Looking for some new activities to occupy your little ones during long summer days? Get them outside and go green with these fun projects:
Nature Walk and Collage
Go on a nature walk and encourage your kids to pick up objects from nature, like rocks, bark, grass, leaves, flowers, etc., and put them into small brown paper bags. Talk to your kids about what they see and hear in nature, and allow them to observe and ask questions. When you return home, have them use sturdy paper, glue, crayons and markers to create collages of their nature walk.
This activity might take a few more minutes of planning on your part but will keep kids occupied for awhile. Make a list of different generic descriptions of items found outside in the backyard or at a park: something green, something shiny, something old, something soft, something an animal might eat, etc. Read one description at a time and let your children explore to find a match. See how many objects they can find that meet each description.
Miniature Car Wash
Set up a mini car wash in your driveway and have your kids wash any riding toys, tricycles or other toy vehicles with a bucket of soapy water and various sponges. Help them hose off their toys with a garden hose or watering can when finished.
A Family Affair
This summer, make it a goal to implement at least one household change that will help your family go green and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some suggestions to get started and connect Judaism to the environment:
- Reduce your energy consumption by hanging your laundry to dry.
- Buy inexpensive solar garden lights for your yard to harness the power of the sun.
- Going out to eat? Find certified green restaurants at dinegreen.com/customers.
- Make your beach trip greener by investing in eco-friendly beach towels made from organic cotton or bamboo.
- Build sandcastles using green toys, like this eco-friendly sand play set.
- Instead of buying new books, take a bike ride with your kids to your local library and select a week’s worth of new-to-you titles.
- Introduce your children to recycling by starting a compost bin in the backyard. Add kitchen scraps and garden waste until you have enough compost to enhance the soil in your garden.
- Involve your kids in Shabbat meal preparations by having them pick fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm. In addition to reciting the traditional Shabbat blessings, invite your kids to create their own blessings or songs before, during or after the meal.
For more on connecting Judaism to the environment, visit biggreenjewish.org.