About dariasblogs

Multicultural children’s performer DARIA has spent the last two decades performing in the US and around the world, creating music to inspire all the world’s children. Along with five national awards for her culturally diverse music, Daria’s website (www.dariamusic.com) was given a 2009 Parent’s Choice Award and offers many great resources for teachers, parents and kids of all abilities.

EARTH DAY RESOURCES FOR YOU!

Hello Good Friends Who Love The Earth:

We started this site a few years ago to allow folks to share ways they care for the planet.   We’ve loved your suggestions

Since we’re not updating these regularly now, we invite you to cruise through any of the truly creative and practical suggestions we’ve received over the past few years.  Also, connect with us to get the freebies found on this site – the Earth Day song, poster, activities  and more.

And you’re welcome to say “hi” to any of our founders.  We’d love to hear from you!

DARIA – Shares world music with a planet full of amazing people, especially the little ones!

Find her at: www.dariamusic.com

FARAH – Amazing artist that creates multicultural art to inspire and enlighten lives.

Find her at: http://faraharia.com/

TRACY – Super website woman, great graphic artist.  Need I say more?

Find her at: http://www.madcow-designs.com/

Make it an Earth Day, Everyday!

169 – She Created A Natural Playspace For Her Kids!

What better way to teach children about nature and encourage love and respect for the planet than creating a great natural outdoor playspace.

Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing just did a great post encouraging parents to find a space where the kids can get messy, have fun and explore nature right in their own backyard.  She included planting, dirt play, natural sculpture and even an area for mom to relax while kids enjoyed their new space.

Check out the post as well as her entire blog here:

http://www.pleasantestthing.com/2013/05/backyard-play.html

168 – She Shares Ideas for Homemade Heartfelt Presents – For Mother’s Day or Any Day!

One of my favorite blogs – Kindergarten Basics Blogspot – always shares simple ideas on how parents and teachers can make learning fun.  In this easy craft, kids learn to tie a bow and get to repeat the process over and over to complete a one-of-a-kind wreath for mom (or grandmom) to enjoy.

Although store-bought gifts are nice, many parents and grandparents point to homemade treasures, cards or simple gifts from their children as their most prized possessions for their sentimental value.  This mother’s day craft allows you to upcycle scraps of ribbons and a few other basic materials and end up with a great gift any child would be proud of.

http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2013/05/teach-kids-to-tie-bows-and-make.html

167 – Make The Easiest Worm Box – Ever!

Worms are a great way to have a more productive home garden.  Creating a simple worm box is a perfect way to learn about nature plus make excellent compost in small quantities at the same time.

Here’s an easy way to turn plastic cake holders or similar containers (especially those that can “nest” inside each other) into a real working worm farm that would fit under any sink on in any pantry.

Here’s what you need to begin:

Pan for underneath the worm box.

One (or more) plastic container that can “nest” inside each other.  One must have a lid.

Tools for poking holes in the plastic.

Small pieces of wood, legos or plastic objects to keep the main worm bin in a position to drain.

Bedding for the worms such as dried vegetation, dried weeds, a small bit of hay or straw or shredded newspaper.

Food scraps to feed the worms.

Worms!

Squirting water bottle (optional)
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Begin by getting your worm house ready!  Place your pan beneath where your worm house will be as it will catch the run-off water from the worms.  This pan needs to have no holes in it.

Next, poke a series of small pin-prick sized holes in the bottom of your main container.  Remember that the goal is to keep the area damp but not soaked, so these holes will allow the water to run into the pan beneath.  To aid with draining, make sure you’ve put the small wooden blocks or plastic objects on the pan so your first container sits up a bit and allows for good drainage.

Now you need some worm bedding.  You can often find dried leaves, weeds or grass in any yard or park.  Straw or hay work as well.  Newspaper can work but introduces inks and dyes and may not be a good choice if you are putting your compost into the garden.

Next, make sure you’ve mixed in some of the types of things that serve as worm food.  Throw in your discarded banana peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings and similar objects.  You might be surprised how this reduces your trash.  If the mixture seems dry, use a water bottle and give it a spritz of two of water so it will be wet and welcoming for your worms.

Going On A Worm Hunt!

Sure, can order worms from the internet, then you miss out on all the fun.  If you take a walk after a rain, you can often rescue quite a few that will live happily in your worm bin.  If you can’t do a post-rain walk, begin digging in a garden or looking under logs or piles of leaves, you’ll slowly find out more about which habitats worms enjoy.

Upkeep?  Keep your worm box damp and make sure to remove the compost water that you find at the bottom.  It’s really nutritious for plants, so make sure you “feed” it on any plants you have, indoors or out!  Also remember to add worm goodies periodically to eat so they always have new food to cycle through for you.

