Blog

  • Home >
  • Blog >
  • Eco Summer Ideas With The Kids

Eco Summer Ideas With The Kids !

We can feel the change all around us. The days are getting a bit longer and a bit warmer. We start reaching for shorts and tees and the sun feels glorious on our skin. Things like sunscreen and pool floaties are starting to catch our eyes in the stores. We begin to brood over crucial matters like backyard bbqs and possible weekend getaway destinations. And if there are kids about? Well, as the school year gasps its last few breaths you can tell just by looking at those happy faces—summer is almost here.

So…what are we going to do with our kiddos this summer? We don’t want them to grow permanent roots into the sofa whilst watching hour upon hour of television or playing the latest video game. Neither do we want to be pelted with an endless chorus of “Mo-OM I’m bored!” from now until the end of August. What to do? Get them outside and involved with the environment and the caretaking of their planet! And hey, you can create a little quality family time to boot. Here are a few fun eco activities to help fill the summer days with our kids.

Plant a garden. This is perhaps the most obvious way to help kids make a real and concrete connection to their environment and to the earth—since they’ll literally be up to their elbows in it! And it also an easy way to help them learn about organic gardening practices. Herbs in containers are incredibly easy to grow in even a small space and tomatoes and other veggies can be purchased from many retail outlets in starter pots and transferred to either the ground or a larger container. Even picky eaters are likely to at least try something that they’ve grown with their own hands. Try this fun idea! Buy a couple of basil plants in 6” or greater sized pots (many markets and even some drug stores have these out right now) and then transfer them to a larger container of your choosing. Be sure to use organic potting soil and talk about why we want to keep pesticides & chemicals out of our food and our bodies. Kiddos can then harvest the leaves and learn to make their own delicious pesto for pasta or to smear on their picnic sandwiches. Yum! Cherry tomatoes or teeny pear shaped varieties are naturally enticing to kids because of their delish looking colors and shapes. How satisfying to plant the little sprouts, nurturing & caring for them as the summer days go by, watching them grow and mature and then finally picking & eating them up.

Day Trip to a Working Farm. If the kids really get into the gardening, why not plan a day trip to a working farm? The fertile Bay Area offers us many nearby farms to visit and can help kids and adults learn the importance of buying locally grown produce and all within only an hour or so distance from our homes! At Smith Family Farm, just ten minutes out side Brentwood (http://www.smithfamilyfarm.com), you can pick your own fruits and veggies and take a hay ride. Another fun place is Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/ardenwood). Ardenwood has animals to meet and weekly “historic days” where kids can learn about how different life was long ago. They also have wonderful special events throughout the year. Beautiful Slide Ranch in Marin (http://www.slideranch.org) is another terrific place to visit. This biodynamic farm has an organic garden, hiking trails, and lots of animals to interact with. Kids can gather eggs in the henhouse or milk one of the goats while they explore the ranch. Or you might try just striking up a conversation with some of the farmers at any of our local farmer’s markets. Visiting farms helps kids connect with the natural world while they learn about growing healthy food. And it is a super fun way to spend a day!

Arts & Crafts. Summertime offers us a wealth of art ideas that can involve recycled, reusable or found items. Planning a trip to the beach? Bring along a couple of lidded

containers and haul some sand back home with you. Collect some shells while you’re walking along the shore and even some seaweed. You and the kiddos can make a diorama or other fun art project with the items you bring home. Pinecones found in the park can be smeared with peanut butter and rolled in seeds to become birdfeeders and oddly shaped rocks lugged home from the beach can be painted and adorned with glitter or other neato glue-ables to become paperweights or doorstops. You can reclaim items from your recycling bin as well. An empty milk jug can be transformed into a bird feeder in about fifteen minutes. Kiddos will love watching the birds it draws to their yard!

Take a Hike—Literally! One of the great things about going on a hike with younger kids is that even a very short distance can yield amazing finds. A path in the woods quickly becomes a trail to a secret hideout up in the trees; a creek can be the place where the wood fairies come to wash their hair. A fun hike through Tilden or Joaquin Miller Park with the kids gets them—and us—outside into the warm sunshine and almost instantly lifts our spirits. Take along plenty of water and a picnic lunch and you’ve got the makings of a terrific summer afternoon. Bring along a bag to cart out your own trash and kindly pick up a few pieces if you should come across them in the park. A short car trek over to Muir Beach is fun too. There are dunes to hike in and you can make your way down to the tide pools where the kiddos can splash around while they examine the mussels, sea urchins, sea stars and crabs that make their homes there.

Here’s to a great summer, have fun!
Julie

Request an Estimate

Photos of Your Project (optional)

Why People Hire Us

Background-Checked, Dedicated Team Members

Clear Communication

Experienced Oversight of Every Job

Fully Licensed & Insured

Exceptional Service & Attention To Detail

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Best of Oakland 2018 BBB American Society of Interior Designers ASID Nolan Summit Services Inc Leadsafe Certified Firm EPA Community Associates Institute NARI Member

Customer Reviews

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“Just wanted to let you know that the crew was great to have around the house for the past two weeks. All three of them were professional, courteous, and attentive to my thoughts/concerns and were extremely knowledgeable. They paid great attention to the detail and it shows.”

— Mark & Roberta Gross

“Edy and crew are hard at work. They are doing a great job. Very professional outfit you have. Your crew is a delight. You may use me for a reference!”

— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“Charles finished yesterday and did a fantastic job. We really enjoyed meeting Charles and having him in our home. He is a great guy in addition to his attention to detail in his work, the protection of our floors, walls and furnishings, and his overall interaction with us both. I would be pleased to recommend him to any of my clients.”

— Ken Morrison
Oakland

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen

“Thank you for the support you have given the Women's Cancer Resource Center over the past year!”

— Margo - Director Women's Cancer Resource Center

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

“I cannot imagine finer painters--and I have worked with many. They work exceptionally hard. It is a joy to see their workmanship!”

— Alicia R.
Oakland

“I just wanted to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job on our recent house painting. We are very happy with the outcome and can't say enough good things about the crew. Everyone working on the project was outstanding and made it a great experience. Thanks to everyone.”

— Daylan
Piedmont

“The painters at MB Jesse are top notch! Cesar's team was super friendly and helpful. They were very polite and accommodating. Their expertise in everything painting related was evident in their attention to detail and efficiency painting tricky spaces. The apartment looks brand new!”

— Adam Swisher