Today’s guest post was provided by TurfMutt, a free educational curriculum for children K-5 led by Lucky, a real-life rescue dog. He encourages them to protect the land and appreciate natural surroundings in their own community.
With Earth Day right around the corner, I thought their ideas for getting your kids involved in learning more about their environment were pretty cool, and I’m glad they shared these tips!
With children spending seven and a half hours with media devices every day, it’s sometimes a challenge to gently guide them outdoors. But a world awaits them once they do manage to step foot outside.
One way to get some fresh air while teaching kids responsibility is to make yard work fun. TurfMutt, the web portal for green tips in a brown world, offers a wide array of age-appropriate activities through its Discovery Education program. Below are a few simple ideas to make outdoor learning a joy.
For preschool children:
Plant bulbs. Have your child place the bulbs in the appropriate holes you dig. Make sure you have a small watering can at hand so your child can water the bulb too.
Collect debris. Little sticks, smaller branches or even last year’s leaves are easy things for your child to collect in a basket while you clean away the larger brush that may have accumulated over the winter.
Play the worm game. See how many worms you can find in your yard.
For elementary school children:
Spread seeds. Ask your child to help you spread grass seed with a seed spreader or, for smaller patches, by hand.
Water carefully. In the event rain isn’t in the forecast, get out the hose to water the newly planted grass seed. Be sure not to overwater your lawn, however. It’s always best to water in the early morning or in the evening, especially in summer.
Race to the finish line. Taking care of your garden tools is as important as caring for the garden itself. See how fast you can recoil the hose after use.
For middle and high school children:
Work together. Early spring is a great time to prune certain shrubs. Ask your teenager to help recycle the greenery you cut by bundling them into stacks to be hauled away, used as firewood or composted.
Get creative. After planting grass seed, engage the entire family in a craft project to ensure the birds don’t eat the grass seeds you just planted Get some sticks, cardboard, tinfoil, a hole punch and some string to make flashy ‘scarecrows’ you will later stick in the ground to ward off hungry birds and the temptation to play Angry Birds instead.
A committed supporter of animal rescue and rehabilitation, Kris Kiser, CEO and President of OPEI, spearheaded the development of the TurfMutt educational curriculum with Discovery Education. The TurfMutt youth curriculum promotes environmental stewardship of everyday personal and community space through a “spokesdog” named Lucky, a real rescue dog and the face of the program.