Also, make sure you keep the lid on your box to keep the area damp when not observing the worms or adding water or food.

A Worm Apartment House

If one worm box is not enough, you can turn it into a worm apartment house like the one pictured at the top of this post.  To do this, get another plastic container that is the same size and shape.  In this container, poke larger holes – large enough so that the worms can crawl through them.  Then fill the second container with the same type of bedding and some food scraps and set it on top of the other, placing the lid on top.  In this way, once the worms in the bottom container finish their food and leave compost, they will crawl up through the holes and begin on the next batch.  You can remove the lower area, use the compost, fill with bedding, replace it on top and begin the cycle again.

It’s a great way to learn about nature, use food scraps instead of trashing them and make useful compost all at the same time!

worms-in-compost-Fun Related Posts

Kindergarten Unit on WORMS!

http://www.theusualmayhem.com/search/label/Wormy%20Wednesdays

Compost Bin Sensory Play  (This post is so much fun!)

http://trainupachildlearnaswego.blogspot.com/2013/04/compost-bin-sensory-play-wash-and-learn.html

A Worm Box + Worm Lunch Post:

http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/2011/05/muffin-tin-muffin-celebration-of-worms.html

166 – Don’t Throw Out Your Easter Egg Dye – Use It To Make Rainbow Seashells!

After you’ve finished up your Easter egg dying, don’t toss out the jars of dye.

We love a recent post by The Educator’s Spin On It who have step-by-step directions on how to turn extra shells into a rainbow of fun by reusing Easter egg dyes.  The link to this simple craft is below, but we also encourage you to check out their site.  There are so many great ways of creating quality time with your kids without spending more money or consuming more stuff.

And they show you how to make it educational, too!  It’s website well worth a visit:

The Educator’s Spin On It – Home Page

http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/

The Educator’s Spin On It – Rainbow Seashells Craft:

http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2013/04/rainbow-sea-shells-after-school-link-up.html

165 – She Shows You How To Color Easter Eggs With All Natural Dyes!

Want to have a greener Easter?

This all natural craft is direct from Diane Kidman’s awesome blog (see link below).  She’s given us permission to print her instructions here so you can create a rainbow of natural eggs for Easter morning or just for the fun of it!

We tried it with materials we found around the kitchen and came up with these little beauties pictured above! Here are Diane’s instructions:
———————
Here’s how to color your Easter eggs naturally, using things like spices and vegetables.  Some of the colors are vivid, others more earthy and muted; I think the overall effect is beautiful.

Don’t forget to buff the eggs w/ a touch of olive oil for a nice shine.

Preparation: In a pan add water, a vegetable, fruit, or spice from the list below, and a tablespoon of vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Allow the water to cool to room temperature, strain out the veggies, fruit, or spice, (unless you want speckled eggs) and add the already-boiled eggs. You can leave the eggs in the color for as long as you wish, even overnight in the fridge, to get the desired color. Here’s the color chart that will tell you which natural item to use with your eggs:



Red: 3 Tbs. Chili Powder (reddish orange) or lots of red onion skins (purplish red) or chopped fresh beets


Orange: Yellow Onion skins


Yellow: Ground Turmeric or Orange Peel or Lemon Peel or ground cumin


Green: Spinach Leaves; or mix turmeric with red cabbage 


Blue: Red Cabbage Leaves (about 1/2 a head, chopped) or canned blueberries
Violet:

Purple Grape Juice (no need to boil first or to add water)

Visit the DK Mommy Spot – Natural Family Living Through Herbalism, Education and Eco-Friendly Products

https://dkmommyspot.com/

164 – She Shows You 10 Ways to Craft With Pine Cones

Feeling crafty?  Don’t rush out to the store to buy craft components.  The Earth offers some wonderful natural materials to encourage a wide range of artistic expressions.

Red Ted Art Blog has compiled 10 of her favorite ways to get crafty with all natural materials and you can see that post here.  I love that she has included one post about how pine cones can be indicators of the weather.  Posts like this can demonstrate how crafts can be both fun and spark an interest in science and nature at the same time.

Next time you’re feeling crafty – don’t buy – forage!

Red Ted Art’s 10 Pine Cone Crafts

http://www.redtedart.com/2013/03/28/10-pine-cone-crafts-ideas/

The adorable owl pictured here is one of the 10 posts listed above.  It’s from a lovely site in the UK called  “Mum In The Mad House”.   You can see the original post for Pine Cone Owls here:

http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/2013/03/27/how-to-make-a-pine-cone-owl/

163 – She Shares How To Make Music A Part of Homeschool Learning By Creating Recycled/Inexpensive Instruments!

