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Big Oil, Big Lies: Thanks, BP! May 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, Sustainable Living.
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Summertime should be about grilling and chilling at the beach and in our backyards, not cleaning up drilling and spilling disasters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Off shore drilling is dirty, deadly, dangerous and completely unnecessary.

The explosion of BP’s oil rig last week killed 11 workers and resulted in the ensuing ecological disaster which is threatening marine life (birds, fish, dolphins, whales, sea turtles), as well as impacting tourism and the fishing industry throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

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Let’s protect our oceans by reinstating the moratorium on offshore drilling along our coasts.  Let’s send a clear message to our representatives in Washington and to the White House:

STOP OFFSHORE DRILLING . . . INVEST IN CLEAN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

More info:  Gulf Spill Disaster ~ Stop Offshore Oil Drilling (Center for Biological Diversity) * Oil Slick Threatens Marine Life (NWF) * Stop Offshore Drilling  (Sierra Club) * Tell President Obama to Reinstate Ban on Dangerous Offshore Drilling (Defenders of Wildlife) * BP Didn’t Plan For Major Oil Spill * Choppy Seas Hinder Effort To Contain Oil Spill * Birds Coated In Oil (photos) * White House Declares Halt On New Off Shore Drilling * Offshore Drilling is NOT the Answer

Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids May 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature.
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Huey,-Dewey-And-LouieSummer is a great time to catch up with your kids in the evenings and on the weekends ~ when they’re not buried up to their eyeballs in homework.

Here are 10 FREE Activities to enjoy with your kids during the long, hazy days of summer . . . or anytime you take time to relax into the flow of life:

1.  Have a Talent Show!  Give everyone in the family a chance to showcase their special gifts, interests, and abilities ~ singing, dancing, clowning around, telling jokes, playing musical instruments, juggling, reading Shakespeare or poetry, acting in short skits, or performing magic.  Use your video-camera (if you have one) to record the fun.

2.  Take a Walk in the Dark.  Get everyone ready for bed, and go for a walk around your yard or through the neighborhood . . .  in your PJ’s!   Take a flashlight to search for treasures.  The departure from the usual “lights out” routine is sure to spark some interesting conversations with your wee ones.

3.  Host an Arts and Crafts Show.  During the week, have your kids create works of art (painting, jewelry, macrame, pottery, painted rocks, etc.) to display throughout your home or apartment.  Or surprise them, by pulling out artwork they’ve created over the years.  At the appointed time, wander through the exhibit as a group and talk about each piece.

4.  Create a story together.  Sit in a circle, indoors or out.  Someone starts the story by tossing out the first sentence.  (“Once upon a time, three lucky kids had the bestest parents in the world.”)  The next person adds to the story with a second sentence.   (“These parents were so cool that they held art shows for their kids.”)  The third person adds a third sentence.  (“Yeah, and they took them for walks around the neighborhood in the dark . . . in their pajamas.”)  Keep going until someone says THE END.  Tip:  If you tape the story to playback later . . . consider sending a copy to grandparents.

5.  Host the Summer Olympics in your yard or at the park.  Events might include:  Three Legged Race, Water Balloon Toss, Mad Hatter’s Mad Dash, Wheelbarrow Race, Long Jump, High Jump, Egg~Spoon Race, or Frisbee Golf.  Keep track of winners for each event ~ awarding Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals (which your kids can make earlier in the week out of construction paper).

6.  Go to the Park and check out the Playground.  Swing on the swings.  Hang from the Monkey Bars.  Slide down the slides.  Toss a Frisbee.  Play Catch (with or without baseball mitts).  Play Monkey in the Middle, Tag, Dodge Ball, Kick Ball, Hide & Seek.

Or let the kids teach you some of their favorite games ~ Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose,  and Mother May I?

7.  Create homemade Get Well Cards for children in the Hospital, or seniors at the local Nursing Home.   Gather paper, crayons, markers, pens, glue, glitter, and stickers.  Spread newspaper over the kitchen or dining room table to keep it clean.  Then get busy creating.  Have everyone (mom and dad too!) make 2-3 cards.  Parents and older siblings can help younger children with the written greeting on each card ~ if the picture is colorful enough, a simple “Get Well” should suffice.

8.  Visit the local Nursing Home or Children’s Hospital to deliver Get Well Cards and/or Good Wishes.  Make sure to call first to find a good time to visit, and whether there are any age restrictions for visitors.  On the way over, have any “shy” kids practice their introductions so they won’t be tongue-tied when they arrive ~ “Hi, I’m Kirsten.  I’m 6 and I love to sing and draw.  I made this card for you.”

9.  Go for a Nature Walk or Bike Ride around your yard, neighborhood, or a local park or preserve.

Stop along the way to discuss any interesting sights or sounds.

Ask lots of questions.  Listen to the answers.

10.  Go on a Scavenger Hunt.  Create a list of items (indoors and/or out) for the scavengers to find and cross off their lists ~ rubber band, pine cone, paper clip, feather, pencil, rock, pen, mom’s missing glasses, etc..   Give each scavenger a bag to collect the items.  Tip:  Have the kids decorate brown paper bags earlier in the week . . . without telling them what the bags will be used for.  Keep ’em guessing!

Aah . . . that’s better!   

So, what about you?  What are some FREE Activities you enjoy with your kids???  Share your thoughts below. 

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