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3 Earth Day Activities with Super Troopers

Physical Activity Wellbeing 2 April 2019

April 22nd is Earth Day, when we celebrate the planet and think about ways that we can help fight climate change. Earth Day was first held back in 1969, and is now recognised around the world as an international day of environmental awareness and protection.
Connecting with nature and learning more about the environment isn’t just good for the planet – it can also bring us lots of health benefits, and it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a little while. Super Troopers has some ideas for ways you and your family can get out of the house, explore nature and work on your health at the same time.

 

1. Outdoor Yoga

We love yoga – it’s a great way to relax, it does wonders for your flexibility (an aspect of fitness it’s all too easy to forget), and it’s a fantastic introduction to mindfulness, especially for kids! Why not take Earth Day as an opportunity to do some nature-themed yoga poses outside with your little ones?

Set up a yoga mat or a picnic blanket in your garden or a local park or green area, and put on some relaxing music or just listen mindfully to the sounds of the world around you. Then try some of the below poses, taking deep breaths and focusing on your surroundings. See what other nature poses you and your family are able to come up with!

 

Warming Sun Breath

  • Sit cross-legged on the floor.
  • Inhale, reaching up with one arm to grab some sunshine.
  • Exhale with a strong ‘hah’ sound, pulling the sunshine down towards your chest and into your heart.
  • Inhale and reach up with the opposite arm, and drawn the sun back to your heart on the exhale breath.

Tree Pose

  • Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart, with your hands comfortably by your side.
  • Gently bend your right knee and grab a hold of your ankle with your right arm.
  • Place the sole of your right foot against the inside of your left leg – try to get it as high up your leg as you can, but make sure it’s in a comfortable position!
  • Clasp your hands in front of your chest and balance in this position for 30 seconds to a minute, taking deep breaths and taking in your surroundings.
  • Exhale, return to the first position, and repeat with your left leg.

Garden Sequence

  • Rock Pose – Gently roll back onto your back, give yourself a hug and lie very still, listening to your breathing.
  • Beetle Pose – Let your feet face up towards the sky and hold onto your ankles or your shins, smiling as you rock from side to side.
  • Roll back up and let your knees open out either side.
  • Butterfly Pose – Hold onto your feet and bop your knees up and down like butterfly wings.

 


2. Get Gardening!

Growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for the environment – so much water and fuel is used to grow and transport fruit and vegetables, not to mention the waste generated by plastic packaging. The super news is that spring is a great time of year to start a garden, and it’s a great way to get your kids moving without them even realising it!

Pop down to a garden store and pick up some seasonal seeds to plant – carrots, turnips, parsnips and leeks will all do really well if planted around this time of year, and they make super tasty additions to any vegetable dish throughout the year. If you don’t have the outdoor space to grow your own vegetables, you can easily start an indoor herb garden – grab some versatile seeds that will do well year-round, like oregano, parsley, rosemary or thyme, and plant them in a small pot next to a window.

The really great thing about growing your own food is that if you get your little ones involved in the process, they’ll be super excited to harvest, cook and eat it too – you might have an easier time getting your tots to eat their vegetables if they know their hard work helped them grow!

 

3. Natural Crafting

Arts and crafts is always great fun, and it’s really important in developing kids’ spatial awareness and creativity, but it can generate a lot of unnecessary waste. Making sustainable crafts is a great way to teach your kids about the importance of sustainability in a fun, hands-on way.

One fun thing to try is all-natural tie dye! Get together some clothes that you’d like to upcycle (organic fabrics like cotton, silk and wool will take the dye best) and some of the following natural dyes:

  • Carrots
  • Berries
  • Purple grapes
  • Beets
  • Spinach

You’ll want to boil the clothes in water and salt (about 4 cups of water for every cup of salt), bringing it to the boil for 5 minutes and then turning the heat down and letting it simmer for an hour beforehand. Once the hour is over, rinse the fabric carefully with cold water.

Cut up your fruit and vegetables as small as you can and pop them in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and about twice as much water as plant matter. Then, all you need to do is tie up your fabric with rubber bands and let it boil in the saucepan with your dye for about 20 minutes!

 

 

However you decide to celebrate Earth Day, we’d love to hear how you get on, so send in your stories, pictures and videos to supertroopers@realnation.ie!