One of our favorite blogs to visit is called “Kathy’s Cluttered Mind”.   We especially like her recent post about 10 creative musical projects that kids can make to explore music at home.  From cymbals, paper plate tambourines, spin drums, string things and didgeridoos, there are hours of musical fun here without buying a single thing!

Here’s a bit about Kathy and the complete musical post is listed as a link below:

Kathy quit her full time job in July 2011 to stay at home and homeschool her two children (ages 5 and 7). She is also a wife to her wonderful husband whom she married on her 19th birthday in 2000. She lives in Georgia just north of the hustling and bustling city of Atlanta. When she is not homeschooling the kids she enjoys blogging, scrapbooking, hiking, geocaching and watching movies.

10 Easy/Inexpensive Instruments To Make With Your Kids

http://www.kathysclutteredmind.com/2013/02/10-easyinexpensive-instruments-to-make.html

162 – They Show You How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

You’ll find some great  information about green cleaning here.

Want to rid your house of harmful chemicals used in cleaning?  DIYNatural.com  is one site on the internet that offers an easy recipe for creating homemade laundry soap.  The cost is much less then store brands and you get to choose exactly what goes into it.   And what goes out into your waste water or septic tank!

Check out this post as a great starting place and also read through the comments.  Many readers have helpful tips and suggestions about the laundry soap recipe or different ways they clean with natural ingredients.

http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/

161 – She Creates Homemade Toys For Crafty and Creative Fun!

Another blog we love to visit is “Crafty Mom Shares”.  Carries has lots of inspiration about how to make your own fun at home while learning and growing with your kids.

Take a look at this recent post of a classic homemade toy – dolls made from clothespins.  Instead of premade and plastic “people”,  kids can put their own ideas and imagination into the “play world” they create.   And making the accessories and building the world is a great way to spend time together with parents and siblings of all ages and abilities able to contribute to creating the new kingdom.

Visit Crafty Moms Share for more simple ideas that can provide hours of creative, homemade fun!

http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/

160 – Her Kindergarten Creates With Cardboard!

There’s a wonderful blog in Greek and English from a Kindergarten teacher in Greece.  Maro’s Kindergarten shows some of the wonderful ways her class works with the simplest items and turns them into truly exciting, creative play.

Visit Maro’s blog and check out how cleverness and creativity can rule as “premade and plastic” take a back seat.

http://maros-kindergarten.blogspot.com/2013/02/blog-post.html

159 – She Shares Great Ideas For “Thrifty Teaching” and Awesome Homemade Fun!

Susan Case has an awesome website that shares her love of children and education with the world.  Recently her Kindergarten Blogspot posted a series of articles called:  The  ABC’s Of Thrifty Teaching Tools.  All were no cost or low-cost ways of having fun and learning with your kids – without buying more items or consuming more stuff.

The ideas and suggestions in this ABC Series are easy to recreate in your own home or class, such as the Rainbow Bubble Snakes pictured here.

Stop by her site and be inspired with great “green” ways to learn and grow.

http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-abcs-of-thrifty-teaching-tools-e.html

158 – Enjoy Flowers In Winter Without Adding To Your Carbon Footprint – Force Some Forsythia!

If you’re longing to add some bright color to a dreary winter day, you can take a little time to practice the art of forcing plants.  Simply explained, you either bring cut branches of flowering shrubs inside (like the forsythia pictured here) or prepare bulbs and leave them indoors.  The warmer temperatures “trick” the plants into thinking it’s time to grow and bloom and you can enjoy the result without adding to the cost of growing and shipping and growing hothouse flowers.  Other then the bulbs, the supplies you need may be as simple as pebbles, water and a glass container!

Aside from the bright yellow flowers of forsythia, what kind of plants can you force?  Bulbs work the best.   Consider any of the following and feel free to read more at the posts listed below that give step-by-step instructions and other helpful hints.

Best Bulbs/Flowers For Forcing

Paperwhites

Narcissi and Daffodils

Hyacinth

Amaryllis

Oxalis (Shamrocks)

Crocus

Dutch Irises

—————————–

Real Simple’s Article – How To Force Bulbs Into Bloom:

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/gardening/flowers/bulbs-blossoms-time-10000001702182/index.html

Savvy Gardeners’ Post:  Forcing Bulbs Indoors:

http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/forcing_bulbs.html

(157) They Show You How To Be A Friend To Pollinators

Did you know that animal pollinators are needed for 35% of the world’s food crops?

And – without pollinators, there would be no chocolate, almonds, melons, strawberries or blueberries?

