A Wink and a Book: Promoting Early Childhood Literacy

Benefits of Early Childhood Literacy | Eco-Mothering.com

I started reading to Sofie in the first few months of her life. It didn’t matter to me that she probably couldn’t understand a word of it, nor that the pictures were likely blurry to her still developing vision. I love books and I wanted her to love them too. Besides, reading gave me another way to entertain a newborn. (There’s only so much peek-a-boo a mom can take!) My character voices piqued her interest. Brightly colored illustrations drew her in. We started a children’s library early and read to Sofie every day. Now, at eight years old, she reads to herself every day. Books are always on her wish list for birthdays and holidays. She’s begun her own library. She loves a good story. And she has a love of language that I feel came from her early exposure to books. A Wink of Encouragement Research shows that the … Continue reading

WILD MINT SHOP: One-Stop Holiday Shopping for Safe, Sustainable Toys

Wild Mint Shop Toys | Eco-Mothering.com

This post was sponsored by Green Sisterhood. As always, all opinions are my own. Do you have a lot of extra time around the holidays? I doubt it. Do you aim to buy gifts quickly without a lot of hassle or research? Ideally. And can you trust that those gifts are not only bound to put a smile on the intended receiver, but are also safe for their health and for the planet? Ummmm…. Yeah, who thinks of that? Of course you want your kids, nieces and nephews to play with toys that won’t emit formaldehyde or lead to early puberty or cancer. But that simply isn’t front of mind when we’re shopping, is it? We have a list, we have a budget, we pick something off the shelf or online. Wrap it up. Done. And it’s not that we’re cold-hearted or careless. It’s that we kind of want to … Continue reading

Review: Fun, Affordable Eco Art Kits from Artterro

Artterro Eco Art Kits | Eco-Mothering.com

My daughter, Sofie, wants to be an artist when she grows up. While she mostly draws or paints, I like exposing her to new mediums to get her creative juices flowing in a different way. Arttero’s Eco Art Kits are a great way to encourage that — they offer 11 kits with a variety of materials and open-ended projects to spark young creative minds. Making Art Eco-Friendly When we received their Creativity Kit (Sofie’s choice) and perused their website, I was kind of blown away by the level of sustainability and social conscience behind Artterro. Ethically sourced, natural materials including wool felt, recycled paper, glass beads, wood bangles, U.S.-made copper wire and non-toxic paints. The handmade recycled paper is composed entirely of scraps from the garment industry and is processed pollution free! Corn-based, biodegradable plastic bead bags. Minimal packaging with 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard that can be repurposed. The box … Continue reading

An Award-Winning, Eco-Friendly Children’s Book: “Earth Remembers When”

Review of the eco-themed children's book, Earth Remember When by Dawn Wynne | Eco-Mothering.com

I am so pleased when I see another eco-themed book on the market, especially in children’s literature. Making the environment a regular part of our children’s vernacular is an important step in them becoming stewards of the earth. My latest discovery, Earth Remembers When by Dawn Wynne, is an absolutely stunning picture book with many layers to enjoy. Layer 1: Reading the rhymed story in which the narrator reminisces about a clean, abundant earth when forests covered the world and foods came from the ground instead of a box. Even though my seven-year-old reads on her own, she wanted me to read this book to her, and we cuddled on the sofa together. Layer 2: Studying Gloria Piñeiro’s beautiful illustrations of oceanscapes, sunlit forests and wildlife families. Her work is vibrant and nostalgic, rich with lush detail. Layer 3: The pages fold out to reveal a very different scene of … Continue reading

Top 6 Eco Alternatives to LEGOS

Eco-friendly LEGO alternatives | Eco-mothering.com

Everyone loves LEGO. Their popular brick system has been around since the 1950s, inspiring creativity in generations of children. Still, they’re made of plastic, which takes an environmental toll.    While the LEGO company does get kudos for making long-term sustainable plans — they aim to manufacture their products close to the point of sale to reduce transportation emissions and to operate energy-efficient factories, including renewable energy sources like a wind farm in the process of being built — their current partnership with the Arctic-drilling Shell oil company flies in the face of those values. Click here for an awesome and affecting LEGO MOVIE-inspired video from Greenpeace to spread awareness about drilling in the Arctic — then sign the petition.  We forget that LEGO is not the only constructive toy out there. Perhaps you want your kids to play with safer and greener toys. Maybe you’re tired of supporting a hugely … Continue reading

What To Do With Old Toys (and How Your Child Can Help in the Purging Process)

Purging Toys | Eco-Mothering.com

After the winter holidays, I get into de-cluttering mode. This is especially true with regard to my daughter Sofie’s stuff. She accrues so many new toys as gifts, and I swear the tiny plastic pieces multiply while we’re sleeping! Pretty soon my internal clutter meter goes off, and I know it’s time to purge This can be tough since kids tend to cling to their possessions. Yes, you can do it covertly when your child’s not around (mom confession: I sometimes do this), but it will serve you better in the long run to involve kids in the art of letting go. Read my full article on Earth911.com for tips on teaching little ones how to de-clutter, plus eco-friendly options for what to do with those old toys afterwards.  This post is featured on Tuesday Greens, Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party, Simple Lives Thursday, Small Footprint Friday and Works for … Continue reading

“The Magical World of Sebella” Children’s Book

The Magical World of Sebella | Eco-Mothering.com

This fall I started reading the Harry Potter books to my seven-year-old daughter. Like me, she quickly fell in love with the wizarding world of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, we had to stop after book three because I feel book four’s child death is too heavy for her to handle. The reading has not stopped, however. Sofie is now getting her magic fix with a chapter book called “The Magical World of Sebella: The Magic Castle” by Thea Berg. Geared for children ages 7-11, the book is about a young witch named Sebella who lives in a house once owned by an infamous magician. Naturally, strange things happen in the house: a statue comes to life; secret portals are revealed; and an All-Powerful Magician requests their services. Will Sebella and her friends save the Magic Castle? I love magical books for children. They usually maintain the belief that anything is possible, that … Continue reading