MiniMonos, an interactive website which helps encourage kids to learn and think about the enviornment they live in, has come up with some great ideas to make this half term a planet-friendly one:
You don’t have to save gardening until the warmer months. Salad leaves, such as lettuce and rocket, are surprisingly simple to grow all year round. Use it as an opportunity to get your children to learn about organic and healthy products, while getting their hands dirty. They’re far more likely to eat greens if they helped them grow!
One of the great things about growing salad leaves is that they produce a constant harvest – cut them and they’ll soon grow back!
Follow these steps:
- Fill a seed tray with compost.
- Spread over a quarter of a teaspoon of salad seeds.
- Cover with a sprinkling of your homemade compost (see below), and place it on a windowsill where it will get the most available sunlight.
- Make sure to keep the soil moist! Covering the tray in cling-film is a handy way to do this – just take off the cling-film when the first seedlings appear.
- Get the kids to keep an eye on the plants. When they grow to about 3 inches tall, they can be cut and will keep growing back again and again, simple!
Top tip: Make sure not to over-water the seedlings. It’s also a good idea to water well with a sprinkle everyday.
Upcycling around the home
Pull together odd bits and bobs from around the house such as bottles, cardboard, jars and old clothes. Then get out all of your pens, crayons and glue. Turn old things into new – such as a bottle into a piggy bank or odds and ends into a robot.
You can even load pictures of your children’s creations onto minimonos.com/mm/eco. Plus, you can see what other kids around the UK have been creating.
Make your own compost
Autumn is the ideal time to start making your own compost and is a really simple way for many foods to be recycled. The compost can be used to plant seeds and give an overall understanding of the wonderful world of the eco-cycle.
What to do:
- You can either buy a cheap plastic compost bin, or use an old plastic box or container.
- Place your compost in a sunny patch on bare soil. Or, if you have to put your compost bin on a hard surface, make sure there’s a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom.
- Choose a place where you and the kids can easily add ingredients to the bin and get the compost out.
- Help you children find a suitable compost container from the kitchen, such as an old ice-cream tub.
- Fill the container with everything from vegetable and fruit peelings to teabags, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes and eggshells (make sure kids keep washing their hands).
- Teach children what can and can’t be composted. Cooked food, meat or fish are big no-nos.
- A 50/50 mix of greens and browns is an ideal mix for good compost.
- It takes between 9 and 12 months for compost to become ready for use, so now all you need to do is wait!
- Keep on adding greens and browns throughout the year to top up your compost.
Don’t forget to share your creations with us on Facebook and Twitter!