Although many people have heard about the disappearance of bees, these websites will help you understand more about all the different types of pollinators and how you can make a difference in this important matter.  Changes suggested are simple and can be done anywhere by anyone – such as having a water source for bees and butterflies or leaving dead trees or logs around so that there will be as a safe habitat for pollinators.

Learning more about your local environment and what can be done to help can be a lot of fun as well as a practical way to love the Earth.   Check out these helpful resources:

All About Insects and Pollinators from the USDA site:

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate

How Gardeners Can Help Pollinators

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/gardeners

How Farmers Can Help Pollinators

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/farmers

Short video – Be A Friend To Pollinators From  Earth Knowledge Portal

http://www.earthknowledge.net/index.php/knowledgeportal/49679-be-a-friend-to-pollinators

156 – They Show You How To Raise Chickens – In Your Backyard!

Although farmers have crowed about the value of keeping chickens for centuries, many families with smaller yards have begun to appreciate what “backyard” chickens can contribute to their family.   And many new breeds have excellent personalities as pets plus some types (Arucana and Americanas) even lay delicately colored blue, green or pink eggs.

Rules and regulations for keeping chickens vary from place to place, with the most concerns relating to the noise from an early morning (or all night) rooster.  To solve that problem, some companies now sell chicks that are “sexed” as female only.   And a variety of businesses also sell small “chicken tractors”, movable chicken housing that allows them to move and graze throughout a small space while they grow and lay eggs for you.

For all the latest news, ideas and products for keeping backyard chickens, check out this helpful resources.  They provide a great way to consider making backyard poultry a part of your life:

BACKYARD POULTRY MAGAZINE

http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/

BACKYARD CHICKEN WEBSITE

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

Know of any more great sites or publications on this topic?  E-mail us at daria at makemusicwithme dot com and we’ll add them here!

(155) She Knows What To Do With Pieces of Fabric Scraps – Haiti Peace Quilts!

Have you ever had a box of extra fabric scraps – remnants or pieces from an older project that you’ve completed?  Have you been tempted to throw them out in the trash – well, stop before you toss.  As you probably imagined, they can have a whole other life as part of a beautiful quilt – even if you aren’t a quilter yourself.

Check out Haiti Peace Quilts – this is one place you can donate scraps of fabric usable for quilts as well as other quilting material.  They have an easy-to-reach address in Boston for the scraps, so donating is as easy and packing and shipping to anywhere else in the USA.  To support this cause you can also purchase the finished items and allow women in this crisis-worn country a way toward self-determination

Here’s the Haiti Peace Quilts site:

http://www.haitipeacequilts.org

And a description of what is needed as donation or other ways to help:

http://www.haitipeacequilts.org/How_You_Can_Help.html

Does anyone know any other places that would like fabric donations? We are happy to do a post about them here as well!  Thanks for spreading the word.

One person’s trash can be another’s warm and cozy blanket!

(154) They’ve Turned A Trashed Trampoline into a Great Way To Raise Poultry!

As a chicken-lover, I was thrilled to see this inventive use of an old trampoline frame.  Why let this item rot in a landfill if it can help your in securing the safety of a backyard flock!  We love this idea and our chickens have officially clucked their approval!

You can see the full post here:

http://homesteadsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/05/chicken-coop-made-from-trampoline-frame.html

(153) They Collect Shells and Trash at The Beach!

Combining a beach walk with litter pick-up - what a great idea!

We love this recent suggestion.  It’s a great way of getting out and exploring nature and leaving the area cleaner then when you arrived.  Bravo!

Our seaside friends write: “We love living in Florida for it’s beautiful beaches only some other people seem to forget to pick up after themselves. So when we go to the beach we bring two bags with us. one to collect shells for our sand box and the other for picking up trash.”

(152) They “Teach Their Children Well”

crafting from recycled shipping boxes

Do you remember the Crosby, Stills,Nash and Young song titled “Teach Your Children Well?”

We’ve been thrilled to hear from lots of moms and dads who feel that one of the best things they can do is to spend time “being green” with their kids. This includes teaching them to recycle, turning recycling into games, feeding the  birds, crafting with recyclables, gardening and working on reducing water and electric use at home.

Amanda Jo writes to us on this topic:  “Teaching my daughter (the next generation) how to recycle and garden. Is my way of helping the earth.”

(151) This 15 Year Old Is Teaching Her Parents A Thing or Two About Being Green!

At this blog, we often hear from young kids or their parents.  It was a thrill to hear from a teenager who is not only active in living a greener life, but also influenced her family to make better choices.  Thanks for what you do, Jenna!

She tells us: “I’m 15 years old and I’ve been influencing my parents to become greener and more eco-friendly. So far, I’ve made a difference by recycling, composting, and buying green, recycled products!”