Kids love to help with things, especially tasks that involve helping animals and making the world a better place. At this age, kids are beginning to realize that their actions have consequences for others and the planet - so take advantage and teach them some fun and easy ways to make a positive impact on the environment.
"A Drop Around the World" by Barbara McKinney shows kids how a water drop can travel around the world and through the water cycle. Kids will begin to understand that water is a renewable resource and one that must be cared for by all.
"Stuff! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" by Steven Kroll tells the story of a mouse who must clean out his house. Kids can learn that items don't need to be thrown away when you are done using them - there's almost always another way they can be used.
If your kids have yet to hear the story of "The Lorax" by Dr. Suess, now is a great age to read it to them. Not only a tale of what can happen if we don't care for our natural resources, but also a positive message about how one person can make a difference.
Looking for more ideas? Read "Help Your Parents Save the Planet: 50 Simple Ways to Go Green Now!" by Playbac.
You're never to young to learn how to help others. There are many great places for families to volunteer in Kansas City. Whether it's a one-day project, or a weekly commitment, check out these local ways to give back to the community.
Do you live with a budding architect or construction foreman? Or maybe a little Mr./Ms. Fix-it? Kids will love to hone their skills by creating their own projects at these Kansas City locations.
FREE Kids Workshops are hosted at all Home Depot locations on the 1st Saturday of each month from 9 am - 12 noon. Kids can complete DIY projects such as flower planters, picture frames, wooden trucks, and memory boxes. Kids learn building skills along with tool safety.
Projects can be viewed online and The Home Depot site highlights that each attending child will get a kid-size orange apron and an achievement pin. Projects are popular and availability is first come, first serve. Get there early in the day if your little builder has his/her heart set on making something special!
Lowe's offers FREE do-it-yourself clinics for kids. The 'Build and Grow Clinics' are offered once or twice each month on Saturdays at 10 am. They offer a variety of projects, such as wooden toys, holiday themed crafts, and items for the home or garden.
Registration online is a must! You can view the schedule and project online. I suggest that you register early as these workshops fill up quickly. Lowe's also offers a kid-size work apron and goggles to the first 50 children who register/attend each clinic.
How often do your kids ask you "Can we buy this?" Well, it's time to teach them more about the buying process - money, why to save it and when to spend it. Give your kids a skill they'll use for the rest of their lives!
In "Money Troubles" by Bill Cosby, Little Bill is trying to earn enough money to buy a telescope; along the way, he gets some lessons in wants vs. needs, giving to others and what's really important about money.
"My Rows and Piles of Coins" by Tololwa M. Mollel - Saruni is saving his money in order to buy a bicycle to help his mother carry things home from the marketplace each week. A wonderful story about saving for a good cause, and how kids can make a difference for their family.
"Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" by Judith Viorst - With lots of humor and lessons learned, kids can identify with Alexander's plight of there being so many ways to spend your money, and how quickly it can disappear. Good for introducing the concept of subtracting money and early money management.
"A Chair for My Mother" by Vera B Williams - An amazing story about how a family & neighbors saved their money in order to purchase a chair for a very hard-working mom that had lost all her furniture in a fire. Great lessons on the sacrifices and decisions you have to make with money, and the satisfaction when you reach your goal.
The Money Museum can be found at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. Kids can explore exhibits and interactive activities that teach about money. During your visit, kids can:
Admission to the museum is free - check the museum's Visitor's page for hours and information.
Do you have a Chef in the making? Lots of kids enjoy helping in the kitchen. Learn how to nurture this interest by exploring resources that help kids discover the joys of cooking, baking and eating healthy at these Kansas City locations.
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (3-5)
Learn where your food comes from by visiting the Pizza Garden online from the National Zoo’s Kids Farm website. Kids can learn where the different ingredients for pizza are grown. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/KidsFarm/PizzaGarden/.