Celebrating a Green 4th of July

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July! Whether you are at home or with friends, here are some green ideas to help you celebrate:

Have a picnic: Pack up some sandwiches and finger foods, grab a blanket and find a nice spot in the shade. You don’t have to travel farther than your backyard, if you want to avoid holiday traffic. The best part is that you don’t have to turn on your stove or oven.

Make your own giant soap bubbles: The general consensus is that Dawn dish soap is the best, and don’t forget the secret ingredient: glycerin.

Enjoy homemade popsicles: If you don’t have popsicle molds, just use a dixi cup! For an extra-patriotic treat, try these Red, White and Blue Creamsicles.
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Product Review: Kiddie Pool

Fun in the Sun!

Fun in the Sun!

Summer arrived a little early this year and the temperature has been way above the historic average for our area. I’m glad I remembered to buy a kiddie pool this year before they all sold out!

If you haven’t spent $10 on your molded kiddie pool yet this year, I highly recommend heading down to the nearest big box store and dropping that tenner before it’s too late. The last thing you want is for the 4th of July to come around and not have a pool for the kids (and dogs) to cool off in!
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Simple, Green Summer Activities for Kids

Now that the crush of my work as a teacher is done for the summer, we suddenly have lots of unstructured playtime on our hands. My kids still enjoy imaginative play (they spent the morning yesterday pretending to be prairie dogs in a fort made of blankets), but it’s nice to get them out in the sunshine without having to buy a heap of materials or make elaborate plans. Following are some incredibly basic activities for semi-lazy parents like myself who want to enrich our children’s summers without a lot of effort.

Bug collecting. This requires one applesauce jar and nothing else. My children have spent hours overturning rocks in search of the most beautiful beetle. Of course, this requires a short education about “catch and release” as my son killed a centipede or two in the beginning in his efforts to adopt insect pets. Still, it keeps them busy and entertained for quite some time!
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Non-toxic Homemade Finger Paints for Outdoor Amusement

This week’s Works for Me Wednesday has a theme: “Mom, I’m Bored!”  This summer will be the perfect time to bust out some homemade finger paint to keep my restless toddler amused.  Even very young babies can express themselves with finger paint–with a little assistance, of course.

A few months ago, I included this picture of Joy’s son Roscoe in our Eco-Valentine’s post.  I knew exactly what Andy would say when he saw Roscoe on Joy’s kitchen floor, wearing nothing but a cloth diaper, finger painting.  “What a mess!” he said, shaking his head.  I have to admit I felt the same way, and I marveled that Joy was definitely turning into the “fun mom” while I’d be forever known as the “uptight mom.”
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