Simple Earth Art

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I’ve posted about this before, and offered an easy tutorial. The last time we did this project it was with Lucas and his friend from school. But it’s too good to do only once, and this time I was hoping to get Lucas, Asher, and the neighborhood boys to play with me. Alas, basketball won out over my idea.

Still, Asher and I had fun. (He’s sweet to still sometimes do stuff with me.)


This time, I enjoyed writing messages on my earths. Cheesy, maybe, but I like them.

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Here’s how they turned out. I think they’re awesome. I’m making one for the bathroom that says “Save water.” Maybe it will remind us to cut down on our shower times.

Earth Day art #earthday #8yearold #secondgrader

Asher made this lovely Mars, too. Why not? He does live in the future, after all. Maybe someday the Earth won’t be our only home … Maybe future humans will get to choose.

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Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day.  May we all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all.

Happy Earth Day!

Our little patch of Earth is presently covered in flowers. All of my beautiful plants are laughing uproariously in color. It makes me happy.


No filter Aurora, I think

California is experiencing a very serious drought. And I’m conflicted about having a garden at all. I’ve been building and growing and tending this little oasis of ours for 16 years now. I think often about taking out my lawn, but then I watch my children playing in our yard and feel so grateful that we have a place to play! I am withholding water from these plants. I’m taking Navy showers (brrr!) and saving every drop of rainwater I can capture whenever water does come from the sky.

I promise to bathe my children rarely. I promise to make them wear the same pajamas several nights in a row. I promise to save shower water. I promise to let the yellow mellow at night. I promise to eat less meat. I promise to plant only drought-tolerant plants. I promise I will only drink coffee and champagne from now on if I can keep my garden alive this summer!

Foxgloves are coming

So far, the yard is doing pretty well on water rations, but the temperatures are still cool.


Last week Asher asked if we could make a cactus garden. I bought him three little cactuses and brought a few more from my kitchen window out so he could make this. He painted the vine wreath with green and red paint, and then we buried it into the little garden so it looks like an arch now.

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We also planted a tiny vegetable garden. I debated about this, but figured it was a good cause, especially since the drip watering system will be watering this box anyway. We planted 2 sungold tomatoes, 1 rainbow tomato (that might be the name), two types of cucumber (one is a lemon cucumber), 1 summer squash, 1 Japanese eggplant, 2 purple basil, 2 sweet basil. (We like to make pesto.)

Today, after school, I’m going to see if I can get the boys to plant some seeds with me and do some art for Earth Day.

And now poetry:

The Robin’s Song

God bless the field and bless the furrow,
Stream and branch and rabbit burrow,
Hill and stone and flower and tree,
From Bristol town to Wetherby –
Bless the sun and bless the sleet,
Bless the land and bless the street,
Bless the night and bless the day,
From Somerset and all the way
To the meadows of Cathay;
Bless the minnow, bless the whale,
Bless the rainbow and the hail,
Bless the nest and bless the leaf,
Bless the righteous and the thief,
Bless the wing and bless the fin,
Bless the air I travel in,
Bless the mill and bless the mouse,
Bless the miller’s bricken house,
Bless the earth and bless the sea,
God bless you and God bless me!
—Old English Rhyme


Canticle to the Sun

Praised be God for brother Sun,
Who shines with splendid glow,
He brings the golden day to us,
Thy glory does he show!
Praised be God for sister Moon
And every twinkling star;
They shine in heaven most bright and clear,
All glorious they are.
Praised be God for brother Wind
That storms across the skies,
And then grows still, and silent moves
And sweetly sings and sighs.
Praised be God for Water pure,
Her usefulness we tell,
So humble, precious, clean and good,
She works for us so well.
Praised be God for brother Fire
Friendly and wild and tame,
Tender and warm, mighty and strong,
A flashing, flaring flame.
Praised be to God for mother Earth,
Who keeps us safe and well,
Whose mother heart all warm with love,
Dark in her depths doth dwell.
—St. Francis of Assisi

Here are a few links I’ve enjoyed this week, and thought you might like them too:

Plantable gift wrapping paper

Plantable paper earths with seeds

Crochet earth ball pattern. I wish I could make this but I can’t crochet!

Recycle your Crayola markers

Green gifts from National Resources Defense Council

Elemental play book

Finally, our Late Spring Festivals E-Book is on sale for 50% off at Little Acorn Learning. It’s only $12.50 until 4/24/15.

OK. This was a rambling post. It’s what I get for trying to cram weeks of living into one blog. So, back to the message:

Happy Earth Day to all beings near and far, finned and furry, scaly and feathered, mossy and green. May we humans all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all. ~~~~

Zoo Day

Sacramento zoo

Yesterday we spent a little time at the Sacramento Zoo. We haven’t been in a while and I think the last few times the kids were there, they were with either just Ian or with their grandparents. It was a lovely hot day and we were grateful for all the beautiful shade. The zoo really is nice now—much more beautiful and comfortable for the animals than it used to be 30+ years ago when I was a child.

