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Our children are growing up in a world that is very different than the one we grew up in. When I was Ayva’s age, I was in no way as conscious as she is. The closest I got to worrying about the environment was reminding my parents not to litter. I’m ashamed to say that I took nature and fresh air for granted, but it’s the truth, and I know I’m not the only one.
Decades later, it’s clear that we can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to things pertaining to our earth. Every single one of us has to do our part to make sure the earth lasts, not just for this generation, but for generations to come. It seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it? How do we do that? Where do we start? The most important thing is that we have to work together. We have to teach our children from an early age, the importance of things like air quality, recycling, and conservation.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel qualified to talk about these things with your kids. Thankfully, there’s help, and it’s fun! Eco Boys and Girls is a new interactive 6 book series written by Maria Snyder that empowers children to be earth advocates. Just $5.99 per book on iTunes.com, the animated books are perfect to read-aloud with children from Pre K to Third Grade. Ernie Earth, Lulu Love, Patsy Peace, Ray Recycle, and Sammy Sun are characters who will help your kids and you explore creative new ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Eco Boys and Girls partners with leading organizations in education, science and the environment like the National Education Association, Association of Children’s Museums, Association of Science and Technology Centers, so you know they are a great resource!
After reading through the Eco Boys and Girls series, Ayva and I decided to make a recycle center for the clothes that she’s outgrown. What typically happens is that we put them in her drawer where we forget about them, and we don’t give them away until it’s the wrong season. Instead of other children being able to reuse them, they hang on the rack in Goodwill for months before they’re disposed of. That’s not helping our earth at all! Instead, Ayva designed a lovely clothing crate that fits into her room decor that allows us to see the clothes she has to donate so that we can drop them off in a timely fashion.
To make a clothing crate like Ayva’s, you’ll need a raw wood crate (you can find one at your local craft store), heavy craft paper, mod podge, and washi tape. Cut the craft paper to cover each wooden slat. You’ll be tempted to cover the entire thing in paper, but trust me, it will last much longer and look much better if you take the time to cover each slat individually!
After you cover the slat, use washi tape to cover the edges and around the rim of the crate. Coat the entire crate in mod podge to set it. Let the crate dry for at least 2 hours. Then it’s time to get fun and add stickers!
After you complete your crate, go through your clothing and pull out things that are too small. Your “trash” will be someone else’s treasure! Isn’t this a fantastic way to get your children involved in helping the environment? For more support, and to be inspired like we were, check out the Eco Boys and Girls series by Maria Snyder where kids can watch the animated characters, read along with their voices and see them in action. The books are available on iTunes and made for iBooks. (Note: To view the books, you must have an iPad with iBook 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later)