We happened on it totally by accident. I got a book out of the library called A Year of Crafts for Kids. It turned out to be crafts related to specific holidays. Well, we were in luck because not only was Easter coming up, but also Earth Day. The ideas were really cute across the board. The easiest, however, being that I had all of the supplies on hand and the effort was minimal, was The Trash Monster.
The benefits of the project were threefold for us:
1. It served as another "M" craft (you know...Monster), which is where we've stalled for a while in our alphabet lessons.
2. It's fun. Who doesn't like monsters?
3. The added service aspect - which is helping to clean up the neighborhood (or wherever).
Basically you take two paper bags, flip one over and fit inside the other (essentially creating a box), you cut a hole in the top, add on some teeth and eyes, and decorate however else you want. Then, you take it outside and "feed" the monster with trash you pick up off the ground.
We did a trial run on Tuesday.
Abby and Sarah made sure the outside bag was heavily decorated with orange circles and glue. But mostly glue.
Trash Monster #1
We went on our adventure to collect trash and beautify the earth, where Abby fell very naturally into a supervisory role.
While Sarah took the direction from her supervisor from a few steps off the road. She brought the juice box from home. And despite chugging it in 0.2 seconds flat after leaving the house, she outright refused to feed it to the trash monster.
We filled that joker up. Despite my suspicions we would find hardly any trash, I was wrong. Apparently, our neighbors are much more slovenly than I guessed.
Today, on actual Earth Day, we made two more Trash Monsters. We had three kids, two receptacles, and a lofty goal of cleaning up both our church grounds before the Easter egg hunt and Ben's school the day after Field Day.
We started at church. I gotta tell you - the place was practically pristine when we arrived. We did manage to collect a few random cable ties, stickers, and bottle tops, but for the most part the place was beautiful.
Some of the help was a little less willing than the rest...note helpful older sister's death grip on baby sister.
Oh yes. We did find candy wrappers. Lots of those. I guess soccer players get hungry for sweets after games.
Our pretty, pretty church grounds/soccer fields. We can't take credit. It looked like this when we got there.
The school, however, not so pretty. You can't so much tell from the photo, as I had hoped, but the entire field was littered with water bottles and Gatorade bottles. It was as if someone had a party out there, and just flipped the lights off and sent everyone home. We had our work cut out for us.
It was a field that just the day before hosted Field Day to hundreds of Pre-K through 2nd Grade students and their families. Hundreds of little Gatorade-covered kids sharing popcorn with their trash-throwing baby sisters.
Ben and I had our work cut out for us, anyway. Sarah found a bench to sit on with her baby.
And Abby? Well she's a speck over there on the right side of the photo, somewhere. Probably chasing a butterfly.
We got a wagon full of recyclables and two trash monsters full of Popsicle wrappers and bottle caps.
But I didn't get a picture...because the playground was calling our names.
So that's that. Trash Monsters. Earth Day.
(It's nearing 1am, and that's the best I can do for a salutation.
P.S. - Since it took longer than I thought it would and I didn't get this posted on actual Earth Day, would you be so kind as to mentally change all of the today's to yesterday's while you're reading? Thanks.)