My monkeys and some chimps


The giraffe enclosure and viewing platform is really top-notch.


Improbable zebras

What can I say? I love the zebras.

I enjoyed the hornbills and the white handed gibbons. The snow leopard looked uncomfortably hot. I was sad to learn that the daddy tiger Castro has cancer and is undergoing treatment. The baby tiger that was born at the zoo earlier this year still has not made his debut to the public.

Spider and fly

Here is Spider Lucas attacking Asher Fly.

Zoo day with my fellas

The boys enjoyed the reptile house. Asher was delighted to see tree frogs and snakes with skin his favorite color—chartreuse!

We were all kind of enchanted by the burrowing owl, who had a mouse that he was snacking on and then hiding, then snacking on some more.

Frog on toadstool

My wee froggy on a toadstool.

Kissing cousins

I have some ambivalent feelings about zoos, in general. I think that personal encounters with wild creatures and nature is the only thing that can make a person really care about conservation and environmental protection. At 11, Lucas is now able to see some of the injustices in the world, take them in and form opinions, and react. It’s good to give him experiences like this, instead of me just telling him that people destroy ecosystems and wildlife.

We renewed our zoo membership. I hope to take the kids a few more times this year. Maybe we can meet friends there this summer for a day of hanging out. I am working hard on my list of things to do this summer, as school lets out this coming Friday!

Earth Day Books for Young Children

It’s so easy to fall in love with nature in the springtime. I do every year. I know not everybody is into Earth Day and I know that the problems that face us as caretakers of this planet are vast—sometimes too grim to contemplate. We all make choices every day and I know I do not always make the best ones. And yet I think the first step to solving some of these massive issues is to instill in our children a love of this amazing world we live in, to cultivate a sense of reverence for the nature that is all around us.

Teaching children to appreciate nature is really not necessary; they already love it, wonder at it, learn from it. Children love animals, rocks, sticks, butterflies, flowers. Children need to splash in puddles, dig in the earth, and run their hands across the bark of a tree. They do this without our prompting, as long as we allow them to, discovering all along, unearthing small mysteries and miracles every day.

There is a wealth of children’s books about the earth. More are being published every day and your local bookstore or online retailer is sure to have a display or special on such books in honor of Earth Day. Some have a clear, scientific slant and some have a cute, cuddly animal slant. Honestly, there are so many that no single family could possibly explore them all!

What is a trifle harder to find are books with a reverent stance, that are poetic or provide a global ecological stance without being ALARMING. Here are a few we enjoy:


Frank Ash’s The Earth and I — A simple, rainbow-hued story of a boy who loves the earth and cares for her; perfect for preschoolers.

Graeme Base’s Uno’s Garden — A story of people moving into an unspoiled Eden and ruining it, and then the gradual return of the marvelous creatures and plants that lived there. Eventually they achieve balance with nature. It is also a mathematics story. Asher loves the creatures and the challenge of finding the Snortlepig. Lucas likes the pictures and the math.

Nancy Luenn’s Mother Earth — A beautiful and poetic personifcation of the earth, with a message that we should enjoy all that the earth has to offer and give back to her, too. I found this at the library and then scoured the Internet to find a copy for our home. I think it may be out of print, but you can still find copies.

Linda Glaser’s Our Big Home: An Earth Poem — Illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Elisa Kleven, this book is intricate and stunning: “We all live here. People, ants, elephants, trees, lizards, lichen, turtles, bees. We all share the same big home.”

Tony Johnston’s The Whole Green World — Also illustrated by Kleven. A girl counts her many blessings: shoes, a dog, a stick, a sack of seeds, a watering can, the sun, birds, ladybugs and ants, breezes, cake, a book, the moon, flowers and trees.

From Mother Earth.

From Our Big Home: An Earth Poem.

Shari Halpern’s My River — A used bookstore find published by Scholastic. Perfect for little ones. It shows how the river belongs to all creatures equally.

Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children — This book is a good investment and one I’m sure we’ll keep for many years.

Joseph Bruchac’s Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places — For slightly older kids, this book tells of earth legends from various native peoples. The oil painting illustrations are lovely.

Nature Crafts for Kids — This is where I first saw the Easter eggs with the negative prints of leaves and flowers. Make a barometer, a birdbath, pressed flowers, candied violets, a sundial, baskets, evergreen garlands, and much more. Another keeper.

If you like what you see here and choose to purchase one of these books for your family, click the links here—my family will be supported just a tad by your purchase.

What’s in your Earth Day book basket?

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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