Country Park, Handsworth Park, Pipe Hayes Park and my personal favourite, Sutton Park.

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

Park Lives at Alexandra Park in Moss Side Manchester
Pictured Chloe aged 4 with parents Dave and Rebecca Coats

ParkLives offers 30 different activities including the rather intriguing laughter Yoga, Nordic Walking, Zumba and Tai Chi. Other highlights include:-

  • Woodland Activity [Mondays, 10.30am, Balaams Wood] – a chance to make friends with the city’s creepy crawlies on a guided hunt for ladybirds, spiders, beetles and more
  • Bushcraft [Alternating Thursdays from 11th August, 3.15pm, Muntz Park] – outdoor fun for creative families with young children including nature detective work, making mud pies, messy art and mixing magic potions
  • Free Family Fun [Taking place across 39 parks in Birmingham] – bitesize beginner sessions of traditional park games such as football, rounders, badminton, cricket, archery and tennis, as well as arts and craft sessions and large scale board games.

Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Ian Ward says: “ParkLives offers a free, fun way to keep the kids entertained and active this summer. We’ve got loads of free sessions across the city and it’s not just about sport, there’s something for everyone. Birmingham is a city of beautiful parks and green spaces and these activities give you another great reason to make the most of your local park.”

Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain adds: “ParkLives is offering a whole host of free activities that won’t break the bank this summer.  We’ve got everything from traditional family games like rounders and cricket, to weird and wonderful activities like circus skills and woodland bug hunts to keep the kids entertained. The best school holiday memories are made on family trips out, and with 60 parks taking part in Birmingham, we’re offering this right on peoples’ doorstep.”

To view the full timetable and save a space online, visit the website at www.parklives.com.