It’s a rainy day here in my corner of the world, in the middle of a rainy week. Normally we don’t let a little water hold us back, but as it happens, this mama is also very unwell right now, so it’s the perfect time for a duvet day or three.Read more: The Top 5 Rainy Day Children’s Movies
Happy Dr.Seuss Birthday! I know this makes me sound old, because I never asked this as a kid, but where’s this year going! I just packed away the Christmas decorations, and here we are into the 3rd month of the year already. The 3rd month does start with a bang though, with World Book Day and Dr Seuss birthday on the 2nd of March.
If you don’t have the fantastic collection of Dr Seuss books there are a good selection of the short movies available online that you can watch in a pinch:Read more: 26 Free Dr Seuss Book Readings And Movies
I took the children (6 + 4) to see Alice Through The Looking Glass over the weekend, because, well, Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite childhood stories. We loved this movie, despite it having been heavily slated by ‘the critics’.
The story is the follow on to Alice’s first trip to Wonderland, and I must admit, I don’t remember the book at all! It must be two decades since I last read it, so I can’t comment at all on how close it is to the original, or whether it’s a completely ‘new’ story.
Without spoilers – this is a story of Alice returning to Wonderland to find the Mad Hatter has lost his happy, and is in fact very sad – so sad that he comes close to death, due to being reminded of an event that occurred many years ago. Alice sets out to find Time personified, to convince him to allow her to use his Chronosphere to head back in time to set things straight for her friend the Hatter. During her travels in time, Alice discovers other things about Wonderland – like why the Red Queen and her sister fell out, how the Red Queen came to be how she is, and why the Mad Hatter is always a minute from tea time and so on.
Earth day happens every year in April, and it’s an opportunity for us to talk to our children about their world, to give them reasons to love it and understand how it works, and most importantly to protect it.
One of the simplest ways to teach without it being hard work, while also spending time together, is through books. There are loads of books with the theme of recycling and reusing. Pick up a couple that you can re-read year after year.
Some good examples are Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day* where Nancy helps her family be Earth-friendly every day, not just on Earth Day. In Little Critter: It’s Earth Day*, Little Critter learns about climate changes, and decides to do his part to slow down global warming. In this story children will learn about the importance of not wasting water or energy. Join Little Critter as he plants a tree, makes a climate control machine, and helps the polar bears.
In I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle* Max is a little monster who likes to litter and never, ever recycles. Then the electricity goes out and he sees how exciting and beautiful the Earth is, and that it will need his help to stay that way.
And if stories are good, activity books are even better. Earth Day Is Every Day!* is a fun activity book where four kids and a dog guide young readers through word searches, mazes, cryptograms, and other puzzles that provide fun facts about Earth Day and offer ideas for recycling, conserving energy, and making “green” practices part of everyday life.
I also love the idea of using Earth Day as an opportunity to connect with our friends and family, or our neighbours, or someone we haven’t caught up with in ages, and this Secret Garden* postcard set is beautifully thematic.
If that’s a little ‘old’ for your small people, why not have a go at this Earth Day Colouring Book*. With 32-pages of colouring fun, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to talk about the Earth and our role in protecting it.
Sometimes it hard to know if the Smalls will be interested in something before you spend money on it, so why not print this Free Earth Day Activity Book and give them that for a start. If you’re not in the US you can just remove the page about your State. If you are – it’s perfect for you!
For when the kids want to watch something, Wild Kratts and Tumble Leaf are both great nature shows available for download on Amazon Instant Prime Video* (and you can enjoy a free 30-day trial, often even if you’ve had a trial before).
When book work and brain work gets a little too much, try out Earth Day Kids Yoga – yes, that’s really a thing! This book will walk you through a story of movement and exercise with the children. It’s a great way to get the active, introduce yoga and breathing and talk about Earth Day at the same time.
Earthgames: 50 Nature Games For Ages 3+ is another great avenue for rainy day or any day entertainment. The book is full of chanting, play-it-again action games that are easy to learn quickly, yet substantial enough to last through repeat performances. The book is broken into three nature-themed sections–Wildlife World, Playful Planet, Cosmos–each containing its own Warm Up & Cool Down exercises. Designed for indoor or outdoor group play, EarthGames are a perfect fit for Earth Day or any day.
And of course, the best way to get the children to love the Earth is to make them part of it. Organisations like the Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, National Trust and The RSPB all have membership schemes where your money goes to helping protect your environment. The Wildlife Trust and the RSPB both do a lot of work with children, including magazines that are pitched at their ages – and provide a gift that tops up their interest throughout the year. The National Trust operates in a number of different countries around the world and membership to one gives you access to all (they also have a fab home ed discount of £41 for the family for the year.) Most of these organisations also offer activities for the children throughout the summer. Have a look at our 50Things posts for an example of what you can do as part of that project.
* Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on them and then buy, I’ll receive a percentage from the merchant. You don’t pay more or less whether you use this link or go direct.