School holidays means many things – a break from school lunches and homework, a chance to have fun as a family and if you are lucky like me, lots of time at the beach.
Holidays can also mean needing to entertain the kids by coming up with activities. I know I love nothing more than creating, celebrating and connecting with my girls Poppy and Daisy. Plus, keeping them busy reduces inevitable sibling-squabbles ?
Whenever possible, I opt for eco-friendly activities we can do together. It is so important to me that my girls are raised with a deep appreciation of nature, and how they can contribute to looking after it. With all the dread around climate change, I wish to instil in them hope and how they can be part of the solution.
With this in mind, today I’m sharing 5 eco-friendly activities for school holidays that you can try out with your own kids:
1. Get eco in the back garden
This summer holidays we plan on getting stuck into our backyard with some eco activities including:
Growing a veggie patch is such a great way to encourage zero waste, save money and for the kids to fully understand food doesn’t just magically appear at the grocery store. ? We created a clear space for our patch in a sunny part of our backyard. We used raised sleepers and during the holidays we are filling it with soil and planting mint (Daisy’s favourite), peas, radishes, tomatoes and lots more. I’m currently researching how to keep critters away without using nasty sprays and chemicals. If you have any tips please let me know! If you live in an apartment or renting, these planting boxes on wheels are a great idea!
Starting a compost or worm farm
I haven’t decided which one we are going to do yet, but by the time school goes back we will have one up and running. I quite like the look of a local Sunny Coast business Bokashi Ninja. The girls will play a big role in emptying our kitchen scraps each evening. I love the idea of composting, as it will be used on our garden and veggie patch – creating a full circle of zero waste and produce.
Creating a native bee hotel
Australia’s native bees are at risk due to urbanisation, pesticides and climate change. And without these pollinators, the whole eco system suffers. There are several ways to help native bees and one is setting up a native bee hotel this school holidays. These ‘hotels’ are made up of untreated wood with drilled holes, providing single living species a home.
I have gifted one to Poppy and Daisy from lovely gorgeous family run business Woodsman Australia. The Woodsman ‘harvest’ untreated ‘waste’ timbers and discarded materials relinquished to landfill and then revive and restore them. I met these guys at the Etsy Brisbane market and love how they’re created by
Pa, Mum and Granddaughter, all playing their part in making them.
We just select a well sheltered position out of full sun and simply hang the bee home or sit it on a shelf. Then you just wait for the bees to find this purpose built nesting site. We’re excited to see our new visitors.
2.Clean up walks and collecting bottles
We have been going on clean up walks for a while now, and I love seeing other families doing the same. Whether it is at the beach or local park, I pack gloves and a rubbish bag to pick up litter. I’ve taught Poppy and Daisy to never touch syringes and other dangerous items.
The girls love our clean up walks (which is surprising as it does sound like a chore). They feel proud that they are making an immediate difference for the environment and I am confident that these actions will mean they will never want to litter when they are older.
They also love collecting glass and plastic bottles to place our the local Return-It depots for cash. This gives them extra pocket money that they are thrilled with. Plus, ensures bottles and cans are recycled correctly. We go to our local drop off, but you can find out where your local depot is by doing a quick google search as different providers cover different areas.
3.Attend local land care events or beach clean ups
One of the local mums has just told me about the eco events for kids hosted by our local land care organisations and council. She said experts come in and provide fun activities teaching the kids all about the local environment and how to care for it. Up on the sunshine coast she has been to events focusing on sharks and marine life, birds and wetlands. We heard they are well organised, and the kids always have fun. I’m following the relevant Facebook pages to find out when the next one is!
We also have on our list of things to do, to attend local beach cleans ups. I’m looking out for the 2020 dates to be released so we can get involved. I know that Sea Life Centre Sunshine Coast ran some last year, so I know the girls and I will love going along to help the turtles.
4.Baking and crafting handmade gifts together
Baking and crafting handmade gifts are a fun and eco-friendly way to keep the kids entertained. These handmade gifts are always appreciated. Not only at the summer birthday parties but also throughout the year. I like to make a large number of items to keep my gift cupboard stocked. Some things we do include:
-Baking gluten free shortbread or cookies to gift in second hand little glass jars. We batch make and freeze, meaning I always have a last minute gift solution. If you want some of my recipes let me know! I’ll do a blog on some of my best trialled and tested gluten free success stories.
-Making paper and cards out of scraped paper. We use our Paper Making Kit and include dried and pressed flowers and different colours. My girls looove doing this, keeping them entertained for hours and everyone loves receiving their cards and gift tags. I’ll be starting to blog about all the great creations you can make with your Handmade Paper Kit.
-Making gift tags and decorations using air drying clay and pressed flowers from the Flower Press Kit. Not only are they fun to make and decorate but you can write a message on the back of them too. You can create so many different designs with leaf imprints, stamps and wooden shapes. We thread wooden beads onto the twine for the final touch. We made all our Christmas tags this year and they were a huge hit!
5.Visit wildlife centres dedicated to conservation and animal welfare
Ethical zoos and sanctuaries such as Australia zoo and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland are excellent for a day out during the school holidays. Children are able to interact with the wildlife and what they can do to protect them. These centres will often run school holiday programs and we’re lucky enough to have the Australia Zoo annual pass.
Many are also adopting sustainable practices such as Lone Pine ditching frozen ice-creams on sticks and in wrappers, for the zero-waste option of scoops of ice-cream with an edible waffle cone. No choices, no fuss and I didn’t hear any kids complaining that there was only vanilla. The girls loved being able to add their own concoctions of sauces and toppings.
Also in their cafes, all cups are bio cups and all straws are literally a piece of straw!
Do you have any eco-friendly activities planned with your kiddies these holidays? Let me know by leaving a comment!
Psst. All our eco-conscious creative kits are fabulous way to spend time on the school holidays. From making necklaces, memory games, flower pressing and finding fossils – all are a hit with the young and young at heart alike. To spread the holiday joy, use code ECOHOLIDAYS to receive 15% off.
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This year i’ll be sending across lots of fun eco crafts to do with your little creatives, lots of easy recipes and tips and tricks on how to slowly get a little more eco.
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