World Environment Day Resolutions for Kids

June 5 is celebrated the world over as World Environment Day. Established back in the year 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the day holds significance as a means to encourage awareness for our environment. Why not use the opportunity to get kids to be environmentally-friendly from an early age?

Here are three simple ways to get kids acquainted with how to care for their environment in simple, everyday ways.

Say no to plastic: Though World Environment Day falls every year on the 5th of June, the year 2018 in particular has been earmarked as the year when we should ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. Children should be introduced to small, plastic-free alternatives in their everyday lives. For instance, encourage them to say no to plastic cutlery of all kinds. I remember my mother carrying around a stainless steel spoon in her handbag everywhere she traveled; she would whip it out the moment anyone offered her plastic cutlery and say an outright ‘no, thank you’. Your kids will follow you if you take the lead. Replace plastic drinking water bottles at home with reusable water bottles or flasks. A good way to start a discussion on the topic could be to watch this Great Pacific Garbage Patch video with your kids. Mark the occasion on June 5 by taking your kids out shopping and getting them a colorful environmental-friendly bottle of their choice.

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Planting a tree” by Iyo is licensed under CC by 2.0

Plant a tree: It has been shouted from the rooftops all over the world millions of time in the past but it’s never been enough – we need to plant more trees and give back to Mother Nature. Like the Chinese proverb goes: ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’ Get hold of a shovel, a bucket of water and a seedling from the local nursery and get planting with your children. Allot a certain corner of the garden to them which is exclusively their responsibility to tend to on a daily basis. To make the activity more exciting, get your little ones to click a picture of their tree every week, in order to mark its growth from a seedling to a plant.

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girl cycling in spring” by rg1024 is licensed under CC by 2.0

Cycle together: Did you know that June 3, 2018 will officially be celebrated as the first World Bicycle Day the world over? If you and your kids don’t have a bicycle already, invest in them this World Environment Day. We did last year and it was one of the best decisions we could have made. Most of our weekends are now spent cycling around the neighborhood, with picnic baskets packed on our carriers behind us. It’s invigorating in the fresh air, we get our required dose of sunshine plus the added advantage of quality family time together. Remember: when in doubt, simply pedal it out!

Gone are the days of taking up New Year resolutions and not keeping them; this World Environment Day let’s take up environmentally conscious resolutions with our kids and resolve together to do our bit, however tiny, towards the environment we live in. I’ve decided to give a break to all sorts of online games that I allow them to indulge in and spend the day outdoors. After all, don’t we owe it all to the fresh air we breathe in and the pure water we drink?

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The Big Easter Spring Clean

Like every year, Easter has come and gone in the blink of an eye. There were many firsts this year with regard to the festive occasion – the whole family was together for once (grandparents included) and we had a gala karaoke night yelling ourselves hoarse; I didn’t think I would manage but I did (thankfully) cook up a storm and it was appreciated; and last but not the least, we had a massive clearing-out (read: spring cleaning) of the house before extended family members arrived at our place. The best part? The entire family pitched in. Happily. Believe it or not, cleaning up every nook and corner was less of a chore, more of a fun time.

Sigh. I’m so relieved and so happy and so de-cluttered that I’m lying back on my bean bag, taking in all the squeaky clean sights and smells of our home and playing my son’s favorite pet games on my tablet (yes, that jobless I feel at the moment). What’s more, I’ve made a promise to myself to have an annual spring cleaning ritual every year. For those of you who are apprehensive of the long drawn-out hours it requires, I promise you it’s all worth it in the end. Here are a couple of ways we tried to make the entire process more enjoyable (the aim was to make it bearable initially but it eventually turned out to be fun). Here goes.

Shopping spree

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Bucket” by Clker-Free-Vector-Images is licensed under CC by 2.0

Not exactly Easter shopping; we went cleaning supplies shopping a week before D-day. Each one of us was to pick the object of our choice in our favorite colors. Brooms I had aplenty, so what we needed were cleaning liquids, dusting cloths, tissue paper, a dustpan (our original one is lost at home somehow; gasping for breath under all the trash which we need to clear out, I’m sure) which turned out to be two dustpans bought in neon yellow and pink (kids’ wanted one each so I let them) and floor mats. We came back laden with stuff, obviously enough to last us for half a dozen Easters in the future.

Teamwork

Together Everyone Achieves More – that is what a TEAM is all about. So we split up into two teams. Daughter and I one, son and dad the other. The former team was entrusted with the more intricate task of going room by room, shelf by shelf. We had three huge boxes with us – keep, throw and give away. Once done with a particular room, the latter team came in to dust, sweep, mop and reach the upper shelves and hard to reach corners of the windows and even door knobs with their dusting cloths. In the meantime, team one moved on to other rooms and team two followed.

