When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

To some children, Legos are a first primer to serious architecture. Though in the fun guise of play, most of us don’t recall the strategy, composing and hours of constructing, erecting and regrouping to begin again, that was involved in a serious afternoon of Lego assembly. Science, who is no stranger to hours of constructive exploration, often strays from the ordinary to investigate and find answers, and when searching for a solution to fill a laboratory need one team did just that. Researchers at Iowa State University wanted to investigate what effects the environment has on plant development. In order to… read more

Your Pool is a Major Air Polluter

Backyard Pool Pollution

An aerial view of the suburbs in a warm climate often displays a homogenous cluster of houses, spiraling outwards along the street. Behind each house, a fenced, green patch contains a sparkling pool in a kidney-bean shape – or perhaps round or rectangular. These toxic puddles are more than Kool-aid blue splashes on an otherwise bare landscape. They are generators of air pollution. Especially in large concentrations. Staying out of artificial swimming pools doesn’t keep you free from exposure to the toxins contained within. Whether they are actually used, the congregation of chemically treated pools elevate the pollution levels throughout… read more

Getting Kids Into Gardening

Getting Kids In The Garden

Teaching kids where their food comes from is a valuable lesson that will stay with them forever. Gardening fosters a sense of independence, models sustainability and encourages healthy eating. Match kid’s creativity by rethinking what a garden plot should be. If space is an issue, container gardens or vertical varieties are easier to maintain and can be done to scale in order to fit the child’s abilities and growing plans. A simple planter concept that also reuses plastic bottles can be seen in a product called the Petomato. By taking an ordinary empty water bottle and fitting on the special cap that contains… read more

Solar Powered Cookout

Solar Powered Cookout

Teaching kids about renewable resources doesn’t always have to be a lecture or a lesson on paper. For example, all ages can appreciate a sun-cooked food festival, and the solar process makes for good dinner conversation. Getting outside and providing some hands-on explanation of how the sun’s energy can be applied is useful, teaches self-reliance and sustainability, and is fun for kids. Campfires and hot dog roasts are a rite of passage in some childhood circles. Instead of building a fire, build a solar hot dog cooker. Host an activity and have kids bring their own cardboard box. Gather a… read more

Connected Art

Connected Art

Making real down to earth connections in a digitally focused age can be complicated. While it’s easy to click a button, it is not so easy to always stand out and truly be meaningful. The following are a few artists who have captured a way to make a difference while having a universal impact in some unique ways. An unusual collection of portraits from artist JR has created a stir in its famous exhibition hall backdrop. Called Au Panthéon!, the Pantheon in Paris is canvased with numerous photographs which were provided by participants from all over the world. In addition to collecting uploaded submissions,… read more

Bottled Fun

Bottled Fun

Kids are notorious for playing with packaging, so saving up plastic bottles and jugs for crafting makes perfect sense. With an inventive attitude and a few supplies, fun in a bottle is a sure cure for boredom. Milk jugs can be turned into game equipment like carton catchers. With some careful cutting, sturdily affixed end tubes and a bit of ornamentation a game of catch is invented. Just add a ball and toss back and forth for an energetic, recycling inspired activity that the whole family can participate in. Condiment bottles can be repurposed and used for restocking craft materials. Once… read more

DIY Fashions And Fun Made With Extra Fabric

DIY Fashions From Extra Fabric

There are tons of ideas for using up fabric remnants. If you have been saving up extra fabric, break it out and put it to use by making something practical, fashionable or educational. This floral bag tutorial incorporates a spring inspired print that could be changed out with the seasons, or for any other reason, with a découpage technique. This application could be used for backpacks and other bags, and even applied to luggage to make it stand out at pick-up. To color or put a print or pattern onto plain fabric, try a traditional shibori method for dying. Cotton blends work best for this, and… read more

Science Fun For Energetic Minds

Science Fun For Energetic Minds

Children’s curiosity allows them to catch onto a concept and wrap themselves up in the idea of it, generating experiences that naturally invoke learning. The following are a few ways for kids to learn and apply real world technical applications that will enhance their knowledge while being science literate and having fun. Code.org is a computer science based site that offers online classes and educational resources for a range of ages. The site features games, videos, tutorial apps as well as lessons and advice from guest lecturers. Users can test out different skill sets, like learning JavaScript, creating and performing commands and… read more

Eco Education For Tomorrow

Education for Sustainability

For those in the know there is a growing field called Education for Sustainability (EfS). This is now taking hold across the world (hailed by the United Nations) as a key strategy for raising awareness, knowledge and skills toward improved sustainability behaviours. It is also considered by some writers to be more inclusive and effective than its predecessor, Environmental Education. Whilst it could be argued that the differences between Environmental Education and Education for Sustainability (EfS) are negligible, differences exist. These may be attached to the changing definitions of these terms (in particular, “environment”, “education”, and “sustainability”) in response to… read more

The Crown Of Spring

The Crown Of Spring

Handmade floral headbands made with fresh or crafted flowers are a nod to spring and reawakening. These require few materials and can be made using items from around the house and flowers or other natural items from outdoors. Also, other choices for decorative materials, like recycled papers or fabrics can be used to make them. The crowns can be made in any size and can be tailored for children and adults. They also make great gifts, and little hands can learn how to craft them too. They make sweet gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day and other special events. If making… read more