Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Walking for Others

Type: walk, donation
Age: any

I have been fortunate enough to give birth to two full term babies, and and hoping for another this summer. But for more than half a million other mothers around the country, they can not say the same. Thanks to organizations like March of Dimes, research and support aimed at preventing premature births continues.

With spring in full force and summer around the corner, 'walk' season has officially begun. Nearly every non-profit organization hosts a walk to raise funds to support their causes, and these walks are the perfect opportunity for your little hearts to serve others. I'm sure we take our kids for walks all the time as it is, what better way to spend an afternoon than raising funds for something worthwhile. These events are always family friendly and are usually very moving. Both you and your child will walk away feeling like you have really taken part in something special.

So whether it is March of Dimes (find more information about participating in a walk here) or another great cause - hit the streets with your little one and get your walk on!

Have you participated in a walk with your little heart? Would love to see pics - please send my way!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Pictures to Pennies

Type: art, fundraising
Age: over 2

This adorable idea comes from a reader named Sarah with the cutest blog, Sprout Reviews, which can be found here. Sarah and her daughter recently participated in a school fundraiser which turns your children's beautiful creations into magnets, mugs, note cards and other practical and sentimental items.

How often is your little one coming home from preschool carrying the most precious drawing you would love to keep forever - now is your chance, and an opportunity to help others! Check out the Art to Remember website for details on how to sign up your child's class for this wonderful fundraising opportunity.

If you take advantage of this fun project, or already have, I'd love to see your masterpieces and hear your stories. So please pass along!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Hope that where ever you are reading this from, the sun is shining and you and your little heart are able to enjoy this day together! For some additional information on Earth Day, check out this link as well as this one. Also, don't forget about the opening week of Disney's Oceans (I blogged about it previously here), where a portion of the admission price will go towards saving the coral reefs. Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Ideas - Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Type: activity, advocacy
Age: over 2

Earth day is right around the corner, so I wanted to sneak in one more posting on ways that you and your little heart can serve our Earth. Recycling is a concept that I am sure is second nature to most of us, but I must admit, though we put things in our bin everyday, I haven't ever really had a conversation with my girls about why. Now is the perfect chance! Check out this link for great kids friendly explanations about reducing, reusing and recycling.

Once our kids understand how and why we help our Earth, they are sure to be ready to put the ideas in action. After explaining to my four year old about reusing, she promptly told me that maybe it was better to take one of her water bottles of juice to the park rather than a juice box so we wouldn't have to throw the box away! It is never too early to start fostering little green advocates and to serve our Mother Earth.

I hope you enjoyed the Earth Day ideas! Would love to hear how you and your little one celebrated, so please email or comment with your successes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day Ideas - Recycling Garden Pots

Type: recycling
Age: over 2

Admit it, with a couple of nice days days here and there and the sunshine teasing us into thinking it is warmer than it really is, we are all ready for full fledged SPRINGTIME! For most people that means getting out the patio furniture, dusting off the lawn mower, and of course, beginning some spring planting. Gardening is a great kids activity (one that I blogged about before here) - I mean dirt - love it! But did you know that after you get all those flowers in the ground the pots and containers they come in can do little more than be thrown away? That's where your little heart and you come in!

Thanks to an organization Peace, Love and Planet, you are able to recycle all these containers that may not otherwise be reused. Check out their website for lots of interesting information on our earth, recycling and other lessons for your kids. Peace, Love and Planet is a local operation, meaning all their recycling drop off locations are in Michigan, but if you check out this page they suggest that farmers markets, plant centers or nurseries are often happy to help.

So gather your little ones, maybe a wagon and some of that spring sunshine and collect all those extra potting containers. You'll be doing yourself, your little heart and Mother Earth a HUGE service!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earth Day Ideas - Park Spring Clean Up

Type: gardening, activity
Age: over 4
Here in Michigan we are blessed with an abundance of city, state and federally owned parks. Just last night my family and I were enjoying our first BBQ of the year at one of these local parks and it was amazing. Staying that way certainly doesn't come without lots of effort however, and there is more to be done than the staff alone can handle. Looking at various websites, it seems just about every park is hosting an "Earth Day Habitat Restoration" or "Spring Clean Up" of some sort. Most are VERY encouraging of families to come together and lend a hand. Whether pulling weeds, picking up liter or maybe doing some raking, there is sure to be lots your little hearts can help with.

So support our local parks this Earth Day with some labor of love with your little one!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Earth Day Ideas - Light Patrol

Type: Activity
Age: Over 2

Today marks the first installment of ideas to celebrate Earth Day with your little hearts. This project came from one of our readers, Cara, and her blog which can be found here.

I can totally remember when my oldest, Schuler, was able to turn on and off lights herself. No room could be entered or exited without lifting her up to hit the lights. Now that she is older the novelty has worn off, but the idea of turning switching off lights into a game - now that would be right up her alley. Give a kid a mission and they are usually all for it!

Try assigning one of your little ones as the "Light Patrol" for the day and make it a contest to see who can find and turn off the most lights left on in the house during the day. A prize could be involved for the winner, or just the prize of knowing all the good you are doing for our Earth.
More Earth Day ideas - share them with us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pink it Up

Type: Craft, Advocacy
Age: Over 2

I can't tell you how happy I was to open my email and find the following article sent to me by a reader. Thanks to Jeanine for sharing this inspirational story about some school-age children getting involved with breast cancer awareness. While the kids featured are a bit older, the idea of supporting Race for a Cure is certainly one that can be done with our little hearts. Universally recognizable, by decorating pink ribbons with markers, stickers, glitters or any other bits, you and your child can do your part to raise awareness for this most important cause.

So get crafting - and send pics! We'd love to see your creations :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pinwheels for Prevention

Type: craft, advocacy
Age: Over 4

As a parent, I find the reality of child abuse in our country both disheartening and disturbing. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and a time to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect in our communities. As one means of doing this, Prevent Child Abuse America has initiated the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign to raise awareness.

In addition to discussing with your child about what abuse is, Prevent Child Abuse America has several pinwheel related crafts to enjoy with your child. You can go here for directions on how to make these adorable and meaningful pinwheels. Displaying these pinwheels lend support and create awareness for this very important cause.

We would love to see the results of your little hearts pinwheel projects! Please send pictures and we will post right away :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

With the sun shining warm on us in Michigan right now and Good Friday upon us - there is MUCH to be thankful for! In that spirit I want to say thanks for your support with the little hearts project - I hope you enjoy and continue to share your ideas and stories with us! Have a wonderful Easter weekend spending time family and friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Movies Can Make a Difference

Type: activity, donation
Age: over 3

Leave it Disney to combine 2 wonderful children's activities - watching movies and serving others! You may have heard of Disney's new movie Oceans coming to theatres on April 22nd. But did you know that by seeing it the opening week a donation will be made in your child's name by Disneynature to help save the coral reefs? After watching the majestic cinematography, I'm sure your child will understand the importance of not only helping people, but helping our planet as well.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

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