The weather didn't turn out the way we had hoped, so today's Earth Day celebration was somewhat more subdued than planned, but as usual, I had a backup plan ready to go just in case!
I changed things up and began the day with some block play that focused on patterning. The big kids made towers of blocks with patterns while the littles occupied themselves with building their own towers, taking apart the big kids' old ones, or putting the blocks into the block bin.
The big kids worked collaboratively at the end of our block play session and made a patterned tower together. What good work!
One of the big kids was interested in making shapes with the unit blocks, and laid the blocks carefully over the squares of a quilt until she had made a giant block square. Children can have such interesting ways to go about creating things!
We did our morning routine after our block play session and talked about reusing items, then I brought out some large cardboard boxes I've had in storage for a bit. We REUSED our boxes by decorating them with markers...
The littles did an admirable job of decorating the "Baby Train" with markers- wait until you see the finished work of art!
One child focused on drawing lots of buttons on her "rocketship." When I asked her what the buttons were for, she replied "they turn the music on and off." I asked her what kind of music and she said her rockethip plays "pop music."
Look at all the glorious colors on the "Baby Train!" The happy smiles as the children created their own masterpieces told me that perhaps this was a better celebration of Earth Day than I realized. It makes me very happy to see the children laugh and smile as they do creative work...
... and it makes me even happier to join in with them! I couldn't resist giving the babies a little help in their decorating job.
While the children had fun imagining with their reused cardboard boxes, I pulled them out one by one to make Earth Day cupcakes. First, we added shortening and sugar...
... and then egg whites...
... then flour and milk. The littles helped with the last two ingredients and needed lots of hands-on help from me. Last, I divided the batter and added a little food coloring. We filled the cups with blue for "water" and used a squeeze bottle to add green dots of "land" to our Earth Day cupcakes.
The children and I enjoyed our Earth Day cupcakes for afternoon snack. We don't usually have sweets here, but we can make an exception now and again. After snacktime, we read our life cycle books again as well as The Carrot Seed.
We plan to head out and do some garbage pickup on the next nice day outside, so our committment to Earth Day will continue beyond the actual celebration. Earth Day may only be celebrated formally once per year, but hopefully the mindful practices I strive for at Blue Sky Daycare and the way I help the children connect with nature will help turn them into environmentally responsible adults. Only time will tell.
See you tomorrow!