As the expression goes, every day is Earth Day. However, that is more than a saying in our house. Like most families, we recycle. We use reusable grocery bags. We also try to find clever ways to reuse items and reduce trash. My children and I also have daily conversations about conservation and other ways to help keep the Earth beautiful, such as cleanup projects, releasing ladybugs and butterflies or planting a garden or trees.
But on Earth Day, I always go above and beyond by planning something a little special. Over the years, I have hosted numerous Earth Day play dates that included crafts involving trash to reduce and reuse once discarded items and games that taught the importance of recycling. With our friends, we danced and sang songs that celebrated our beautiful plant. We explored our backyard world with nature walks, collected any litter we stumbled upon and made collages with beautiful natural treasures items we found along the way.
With such fondness, my children recall the games and the nature walks with our friends, however, they have a special place in their hearts (or perhaps their tummies) for the dirt cups we made at our annual Earth Day play dates.
Using small pudding pots may appear hypocritical to the whole thought behind Earth Day, but a lesson in conservation always followed this tasty treat. After we enjoyed our small Earth Day dessert, we always found a clever way to reuse the small pudding pot. For example, they make wonderful mini planters for seedlings.
After devouring our Dirt Cups, we washed the pots, filled them with some potting soil and a few wildflower seeds (or another type of quick germinating seeds) and then covered the seeds with a bit more soil. Reusing the pudding cups to plant a small garden demonstrates and celebrates everything about Earth Day.
These Dirt Cups make wonderful Earth Day desserts. Afterwards, consider using this simple treat to facilitate a conversation about conservation with your children.
- 1 four-pack Jello chocolate pudding
- 10-12 Oreos
- ¼ sweetened shredded coconut
- Green food coloring
- Gummy worms
- In a small bowl, add a 2-3 drops of green coloring to shredded coconut. Mix until well coated and green. Set aside.
- Add Oreos to a Ziploc bag and smash with mallet until crumbly. Add crumbles to chocolate pudding.
- Top Oreo crumbles with green coconut. Add a one or two gummy worms to “grass”, burying the tail into the Oreo “dirt”.
What types of foods do you use to teach your children about conservation and Earth Day?