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Archive for the ‘green’ tag

March 17th, 2014 at 6:44 am

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

stpattysdayKnock Knock
Who’s There?
Irish!
Irish Who!
Irish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Has the leprechaun been tricky and visited your home yet today? Our leprechaun does some tricky things like turning our milk green! He’s a sneaky little fellow! He can show up any time so if he hasn’t appeared yet, be aware!

In our house we will be eating lots of green foods today! Think kale, sugar snap peas, green M&M’s, spinach, and more! We also like to make some foods green that aren’t usually green. Ever have green pancakes or green floats?  Check out this rainbow treat with gold at the bottom of it. An adorable treat for the kids or a great item to send to friends! I also think this rainbow of fruit may have to make its way to our dinner table.

As my boys get older, it might be more fun to do a treasure hunt for the leprechauns gold. Check out some of these great ideas:

Lucky the Leprechaun Treasure Hunt

St. Patricks Day Limerick Scavenger Hunt

St. Patricks Day Hunt for the Gold

Remember to leave a little treat from the Leprechaun like a lucky penny, some chocolate gold coins or a box of Lucky Charms cereal.

Here’s a few more sprinkles of laughter to bring fun to St. Patricks Day.

What is Irish and left out on the lawn all summer?
Paddy O’Furniture

What happens when a leprechaun falls into a river?
He gets wet!

Why do frogs like St. Patrick’s Day?
Because they’re already wearing green!

Why can’t you iron a four-leaf clover?
Because you shouldn’t press you luck!

I’ll send you off with an irish blessing:

Here’s to me, and here’s to you. And here’s to love and laughter.
I’ll be true as long as you. And not one moment after.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 13th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

By

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You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an excuse to have some fun with the kids…make some treats, do some crafts, maybe watch a parade. Dress up in your best green gear and check out this list of St. Patrick’s Day fun!

Outfits:

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Treats

Leprechaun Cupcakes

Lucky Charms Cookies

Leprechaun Hat S’mores

Mint Chocolate Pretzels

Green Ombre Rice Krispy Treats 

Pot ‘O Gold Rainbow Fruit Platter 

 

Activities/Crafts

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Leprechaun Visit – Footprints

Hanging Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Fingerprint Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Paper Plate Leprechaun Craft 

Handprint 4-Leaf Clover Craft

 

Printables

Coloring Sheets

Gift Tags

Printables

Quote Printables

 

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April 18th, 2012 at 7:12 am

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2012 marks the 42 observance of Earth Day, originally founded as a protest movement in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day.

Today, concerns about the environment continue to grow and young mothers are key players in the new Green Economy, interested in sustainability, as well as organic and green products.

As moms we worry about our children’s future and taking care of their home planet. It can be overwhelming trying to raise green families. Luckily, technology is stepping in and maybe this list of green apps will help (it even includes a kids’ app based on the new movie version of The Lorax).

Our biggest responsibility, however, is to teach our kids to become protectors of the Earth. Earth Day is a great place to start, and I always start with books. The watchwords for all budding ecologists are reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here are a couple of my favorite picture books on these Earth-Day friendly topics:

The Smash-Smash Truck by Aidan Potts is all about recycling, and the author has a really fun webpage about it, complete with coloring pages and smashing sound effects.

The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong takes reusing to the extreme, but kids love it and it’s bound to spark a lot of creativity.

And speaking of creative ideas, Earth Day is a great time to start a homemade craft box. Most kids love crafting and there are plenty of materials around the house ready for artful repurposing. Find and decorate a big shoebox (I recommend one for each child). Then go on a family treasure hunt to fill it with crafty items like:

  • broken crayons
  • buttons, zippers, and ribbons from old clothes
  • fabric and paper scraps
  • old greeting cards (lots of great images to cut out and reuse)
  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • lids from bottles and jars
  • stray game pieces
  • paper clips, rubber bands, odd bits of string

There’s no end to the goodies you can find, and this project will keep going and growing long after Earth Day. Then, on the next rainy day, a quick Internet search will lead you to tons of recycled craft project ideas.

Since I’m the resident animal blogger, I can’t resist the opportunity to talk about the world’s foremost recycler: worms. Vermicomposting is a cool way to lower your family’s carbon footprint by composting non-fatty kitchen scraps. You can make or purchase pre-made worm bins (complete with worms); it’s a great family project. If you’re not quite ready to jump into full-fledged vermicomposting, try this simple “worm castle” project to let your kids see how worms do their work.

And for a little background music, listen to Tom Chapin’s “Happy Earth Day” from his This Pretty Planet CD.

Image Credit: Blue Marble, NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.

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February 29th, 2012 at 5:00 am

Pet Trends

Like all areas of life, there are trends in the pet industry. Some are worth exploring, while others are just hype, passing fancies, or even dangerous. I asked my resident pet specialist (and husband) about the trends he’s seeing.

Green/Natural

Are you surprised by this one? I wasn’t either. But what do these claims mean, exactly? Just because a product claims to be “green”, doesn’t mean it is. Just because it says “natural”, doesn’t mean it’s best for your pet.

You can, however, reduce your pet’s carbon paw print. To make the most of this trend, look for products that will make a real environmental impact, not those looking for eco-friendly spin. Here are a few tips:

  • “Recycled” means at least part of the product is made from recycled materials. Several companies offer pet bedding and litter made of recycled materials.
  • “Recyclable” only means that the container or contents may be recyclable in your community, depending on local guidelines.
  • Look for the USDA Organic Seal on pet-product labels.
  • Buy toys and dishes that are BPA-free.

Animal Enrichment

Obesity is rampant in America, in people and pets. One key for keeping pets healthy is to keep them busy. Well-designed toys that engage your pets and make them work for their treats are hot, hot, hot in the pet industry. There are lots of food-puzzle toys available for most animals that require animals to use their natural instincts and energy to reach the reward inside.

Of course, nothing beats exercise. Play with your pet, provide a variety of toys, and rotate them frequently. Keeping your pet busy will help keep them healthy mentally and physically (with the added bonus that they will be less likely to look for trouble).

Complete Nutrition

There is a lot of talk in the about “raw” food for pets. Simply feeding your pet people food is not the answer. A quality, well-balanced diet is essential, especially to combat obesity. High-end pet-food manufacturers are stepping up to the challenge and creating balanced, pelleted food for animals.

It started in the avian industry, because birds are expert at picking out high-fat, tasty seeds and leaving the healthier foods behind. (Sounds like a few toddlers I know!) So manufacturers started using the meat from the seeds and combining them with other, healthier foods to create a complete, balanced diet. The movement has spread from birds to reptiles to all areas of the pet food industry. Talk to your vet about the best nutrition choice for your pet.

The One Trend to Avoid

Look out for trendy pets. Remember when Paris Hilton carried around her little Chihuahua? Whenever a hot movie comes out featuring some cute critter, unscrupulous breeders try to cash in, and overbreed or inbreed the animals to meet demand. Avoid these trends at all costs. Think about your family needs and talk to your local pet expert to find the animal that will be the best fit.

Related Picture Books

Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O’Connor
The Lorax by Dr. Suess

photo credit: Fancy Sucre Dog by Hanumann via Creative Commons License.

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.

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