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Five Eco-Friendly Activities | Safari Ltd®

Five Eco-Friendly Activities

We love the earth and all of its creatures. At Safari Ltd., we continually strive to find ways to promote education and love of nature through play. Play evokes positive emotions and associations, and what we learn through play tends to stick with us for much longer. 

  Feeding Birds and Pollinators

 

Make a Bird Feeder

Making a bird feeder is a wonderful way to invite children to care for nature, study birds, and learn about wildlife. While you can purchase bird feeders, making one gets kids more invested in the process and is a really fun activity! With so many DIY options, this activity can be adapted for toddlers and up.

DIY Bird Feeder Guides:
Fun DIY Bird Feeders from TheCornellLab
Make Your Own Bird Feeder by LetGrow.org

Seed Bombs

Seed bombs are the BOMB!!! They are fun to make, environmentally friendly, and can even be given as gifts! Seed bombs are essentially paper balls that can be planted. They are made from recycled paper that is turned into pulp in a blender or through soaking in water, mixed with seeds, and then formed into balls.

Instructions and Supplies:

  • Recycled paper
  • Packets of wildflower seed
  • Blender or food processor (optional)
  • Bowls or containers
  • Strainer (optional)
  • Water
  1. Start by tearing up the paper and putting into a bowl (use separate bowls for different colors if you’re are making a variety). Cover torn paper pieces with water and let soak for about half an hour.
  2. A grown-up is needed for the next step - put one color of paper into a blender and blitz thoroughly until it forms a wet pulp. Add more water if it is not blending easily. If not using a blender, let paper soak for longer in water until it becomes a squishy pulp.
  3. Squeeze out excess water until the paper pulp is no longer drippy.
  4. Pinch off a hunk of the pulp (about ¼ C worth) and kneed in 15-20 wildflower seeds. Use pollinator-friendly seeds (see references below for guidance). A seed variety will encourage lots of different pollinators and birds.
  5. Form pulp that is mixed with seeds into balls and gently roll in the balls of your hands to give them a smooth finish. An alternative is to press the pulp mixture into a muffin tin or ice cube tray to make more of a flat token or cube vs a ball.
  6. You can plant your seed bombs in the ground straight away or set them aside to dry. Note, if you leave them to dry, just make sure you give them a good soak in water before planting.
  7. Plant your seed bombs about 1" deep in soil that is in a sunny spot and water well. Wildflowers aren’t fussy and don't need too many nutrients to thrive, but mixing in some worm casting (from your worm farm) or organic potting soil is helpful.

Hands-on environmental activities are a rewarding and effective way for families to teach about the interdependence of creatures from big to small.

Information About Pollinators:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services: Pollinators
Pollinator Partnership
Flowers that Welcome Pollinators 

Recommended Product:

Flowers TOOB®
 Insects TOOB®
Butterflies TOOB®
 Backyard Birds TOOB® 
Life Cycles

Worm Farm

Worm farming, or vermiculture, is the practice of using worms in a system to break down compostable materials. This process creates worm castings, which boast high nutrient counts for plants and beneficial microbes. The compost from worm farms helps improve the health of gardens, reduces plant disease,  is pest free compared to a compost pile, is environmentally friendly, reduces food waste, and is convenient. This rewarding activity is fun and has a multitude of learning opportunities!

Worm Farm Information:

Vermiculture - Worm Farms
Make a Worm Farm

 Recommended Product:

Life Cycle of a Worm

Nature Journal

 

Getting kids outside helps them to be present and mindful of nature, boosts creativity, connects them with the environment, and promotes stewardship of and appreciation for the natural world.

Nature Journaling Guides:

How To Nature Journal by oregonstate.edu
Nature Journaling by PennState Extension

 Recommended Product:

 Drawing Products

Adopt a Spot

 

Find a natural area near where you live (it can be a small square foot of yard or a larger park/field/wooded area). Take a deep dive into the spot that you choose. The idea is to become an expert and an environmental steward for your nature spot. Spend time investigating the area. What creatures live there? What pollution issues are in the area? How can you enhance the area for the creatures that live there? How does your spot change over time/look during each season? Investment in a small nature area can lead to interest in larger studies of ecosystems and biomes.

More information on Ecosystems and Biomes:

Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
Terrestrial Biomes
Aquatic Biomes

Recommended Nature Exploration Product:

Dr. Steve Hunters Bug World Collection - 10 Real Insects Science & Education Toy Set
Safariology Collection
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Wildlife Camera

Recommended Biome/Ecosystem Product:

Rainforest TOOB®
Desert Figurines
Arctic Figurines
River TOOB®
Great Lakes TOOB®
South African Animals TOOB®
In the Woods TOOB®
Animals of North America
Coral Reef Animals

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Upcycle

Recycled T-shirt Reusable Bag (paint with animal figurine footprints)
DIY Reusable No Sew T-Shirt Bag by Universtiy of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Reusable No Sew T-Shirt Bag DIY by CafeteriaCulture.org

Additional Upcycling Activities:

Safari Ltd. DIY YouTube Videos

Thrifting

Thrifting (in both brick and mortar stores or on buy it/sell online sites) is a fantastic way to promote eco-conscious shopping. Kids outgrow clothing so fast, and so you can often find clothes that are still very stylish for each season. In addition to buying thrifted clothes and toys, please also consider giving your own gently used items a second life by selling them or donating to a reputable organization.

Toy and Clothes Swap

Invite parents with children of different ages to a swap gently used clothing, toys, and gear. These trading events help everyone save money and reduces the load on the environment by reducing waste.

*Find many reusable products and products made from recycled materials in our Shop for a Cause collection 

Read for the Love of the Environment

 Goodreads Eco Friendly Book List for Kids

Check out some book options offered on Safariltd.com:

Magic School Bus
DK Pocket Genius Books
Drawing Books
Growing Flowers

 

At Safari Ltd., our Toys That Teach foster learning and a love for creatures and places in our world. We create toys enhance playtime with bits of learning that will last a lifetime.

We would love to hear the ways that you and your family show love to the creatures of the earth.

 

 

 

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