Earth Day: Some activities parents can do with their kids to celebrate

Earth Day is almost here -- and did you know it actually has roots right here in Wisconsin? Rebecca Michelsen with Penfield Children's Center joins FOX6 WakeUp with some activities parents can do with their kids to celebrate. 

Celebrate Earth Day with Penfield, Brought to You by the Kohl’s Building Blocks Program. Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22 to mark the anniversary of the environmental movement that began in 1970. 

FUN FACT: The first Earth Day was organized by a Senator from Wisconsin to raise awareness about environmental issues. Today, more than 1 billion individuals in over 190 different countries recognize Earth Day. 

Celebrate Earth Day with these activities:

Get crafty! Crafts are not only fun, but engage your child’s fine and gross motor skills, encourage color recognition, and provide sensory play opportunities. Use recyclable materials such as egg cartons to create critters or toilet paper rolls to make bird feeders. Or, make these seed balls:
    Materials needed:
•    Shredded paper, or scraps of old newspaper/construction paper
•    Seeds
•    Blender/food processor
    Instructions:
•    Soak paper scraps in water for 20 minutes. 
•    Then with a blender or food processor, take paper scraps and a bit of water and blend to make paper pulp. 
•    Drain and squeeze any excess water from the pulp before forming into small balls or pancake shapes and sprinkling with seeds.  
•    Leave the seed balls out for a day to dry.  
•    Once dry, store in an airtight container until you are ready to plant, or wrap up your creation for a special mom on Mother’s Day!

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Make walks around the neighborhood fun and interactive by creating a scavenger hunt. Write or draw pictures of nature-related items and see how many you can find. Pinecones, sticks, birds, rocks, and leaves are all easy finds. As children grow older, challenge them to identify the type of item they come across. "You found a leaf. What type of leaf is this? A maple leaf!" 

Celebrate Earth Day EVERYDAY by incorporating these simple green habits into your lifestyle:

o    Conserve water by turning off the faucet when brushing teeth and washing hands. Try to take shorter showers. 
o    Save electricity by turning off lights when leaving a room or when you don’t need them on.  Open the shades instead – spring has sprung!
o    Use re-usable water bottles instead of disposable plastic water bottles. A special trip to the store to pick out their own water bottle is always fun for kids. 
o    Compost food scraps. Items such fruits, veggies, egg shells, coffee grounds and tea bags can be composted. Add compost to your garden for nutrient-rich soil and to reduce your need for fertilizer made from chemicals. 
•    Check out our Kohl’s Building Blocks site, for more tips on healthy and green family living.