Tag Archives: eco-friendly

Trouble-Free Preschooler Activities for Earth Day

14 Apr

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Observed annually on April 22nd, Earth Day is a celebration of environmental protection and conservation. One month into spring, Earth Day is the perfect time to get your little ones outside and learning. Use this day (or even week) to discuss how your family can play a part in protecting the Earth that we inhabit. Here are some excellent ideas that can help you turn fun in the sun into impactful lifetime of learning!

Rain and Shine

In order to explore conservation, your child must first understand why the Earth is so important to protect. A great place to start is with nature discovery. While exploring, explain the special relationship that humans have with nature and how we interact and depend on one another. Consider these activities:

  • Take a nature walk with a fun twist. Give your child pictures of items to find (like a rock, 3 types of flowers, a pinecone, etc.) for an afternoon of nature scavenger hunting.
  • Cook up a mud pie! Get messy while mixing up different types of dirt for a fun, sensory loaded activity. Try including as many different materials such as sand, rocks, and leaves into your pie “ingredients”.
  • Explore the water cycle with the Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table™. Your child can make it rain again and again with this fun cause and effect STEM activity.
  • Turn your nature walk finds into a nature collage. Use an old egg carton to organize and protect your new collection.
  • Create beautiful art with leaves! Paint various leaves and use them to stamp their designs onto paper or even a canvas.

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Love the Earth and It’s Creatures

Once your child has had a fun introduction to nature, it’s time to explore some of the Earth Day themes. From pollution to animal conservation, there is plenty to discover and themes to tailor to your child’s interests.

  • Play “can it be recycle?” by hunting around the kitchen and explaining what and how different materials can be recycled. Bonus! Practice sorting their discoveries based on the material.
  • Introduce upcycling by including them in a small project or craft that includes recycled and repurposed materials.
  • Create a small garden just for them. Use the Eco-Friendly Indoor Gardening Kit and the Watering Can with Shovel and Rake to create a special space for them to explore the growing process.
  • Give the earth an actual hug with the Hugg-A-Planet® Earth.
  • Discuss animal conservation while cuddling with the Baberoo Sea Turtle Plush or playing with the Polar Animals Set.
  • Create a bird feeder by repurposing a paper towel tube with peanut butter and birdseed.
  • See an Earth Day movie! We suggest the Disneynature series which premiers a new film every Earth Day. If you see it opening week they will make a donation to World Wildlife Fund.
  • Chow down on Earthy dirt cups! Your child will love the crush cookie “dirt”, chocolate pudding “mud”, and brightly colored gummy “worms”. Simply mix chocolate pudding to create a mud base, crush Oreos to form a dirt crust, and insert gummy worms for a buggy surprise!

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, we would love to hear about it on our social or in the comments below!

Get Green: St. Patrick’s Day Fun at Home!

9 Mar

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It’s mid-March: that time of year when kids start looking for little leprechauns under the couch and pinching each other for not wearing green. Be sure to bring some of the St. Patty’s day fun home with these creative and exciting activities!

Gifts for the Leprechauns – Kids love the stories of leprechauns: little Irish magicians who like to steal things and leave gold in their wake. Encourage children to make these green troublemakers small gifts, like figurines made from craft dough or cookies. When they leave the gifts out for the leprechauns, swap them for a sprinkle of green or gold glitter and watch the wonder in your little one’s eyes as they discover the change.

Go GREEN – Get environmental by planting some greenery or flowers in a mini greenhouse. Or set up a hanging bird feeder and attract the birds to the yard, just like gifts attract leprechauns. These will both decorate the yard for St. Patty’s Day and help kids learn a bit more about the environment. For songs and more activities, try reading a Going Green book. Get kids both excited about engaging with the environment around them and protecting the blue and green planet they live on! Be sure to check out the Kaplan Toys Blog for more environmentally friendly activities.

Green Eggs and Ham – It doesn’t have to be eggs and ham, but adding some food coloring to the milk in morning cereal, pudding in kids’ lunchboxes, or in the mashed potatoes at dinner can add an extra level of fun to a seemingly average afternoon. Read the classic Dr. Seuss tale for an added bonus!

Gratitude Treasure – Have children cut their own pot of gold and coins out of construction paper but on each gold coin, have them write or draw something they think is a treasure. Is it their sibling? Favorite food? Playing ball? Encourage kids to find the real gold in life and hang the result on the wall or the refrigerator to remind them that whether they’ve got a little leprechaun in their pocket or not, they’re lucky all times of year!

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Go to www.kaplantoys.com for more ideas, crafts and materials.

Our “Go Green” Favorites: Mother Nature Would Approve!

29 Mar

What better time is there to “Go Green” than spring? Choose toys that are good for your kids, the world around them, AND your budget with a few of these favorites from Kaplan Toys!

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Eco Friendly Creative Peg Board

Teach children about colors, sorting, and patterning with this bamboo peg board with 2 different sized pegs for varying degrees of difficulty. Contains 25 large and 25 small pegs in 5 different colors, 3 full-sized activity cards, pegboard, and activity guide. 3 years & up.

98303 | $32.95 | Plan Toys

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Eco Friendly Stacker

This unique stacker has no center post, stacks in any order and contains no BPA, PVC or phthalates.This Stacker is made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic milk containers which save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Packaged using only recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks. 8 nesting pieces. 6 months & up.

89565 | $13.95 | Green Toys

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Eco Friendly Plastic Tea Set

Invite friends to a make-believe tea party and brew up an imaginary pot of tea. 17 piece set includes tea pot with lid, sugar and cream bowls, 4 cups and saucers and 4 teaspoons. Made from recycled milk jugs, non-toxic and meets FDA requirements for food contact. 3 years & up.

85878 | $27.95 | Green Toys

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Eco Friendly Forest Mobile

Bring a bit of nature to the classroom with this whimsical mobile. All-natural from start to finish, this certified organic cotton mobile is eco-friendly and uses only plants and minerals to create a soothing color palette.

62272 | $49.95

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Eco Friendly Balancing Monkeys

Helps develop mathematical skills through discovery play as children move the monkeys around to keep the tree balanced. Includes one tree and 6 monkeys. 3 years & up.

98325 | $22.95 | Plan Toys

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Eco Friendly Fire Truck

Solidly constructed from 100% recycled plastic milk containers, this fire truck features a sturdy roof ladder that pivots vertically and rotates 360 degrees, two removable ladders and no metal axles. 1 year & up.

89272 | $27.95 | Green Toys

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Kettler® Go Green Folding Trike

With over 95% of the plastic parts made from recycled material, this trike is as eco-friendly as it is unique. The folding frame allows for easy storage and one-button assembly. Features removable rear bucket and multi-position adjustable seat to comfortably accommodate toddlers. Maximum weight 50 lbs. 18 months – 4 years.

62227 | $79.95 | Kettler International Inc.