Goodie breaks

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Bake” by Pexels is licensed under CC by 2.0

It is but obvious that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to cook wholehearted meals the entire duration of the designated cleaning day. Hence, we decided we would have a goodie break (from ‘food supplies’ which we had bought along with the ‘cleaning supplies’) once we were done with every room, even though that made it a whole lot of breaks. This way we had something to look forward to in spite of the hard work. Well, who is complaining when there are marshmallow mini cakes, lemon and sugar cookies, macarons and carrot cake rolls to be wolfed down every hour or two? Needless to say, it was a no-holds barred cheat day for all of us. Ironically enough, the kitchen took us the longest to sort and clean!

The perfect end

Speaking from this recent personal experience, giving the house a thorough clean-through is totally cathartic. It is tiring obviously, and many a time it will be extremely tempting to just do away with your broom and dustpan and have a nap on the living room sofa. But then if you go on and actually finish up, it’s like wow! We did, and of course we were totally pooped out at the end of it all. Hence, there simply had to be the perfect end to this very hard worked day. And as they say, there’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap! So a family pizza party it was, to mark the occasion.

Hope you had a great Easter too, spring cleaning or not. Till next time, then!

Summer Science Games for Kids

Summer is here and so are lazy afternoons and loads of playtime. Most kids look forward to unstructured summer schedules and you definitely don’t want to take that away. But it’s important to remember that learning is a year-long activity and summer break is no exception. In fact, you can put the hot weather to good use by linking it to simple science concepts that can be taught without investing too much time and do not require special equipment. No matter how old your child is, they are sure to enjoy these fun science games for kids. 

Reading Shadows

Reading Shadows

Photo Courtesy – dvs

Invite your child outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather. Have him observe his shadow at different times of day. Explain how the length of his shadow is related to the sun’s position in the sky. Use chalk or a stick to trace his shadow and ask him to measure and chart it. Why does it grow and shrink at different times?

Grow your own Veggies

Summer is a great time to encourage your child to grow something in the yard or garden, or a pot on a windowsill. Let him grow flowers or herbs or veggies you can use later in the kitchen. Take an empty egg carton, fill it with water and use last night’s avocado pit to grow a houseplant. Explain that not all plants need soil to grow and why.

Stargazing

Stargazing

Photo Courtesy – vincent.limshowchen

Stargazing can be a fun science activity for kids and is perfect for clear summer nights when you can easily spot the stars and planets in our solar system. Camp out in the yard or any open space and ask your child if he can identify the North Star, various constellations and the phases of the moon. Take your child for an outing at the beach and discuss how the tides of the ocean are affected by the moon.

Go Butterfly-Watching

Watching butterflies can be a fascinating pastime. Go to a local park where they have different kinds of flowers and ask your child to observe which ones attract the most butterflies. Discuss how butterflies go through different stages of development and what they look like during each stage.

Make your own Bird Feeder

Bird Feeder

Idea via Pinterest

Spread peanut butter on a roll of toilet paper with your fingers and roll it in bird seed. This is your homemade bird feeder. Hang it on a tree branch, get a pair of binoculars and watch those birds flocking hungrily! It’s a great way to meet the birds that throng your neighborhood and observe their habits.

What have you got in store to prevent the dreadful brain slide?

Easter – The Aftermath

Don’t you sometimes feel like you need a break to recover from a long holiday? Easter has it’s share of fun and family and rituals and I wouldn’t trade it for the world but the lure of a bed and uninterrupted sleep – there is nothing quite like it. Meanwhile, our house looks like it’s being taken over my ninja plastic Easter Egg shells that pop up at you at odd times, especially when you’re sleep walking to the kitchen to get water in the middle of the night.

What to do? What to do?

The internet really is an amazing place for 5 reasons I’ve listed below!

1. Plastic Egg Tea Lights

Genius. Genius. More Genius. Idea from Pinterest

Genius. Genius. More Genius. Idea from Pinterest

2. Easter Egg Russian Nesting Dolls

 

Idea from Dollar Store Crafts

How adorable are these? How Idea from Dollar Store Crafts

3. Halloween Treat Box

Definitely doing this come October! Idea from Pinterest

Definitely doing this come October! Idea from Pinterest

4. Tea Cups for Tiny Tots

Pretend Tea Parties could never get better. This could also be an amazing DIY present for your kid. Idea from Creativity in Progress

Pretend Tea Parties could never get better. This could also be an amazing DIY present for your kid. Idea from Creativity in Progress

5. Mini Terrariums – Earth Day Special

Give your green thumb a bit of a workout. Idea from The House That Lars Built

Give your green thumb a bit of a workout. Idea from The House That Lars Built

Problem Solved!

Hope you’ve had a great Easter Weekend! I’m looking forward to catching up with your blogs!