These programs are like exciting adventures for kids, helping them learn about nature and our environment in fun ways. In Eco-Crafting, they can make Clay Flower Bowls, Nature Imprints, and Bird Seed Mandalas, unleashing their creativity while connecting with nature's beauty. Recycling activities, like Brainstorming Sessions, Paper Making, and Upcycled Containers, show them how to be eco-friendly problem-solvers. Through Planting, they'll grow outdoor and indoor gardens and create Seed Bombs, discovering how plants and biodiversity work. And when they Connect With Nature by practicing Honourable Harvest, Nature Journaling, and Nature Label Walks, they'll develop a deep respect for the environment and mindfulness. These programs make learning about the environment a blast, helping kids become eco-superheroes with creativity, problem-solving skills, and a strong bond with nature
Clay Flower Bowls
Learning Objectives: use of clay, parts of a flower.
Terminology: petal, leaf, stem, roots. (for older students, stamen & carpel)
Description: Students form a pinch pot from clay and sculpt it to look like a flower, including all the different parts. Can be painted at a later date.
Materials: clay, water (in bowls), paint (optional)
Learning Objectives: patterns in nature, how imprints are made
Terminology: imprint, air dry, composition, figurative vs abstract.
Description: Students gather nature items (leaves, pinecones, stones, etc) and organize them onto a clay slab to compose an image of their choosing. After gently pressing their items into the clay, the items are removed to leave behind their imprint. Students are encouraged to discover the differing patterns and textures in nature and to differentiate between figurative and abstract art.
Materials: clay, water (in bowls), rolling pin, nature items
Bird Seed Mandalas
Learning Objectives: how to help nature around us, local birds and their diets
Terminology: mandalas, patterns
Description: Students cover a base in almond butter to be used as an adhesive, and then apply bird seed in patterns to form a mandala.
Materials: cardboard base, almond butter (or other peanut-free spread as needed), bird seed, string for hanging
Learning Objectives: recycling, types of plastic, alternatives to plastic
Terminology: recycling, gesso, colour palettes
Description: Students repaint old containers to reuse them as plant pots, pencil holders, etc. Students are encouraged to think through the colours they choose, keeping in mind complimentary colours, paint saturation, and the desired mood of their finished piece.
Materials: Containers (iced coffee cups, yogurt containers, etc), gesso, paint, palettes, brushes, water (in jars), paper towels, tablecloths.
Three R’s Brainstorm
Learning Objectives: team work, waste reduction, creative exercise
Terminology: Reusing, reducing, recycling
Description: Students are broken into groups and given a piece(s) of recycling and must work together to brainstorm ways that item first be reduced, then how it may be reused, and finally how it may be recycled. Ideas are presented to the rest of the class, and discussed.
Materials: Recycling items (milk carton, plastic bag, etc)
Learning Objectives: paper making, recycling, awareness of paper waste
Terminology: mould, deckle
Description: Students shred paper that would otherwise be recycled and learn the process of making recycled paper.
Materials: paper, water, containers, mould & deckle, towel, sponge, space to dry
Learning Objectives: seed/seedling planting, soil composition, the five plant needs, where food comes from
Terminology: seed, seedling, soil, compost, germination
Description: Students plant seeds and/or seedlings outside. Types of plants are selected based on time of year and space available. Students are taught how to care for the plants, when to harvest, and the five needs plants have.
Materials: seeds/seedlings, soil, containers or garden bed, labels, trowels, watering can
Learning Objectives: planting, five plant needs, plants as decoration
Terminology: seed, seedling, soil, compost, germination
Description: Students plant seeds/seedlings in containers, and are taught when to water, how long the plants take to grow, and the advantages to growing plants indoors.
Materials: seeds/seedlings, soil, containers, watering can
Learning Objectives: local pollinators, seed planting, five plant needs, reusing paper
Terminology: pollinators, germination
Description: Students mix seeds with shredded paper and form a ball that can be planted later. Students discuss the importance of pollinators and the best conditions for planting seeds.
Materials: paper, water (in bowl), seeds, towel
Label Nature Walk
Learning Objectives: plant identification, research skills
Terminology: identification, local plants, invasive species
Description: Students walk around and each choose a plant to identify. Once identified, the plant is labeled for other visitors to enjoy.
Materials: labels, writing utensils, string.
CONNECTING WITH NATURE
Learning Objectives: leave no trace, humans as a part of nature, team work
Terminology: honourable harvest, leave no trace, contract
Description: Students work in groups to draft a list of steps that can be taken by humans to protect nature. The indigenous teaching of the Honourable Harvest and the Leave No Trace principles are explained. As a class, a contract to have a better relationship with nature is drawn up and made to hang in the school.
Materials: paper, writing utensils
Learning Objectives: observation skills, plant identification, teamwork
Terminology: local plants, pollinators, maple, oak, spruce
Description: Students walk in nature, filling out a nature journal with observations that will help them identify local plants and animals.
Materials: nature journal, writing utensils