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Earth Day is almost here!
This day is observed to make all of us aware of our responsibilities towards our planet. Mother Earth is our greatest friend but we earthlings behave as if we are the masters. The earth supports us in every way imaginable. It gives us the atmosphere to breathe, the water to drink, and food to eat. It gives us thousands of varieties of plants and it gives us the place to make our home. The earth gives its all to us without any protest, April 22nd is a day (and it shouldn’t be the ONLY day) that we can give back to Mother Earth. Reconnecting with nature is the best way to remind yourself why we’re fighting so hard to protect it.
The purpose of Earth Day was to raise awareness of environmental issues, promote education about the issue, and advocate for a healthy and sustainable planet. Many schools have taken Earth Day a step further to incorporate extended teaching of environmental issues and observe Earth Week.
There is a multitude of ways to celebrate this very special day from planting a tree, reading Earth Day-related books, to walking instead of driving for a day. Many parents, teachers, and caregivers also love the opportunity to deepen the understanding and wonder of this great planet we live on through activity and play. Below is a roundup of many wonderful activities and crafts from moms and earth lovers.
Since beautiful kids’ books are kind of my jam here at Franticmommy, here are some Green and Environmental Kidlit for Young Conservationists.
Books for Young Conservationists
World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests is celebrated worldwide every year on the 21st of March at the international level in order to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance, and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth. Even though this event has come and gone, the upcoming Earth Day festivities is a perfect time to “talk trees.”
Some trees have lived many lifetimes, standing as silent witnesses to history. Some are remarkable for their age and stature; others for their usefulness. A bristlecone pine tree in California has outlived man by almost 4,000 years; a baobab tree in Australia served as a prison for Aboriginal prisoners at the turn of the twentieth century; and a major oak in England was used as a hiding place for Robin Hood and his men (or so the story goes…).
In Celebritrees: Historic & Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus, fourteen trees in this book have earned the title “Celebritrees” for their global fame and significance. Both in fact and in legend, these fascinating trees remind us not only how much pleasure trees bring, but what they can tell us about history.
Capturing Cow Farts and Burps by Erin Twamley
How many cows live on Earth? There are nearly one and a half BILLION cows on our planet. And those cows have gas! A few gassy cows would not be a problem, but their burps and farts release methane. Too much of this gas causes problems for our planet. So, scientists, engineers, and farmers are working to make cows less gassy. From using lasers to feeding cows curry (What kind of curry do you think a cow likes — red, green or yellow?), this book shares the science behind caring for our environment.
With a foreword by the world-renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall, Tree Beings is an adventure through the secret world of trees. Challenging the perception that trees are just ‘silent statues’, this beautifully illustrated children’s book focuses on four big ideas:
- Trees give life to the planet.
- Trees can help save us from climate change.
- Trees are like beings.
- Trees need our help and protection.
Along the way, you’ll meet some of the scientists and explorers who helped uncover the mysteries of the world’s oldest living things. You’ll encounter the eccentric professor who traveled the world for seventy years telling people how trees can save us, and you’ll learn about the 9-year-old-boy who has a plan to plant a trillion trees to save the planet!
Loons Planet: How The Loons Learned to Save Their World by Hayley Furman
This is a story of how pollution, overconsumption, and a way of life that is disconnected from nature causes a gradual decline in a planet’s health. Once the Loon society realizes that their survival is dependent on the health of their ecosystem, they are able to learn from their mistakes and come together in the spirit of love and respect for their planet to begin healing.
This book teaches children valuable lessons about love, community, and respect. It also cultivates conscious awareness of the importance of their relationship with the planet in an understanding, caring, and positive way.
Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard
A recent Second Place Winner in the Purple Dragonfly Awards Best Green/Environment Books for Kids, this beautiful hardcover diverse picture books is just as much about sustainable living, honoring Mother Eather, and minimalism as it is about Living Tiny.
Written by Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard, both Minnesotans (who have been friends for over 30 years), Sissy Goes Tiny was created to share the idea and process of “going Tiny” from a child’s perspective.
In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents make the bold choice to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less. At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.
Sissy’s name was chosen for the main character to pay homage to Norrgard’s Tiny House, Sisu.
“Sisu is a Finnish word meaning having grit, determination, and perseverance in the face of adversity,” Norrgard recalled. “I had my tiny home a few years before I named her and at first, I couldn’t think of a fitting name. Then my mom died. She was Finnish and she had a lot of sisu. The name for my 78-square-foot home suddenly became clear.”
In Praise of Sissy Goes Tiny
For any parent trying to teach stewardship of the earth, doing more with less, and learning how to live BIG without having to be surrounded by stuff, this book is an incredible gift. My 4yo absolutely adores the pictures and story and has been asking me to read it every night for the past two weeks! As a parent, I can personally say this one of those stories I don’t mind reading out loud over and over again. Kudos to the authors and the illustrator for putting together such a wonderful book that both kids and parents love.~Author, Carissa Andrews