DIY craft recipe :: how to make clay

Here’s a super easy DIY craft recipe that shows you how to make clay {that’s actually more like an air-drying dough) and turn it in to some beautiful butterflies.

A super easy DIY craft recipe: how to make clay ~ and a beautiful butterfly craft

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Earth day activities: grow a meadow indoors!

Are you planning any Earth Day activities on April 22nd? Celebrated around the world, Earth Day is a great time to pause and reflect the impact you, your kids and your family have on the earth.

100 Earth Day activities for kids

Last year we carried out an eco-audit of our play, looking at simple but effective ways we could align our activities with the ideas of reducing, re-using and recycling.

We’re joining in with the Earth Day Celebrations hosted by Mommy Labs and Greening Sam and Avery to bring you a blog hop bursting with ideas you can use to celebrate Earth Day with your kids. Have a browse around the blog hop at the end of this post to find ideas for art, crafts, games, activities and positive action your family can take to go a little greener this month. First though, here’s what the NurtureStore girls came up with as an Earth Day play idea: we grew an indoor meadow!

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5 tips for green kids

earth day ideasI’m working with BritMums and British Gas on a campaign to help educate about energy conservation. Here are my five top tips for green kids, to help families save energy – starting when kids are young to encourage lifelong habits.

Five tips for green kids  Read more »

Junk model ideas

Are you celebrating Earth Day with your children this Friday 22nd April 2011? For environmentally-friendly, creative play we love to make junk models. We love using items from our craft box which otherwise would be thrown away – turning them into toys and extending the life of the materials.

Here’s a showcase of our favourite upcycled junk models. If you have any more ideas you can share with us, please leave a link in the comments or on our Facebook page – we’re always looking for new inspiration and have a stack of boxes ready to go!
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A riding stables created from the contents of our making box


A dragon made from egg boxes


A double decker bus from a shoe box


A cardboard box ride on train


make a dinosaur land
A dinosaur world from a cardboard box

carnival of junk play

And have a look at our the ideas shared by all our Play Academy community in our Carnival of Junk Play

happily shared with made by little hands Monday and Friday’s nature table and  preschool creations and  the resource centre and creative Friday and  for the kids Friday and  It’s Playtime and  upcycled awesome and  kids get crafty

How to celebrate Earth Day

Are you celebrating Earth Day with your children this Friday 22nd April? It’s a great opportunity to review your family life and see what changes you can make to go green. Here are some ideas for an eco-audit of your play.


  • How many toys do you really need? Instead of a house full of more and more plastic, concentrate on a small selection of ‘open-ended’ toys that can be used in lots of different ways: wooden blocks, stacking cups, small world people & animals.
  • Borrow rather than buy new things. In addition to borrowing books from your local library how about borrowing from your nearest toy library too? The USA Toy Library Association or the  National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries in the UK can help you find your nearest branch.
  • You could also start a toy swap amongst your friends to pass on items as your children grow or lose interest in particular toys.


  • How about re-purposing items around the house and garden for your children to play with? My girls love playing with clothes pegs, shoe boxes, fircones, pebbles and other un-toys… Zero airmiles, zero packaging, free and full of opportunities for creative play.
  • In the UK you could access Scrapstore, a charity which collects safe business waste for re-use as craft and play supplies.
  • You can promote ‘going green’ in your children’s pretend play too. I love it when my girls are playing shops and I hear them saying ‘I don’t need a plastic bag thank you, I’ve brought my own’.


  • Saving yoghurt pots and egg boxes to make a craft box is an essential in a crafty home, and gives your household waste a second life. How about including tin foil, old wrapping paper and chocolate wrappers too.
  • You can collect all the off-cut bits of paper and cardboard after a craft session and save them in a special ‘collage’ box to use in future projects instead of sweeping them straight into the bin.
  • If you’re anything like us you’ll have a constant demand for paper to draw on. You can open up cereal boxes and use the reverse-side of letters instead of always buying new.

For more ideas to celebrate Earth Day with your children, come back tomorrow when we’ll be sharing our favourite junk modelling ideas. You can also find some wonderful ideas for environmentally-friendly story books over at Playing by the Book and Good Books for Kids (but remember to borrow them from the library rather than buying them new!)

What other things do you do to promote Earth-friendly play? I’d love to hear your ideas.

happily shared with Share your Sunday best and  we teach and  Friday’s nature table