Earth Day is April 22, 2010 this year. Here are some great activites for children:
1/2 cup of cold coffee
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
Some small objects to make impressions in the dough (Shaped cookie cutters work well.)
Empty can or a butter knife
String to hang your fossil, optional
How to make it:
Stir the together the coffee grounds, cold coffee, flour, and salt until well mixed.
Knead the dough together and then flatten it out onto the waxed paper.
Use the can to cut out circles of the dough or use the dull knife to cut slabs large enough to fit your "fossil" objects.
Press your objects firmly into the dough. When you take the object out, you have your "fossil". If you want to hang the fossil, poke holes into the edge to hold the string.
Let the fossil dry overnight (and up to two days) and then hang it if you wish.
To reduce the drying time, bake the fosils for a short period of time to get the "dough" to harden.
blue and green washable markers (we used crayola brand)
squirt bottle or small glass of water
black construction paper
Optional: white paint, old toothbrush and popsicle stickNote: You can complete this project using food colouring instead of washable markers. However! I find this option to be very messy so would not do it with young children (if they get food colouring on their clothing you won't be able to get it out). I would only use this option with children over age 10 and even then would want a good amount of supervision and old clothes to be worn.
Flatten out a coffee filter on a plate.
Scribble the filter with blue and green washable markers.
Use a squirt bottle to spray the coffee filter 2 or 3 times.
I like to squirt right in the center of the filter and then sit and watch the water wick the colours over the filter (this takes 4 or 5 minutes)
Young children will tend to over wet the filter... the project still works, but it won't turn out quite as pretty (the colours tend to blend too much if you soak the filter) To help prevent this, encourage them to squirt it just once in the middle and watch for a bit for so they can see the process unfold. You can always add more water later if it doesn't get wet all the way to the edge after 5 minutes or so.
Let dry (this takes about 1/2 an hour, but will take longer if the filter has been soaked by an over-zealous crafter!)
We found ours turned out mostly green (I think our blue was a bit too light). After it dried, we coloured some more dark blue in the center and squirted it once with water.
Optional: Splatter paint a piece of black construction paper:
Cover your work area with newspaper
Dip a toothbrush into white paint and tap it off to get rid of the excess.
Hold it over the black paper and lightly rub the edge of the popsicle stick against the toothbrush to splatter dots of white paint onto the paper.
Repeat until your black paper looks like a star filled universe.
Set aside to dry
Glue your earth to a piece of black construction paper (or to a splatter painted piece of black construction paper.