5 Eco-Activities for Southern California Kids

During long breaks away from school, parents often worry that their children aren’t being mentally stimulated.  My mother used to say, “The brain is a muscle.  Just like all of your other muscles, it won’t be strong unless you give it some exercise.” With spring break just around the corner, and summer holiday quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning eco-friendly activities that will keep your kids engaged and entertained.

1. Take a trip to a nature preserve –

COMING September 17, 2011

Southern California is full of natural wonders!  Many locations focus on the preservation of forestry, brush and oceanic areas alike.  A trip to the Cabrillo Beach tide pools in San Pedro is a perfect way to spend an early afternoon.  The kids will relish in seeing crabs, sea anemones, and the occasional octopus in their natural habitat.

2. Attend a beach cleanup – Beach cleanups are one of the easiest and best ways to simultaneously get exercise and help the environment.  They are held all over Los Angeles and Orange County every weekend.  Add a little more fun to the day by visiting a nearby aquarium afterward.  Learning more about the animals that benefit from their efforts will help children appreciate giving back to the environment.

3. Tour a recycling or water treatment plant – I know this doesn’t sound like the most scenic of activities; however, there are places that demonstrate the beautiful benefits around the site.  For example, the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, which provides reclaimed water to many areas in the San Fernando Valley, has a striking Japanese Garden which is maintained by their treated water.

4. Build a solar oven – Many kids would love to cook hotdogs in an oven they built themselves.  Making a pizza box solar oven is an inexpensive, easy and fun way to teach kids alternative methods of cooking.  This should be constructed and handled under parental supervision.

5. Plant a vegetable or herb garden – The increasing interest in eating organic produce has resulted in a surge in community gardens.  Why not plant one in your own backyard?  Kids can learn the benefit of eating organic produce while learning how to take care of plant life.  Aw heck!  Make it a double date and have a solar powered hot dog/veggie/tofu dog roast while you’re caring for your newly planted veggies and herbs.

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Author: Sarah

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