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  • Melanie Patric

Recycling, Outdoor Play and Seed "Bombs..."

The morning dawned bright and clear and the sunny weather made the perfect day for lots of outdoor play and messy sensory play. We began our day in the usual way with calendar and weather followed by circle time. Today's circle time was fun- we pretended to pick up trash while singing the following to the tune of "Paw Paw Patch:"

Pick up the trash

And put it in the trash bag,

Pick up the trash

And put it in the trash bag,

Pick up the trash

And put it in the trash bag,

And Mother Earth will

Say "thank you!"

We took some time to talk about Earth Day and what it means to us. I asked the children what they knew about what happens to garbage after the garbage truck picks it up. They didn't have many ideas to offer and were surprised when I told them the garbage trucks had to dump it in huge piles called landfills. I asked them if they wanted to help make the garbage pile smaller and the world a healthier place by learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and of course, they agreed enthusiastically. Normally we are media-free, but I made an exception to the rule as we watched a 6-minute clip from Reading Rainbow about what happens when we put glass, plastic, and paper in the recycling bin. You can view the same clip here. The children were excited to learn you can make new paper out of old cardboard and new glass, metal, and plastic items from old ones. They were even more excited to learn that we'd be making our own recycled paper with added flower seeds to make "seed bombs."

The children and I began the seed bomb process by tearing up (and rustling around in) construction paper and newspaper.

It took nearly a half hour to tear up all the paper into small pieces, but we succeeded. After that, the children looked on as I used the blender to pulverize the paper and mix it with warm water.

Once we had a nice paper-water slurry, we brought the mix outside and strained it over a sieve.

When the paper slurry was less wet, we added zinnia seeds I had saved from last summer's flowers as well as a mix of sunflower seeds and a few other flower seeds I had hanging around.

The mixture was very interesting to feel and was a great sensory experience, especially for the littles.

Last, we formed the mix into balls, squeezed as much excess water out of them as we could, and left them in the sun to dry.

Once they're dry, the children will be able to bring them home and plant them in celebration of Earth Day!

While the seed bombs dried, the littles enjoyed lots of sandbox play while the big kids had fun throwing, kicking, and chasing balls all over the yard.

We ended our day by reading The Carrot Seed, Lost in the Woods, and a chapter about a fairy talking to a frog and a tadpole from Reg Down's The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly.

See you tomorrow!

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