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YCSW Ideas For Kids

It’s never too early for kids to start learning about reducing, reusing and recycling! Take advantage of the resources in this section to get your kids excited about saving the earth! From creative gift ideas to crafts to reusing tips, we’ve got you covered!

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For a Fun Craft, Look No Further Than The...Dryer?

Spring is here, and we all know what that means: spring showers. If you’re feeling restless and housebound because of the rain and need an idea for a fun, eco-friendly craft, look no further than the dryer!
When your mom or dad does the laundry, chances are they toss the dryer lint into the garbage. But wait! With their permission and help, you can turn a garbage-bound item into a fun rainy-day activity.
Curl Up With An Earth-Friendly Book
Hey kids! Do you like to read and learn about how you can help keep our earth safe and clean? Local children’s librarians picked some fun books you can check out next time you visit the library.
Recycle this Book: 100 Top Children’s Authors Tell You How to Go Green
This book has essays from authors of your favorite stories, and tells you how you can help protect our earth by making small changes.
Compost It! by David Barker
Learn how to help prevent waste from going to the landfill by starting a compost pile in your back yard. If you like science, this is the perfect book for you!
Garbage Helps our Garden Grow: a Compost Story by Linda Glaser
You can learn how one family uses food scraps to grow a beautiful garden.
Earth-Friendly Crafts: Clever Ways to Re-Use Everyday Items by Kathy Ross
If you like arts and crafts, you will love this book! It’s full of ways you can turn old toys, clothes, art supplies and more into fun art projects. Plus, the crafts in this book would make great presents!
The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie
If you love nature, you’ll love this workbook. It’s entertaining and will help you learn about the world outside your house.
Love Your World by Dawn Sirett
This book is perfect for young children. From recycling to water conservation to making a compost pile in the back yard, this richly illustrated guide makes it easy for toddlers to go green.
Recycling by Rhonda Lucas Donald
This book includes information that will help you learn all there is about recycling!
What’s the Point of Being Green by Jacqui Bailey
An introduction to green living which discusses climate change, pollution, exploitation of natural resources, waste, hunger and the impact of human actions on wildlife.
PlanetWatch: A Young Person’s Guide to Protecting Our World by Martyn Bramwell
This book will show you where food comes from, why floods happen and why some animals die out. It will help you learn to appreciate our planet and help conserve resources.
Earth-Friendly Crafts for Kids by Heather Smith with Joe Rhatigan
You can make musical instruments, jewelry, and whimsical pocket people and learn how to be “earth friendly.” You might need adult assistance for some of these crafts!
Cool Crafts with Old T-Shirts
This fun craft book has step-by-step instructions for crafts made from old T-shirts and information about reusing and recycling.
Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles: Amusing & Useful Techniques for Nontoxic Housekeeping and Gardening by Ellen Sandbeck
This book is full of fun all-natural alternatives to toxic cleaners. Learn how to use coffee grounds to make the car smell good, and how to make dough that will kill slugs.
Our Feathered Friends: Protecting and Creating Bird Habitats
What if you had to travel from the freezing Arctic all the way to the sweltering heat of a tropical rainforest every year, pausing only for food and rest along the way? And what if, one year, you find that someone has ransacked most of your rest stops—making them dirty, polluted and broken? And all the food in grocery stores was disappearing? And dangerous figures were lurking around, waiting to pounce on you? Sound like a fun trip? Not really!
Welcome to the problems of being a migratory bird. You’ve probably seen flocks of geese flying in the sky, or noticed a group of little birds in a tree outside your window–but maybe what you didn’t know is that many of these birds travel thousands of miles each year for food and breeding. Unfortunately, they face complex and dangerous problems as their habitats become polluted, dangerous, or disappear altogether. The good news is that we can all do something to help our feathered friends:
  1. Set up a bird monitoring program
  2. Create or improve a bird habitat
  3. Keep your cat inside–bells and de-clawing are largely ineffective
  4. Reduce and avoid pesticide use in your yard
  5. Drink bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee
  6. Use “green” paper products to conserve forest habitat
  7. Educate your community about migrating birds–see the exciting resources below for ideas. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center site has games, coloring books, songbird kits, and more.

Creative, Free & Earth-Friendly Costumes

Tired of the same old costume year after year? This Halloween, discover creative, fun and low-cost costumes that will wow your friends and help the environment. The first step to an earth-friendly costume is to NOT ask your mom or dad for a new costume. Look around your house for common items, such as a cardboard box and some old craft paint, and chances are you will be able to find a unique and easy-to-make costume. You can wow your friends with your creativity if you show up at that party dressed like a tic-tac-toe board made from an old box and some felt or TV using some cardboard and bottle tops. You’ll save money and show you know how to recycle!

Television Set
You will need:

  • Large box (big enough for you to fit in)
  • Scissors
  • Black paint
  • Glue
  • Plastic water bottle lids
  • Two pipe cleaners
  • Headband

Find a square box and cut a hole for your head and arms. It may be best to cut off the bottom flaps so you can move freely inside the box. Paint or draw in a black screen on the front of the box. If you want to, you can draw a picture on the screen as if there is a TV show playing on your TV. Take the lids to several containers sitting in your recycle bins and glue them below the screen on the box. These will act as your TV’s controls. Find pipe cleaners to fashion two antennas and attach them to a headband to complete the look.

Tic-Tac-Toe Board
You will need:

  • Black sweatpants and t-shirt
  • Two large pieces of cardboard
  • Black paint or paper
  • White felt
  • One pair of shoelaces
  • Velcro
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • White bandage tape or duct tape

Wear black sweat pants and a black t-shirt, turtleneck or sweatshirt, depending on how cold it will be this Halloween. Find a square piece of cardboard or poster board and paint it black. Once it has dried, punch a hole in the top corners of both pieces of cardboard and tie them together with the shoelaces so that the pieces fit comfortably over your shoulders. Raid your first aid kit or your dad’s tool kit (with his permission, of course!) for some white bandage tape or duct tape and create a tic-tac-toe board on the cardboard. Then, out of felt, cardboard or an old cereal box, create Xs and Os for your board. You can paint or color them however you prefer. Take some Velcro and fasten it to each spot on your tic-tac-toe board and to the back of your Xs and Os so you can challenge your friends to a game while you walk from house to house!

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