Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bash The Trash!

Is this season getting you down? Summer seems like a mirage on the horizon and while spring is technically here, it sure doesn’t feel like it. And all the fun winter activities have long since passed. Well CMOO has just the thing for you! Round up the kids, bundle up, (or maybe you won’t have to?!) and head out to our Bash The Trash event.

What is Bash The Trash you ask? It is a group of performers who travel to different locations making music made of recycled materials. Before the performance, they hold a workshop so that the children can make their own instruments out of recycled materials. They then use those instruments later on, during the audience participation portion of the performance.

Besides promoting creativity and musicality, Bash The Trash also promotes taking care of our planet by recycling and sustainability. Sustainability is defined as: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources. For example, when eating dinner, using cloth napkins instead of paper ones. BTT is a wonderful way to get children excited about being stewards of the environment, especially right before Earth Day.

This event will take place on Saturday,  April 12th at 2pm on the Oswego University campus in the Hewitt Union Ballroom. Parking will be available at no cost. The cost to attend the event will be $5. This event is being sponsored by Dynamic Automotive and Home Accessories, A&J Music, The Oswego Lions Club, Oswego County Environmental Management Council and SUNY Oswego Sustainability Council. The event was made possible in part by a grant by CNY Arts. For more information on Bash The Trash, check out their website at

http://www.bashthetrash.com/Bash_the_Trash_Environmental_Arts/Home_Page_old.html

Also check out http://www.cmoo.org/calendar/

This is going to be a really fun way to spend a not-quite-spring day with your kids. We hope to see you all there! 🙂

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

It’s that time of the year again when everything starts to turn green…the trees, the grass, and most importantly, the shamrocks. Yes, it’s almost St. Patty’s day again and it is a great time to have a little Irish fun with the family. My daughter’s favorite holiday is not St. Patrick’s Day, it’s Easter, because she loves to find eggs. She loves to find anything really. So why not bring a little of that explorer fun to this holiday by making a “Find the pot of gold” scavenger hunt? For the older kids, you can come up with some really funny, or poetic clues that get them having to think, and for the younger kids, you can do clues that have pictures on them so they know where to go next. Here are some links to printables that you can use:

http://spoonful.com/printables/st-patricks-day-treasure-hunt

http://www.happygoluckyblog.com/2011/03/st-patricks-day-scavenger-hunt.html

At the end of the scavenger hunt, think of filling a bucket with things that are gold and green such as gold coins, Andes mints, Rolos, or cold hard cash. Kids love cash. No, never mind, that’s the tooth fairy’s job. 🙂

Some other fun ideas for St. Patrick’s Day are to do something similar to the elf on the shelf and leave little green footprints someplace or glitter or something to make it look like a leprechaun visited. Just be aware that this can scare some kids so use your best judgment!

There are crafts galore to be found on Pinterest as well as fun activities and green foods to make with your kids. One of my favorites is this rainbow in a jar science activity:

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http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/2014/03/06/rainbow-jar-st-patricks-day/

There is an abundance of ways to make this holiday fun for your kids without having to go buy a bunch of stuff or load them up with too much sugar. I suggest you don’t go overboard though because then they are going to expect big things from you every year! 😉

Can you dig it?

Children have an innate need to get their hands dirty and explore their world. They are so curious about nature; and as parents and educators, it is important that we give them as many opportunities as possible to explore and discover the natural environment around them. Luckily, spring is just around the corner (I hope) and there will be plenty of opportunities to get out and do something with your child in which they can both have fun and learn.

Gardening with your kids is a wonderful opportunity for families to put away the electronics for a little while and get outside together. Children will benefit from the fresh air, exercise, learning how things grow, and the responsibility of taking care of their own plants.

Besides learning about how things grow, children gain a sense of where their food comes from and they may be more willing to try fruits and vegetables that they have grown themselves. Gardening also makes a great precursor to trips to the farmer’s market where kids can meet local farmers, ask questions and learn even more. They will take delight in watching something grow just from sunshine and water and will enjoy watching the bees, butterflies and other insects come to visit their plants. Even if you just plant a few flowers, your kids will love being involved in picking the perfect flowers and beautifying your yard. Let their artistic side shine and see how they put colors together, and mix different sizes and shapes of flowers. It’ll be very interesting to see what blooms.

Some of the most important reasons for getting children to get their hands dirty and do something like gardening is because it teaches them how to care for the earth. It teaches them that they may be able to feed themselves from the land if they have to and if they want to know where their food is coming from. It teaches them to be responsible stewards of their environment and we need as many of those as we can get!

Hands-on experiences that they can share with their family is something that will stick with them for years to come. I still remember going out to my grandfather’s garden watching him till the soil and him letting me harvest the crop of fruits and veggies that he grew. I loved it. There is something very satisfying about being able to pick your food fresh off the vine. The best part was that I got to spend one-on-one time with my grandfather.

By waiting for seeds to sprout and flowers or veggies to grow, children also learn patience. They begin to realize that some things take time and there is not always going to be instant gratification. Also, the excitement when they see that first little sprout is always well worth the work. Even if you have a lawn the size of a postage stamp, you can plant something. Get a little planter and put it on the porch. Plant some herbs in a box in the widow sill. Plant vertical herb gardens. Or, join the local community garden. Not only is that a great option for gardening, but connecting to other members of the community as well.

So when the snow finally melts and the earth thaws out, think about getting some soil and seeds and planting a garden with your children. It will be an experience that you can both enjoy and remember for years to come. For more information on gardening with your kids, check out these sites:

http://web3.cas.usf.edu/tbsg/benefitsofschoolgardening.aspx

http://www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php?page=educators

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/5834/what-your-kids-can-learn-from-the-garden

http://eartheasy.com/grow_gardening_children.htm

http://www.pinterest.com/educatorsspinon/gardening-with-kids/

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”–Dr. Seuss.

Today, March 2nd, marks what would have been the birthday of the wonderful Dr. Seuss, who in his 87 years on this earth created magic, wonder, nonsense, and silliness. He instilled values and lessons into children all over the world that they didn’t necessarily know that they were being taught. Hidden in his catchy rhymes, Dr. Seuss taught children to have love for themselves, the earth and their fellow occupants of this planet.  From stories like The Lorax, to Oh! The Places You’ll Go!, to The Grinch, his messages were inspiring and filled with love.

Reading is one of the best ways that you can spend time with your children and one that has some of the longest-lasting benefits. When you read with your kids you explore other worlds and ideas, delve a little deeper into their brains when they talk about what you’re reading, and instill a lifetime love of reading. What better way to spend a Sunday morning? In honor of Dr. Seuss, I am planning on having a little Dr. Seuss marathon today. I think we’ll read The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat and whichever other books I can find on our bookshelf. 🙂

So today, if you’re looking for something fun to do with your children, maybe take a little while and do something to honor the life of Dr. Seuss, who has been a part of all our childhoods. I have a few ideas here to help you get started. Also, check out the Dr. Seuss birthday pins on Pinterest for more ideas!

http://joyfullyweary.blogspot.com/2011/11/easy-seussian-hats.html

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http://www.sassydealz.com/2014/02/lorax-toilet-paper-roll-craft-kids-dr-suess.html?crlt.pid=camp.oHUAJv6jce9J

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http://firstbornsanity.blogspot.com/2011/02/horton-hears-who-clover.html

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