GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - With Earth Day around the corner, it's a good time to remind your children of the three "r's." Teaching your children to reduce, reuse and recycle is one of the most important things you can do to preserve the health of the planet. Practicing the three "r's" helps to eliminate waste and makes our world a healthier, safer place.
When talking to your kids about reducing, reusing and recycling, a great visual is a craft. The Air Zoo recommends a seeded paper bookmark, a lovely reading accessory that you can reuse by planting in the ground and then watch them bloom.
What you'll need:
8 jumbo craft sticks
12" x 12" piece of window screen or cheesecloth
White craft glue
Black electrical tape
Plain white copy paper or art paper
13" x 9" baking pan (metal or glass)
Flower or herb seeds
Dried herbs to match seeds (if using herb seeds)
Two old kitchen towels
Spoon or fork
How to make it:
1. To make the frame for the screen, you will need to glue together the corners of 4 jumbo craft sticks. Let dry. After frame is dry, lay the cheesecloth over the frame, completely covering it.
2. Glue a second layer of craft sticks to two opposite sides of the frame –securing the cheesecloth between the bottom and top layers. Trim ends off of the two remaining craft sticks and glue those along the remaining sides of the frame. Be sure to pull the cheesecloth tight as you glue the sticks in place. Let dry.
3. Trim the edges, leaving a bit of cheesecloth hanging over the ends. Using black electrical tape, cover the craft stick frame, tucking the overlapping cheesecloth under the tape. Do not skip this step as it will help protect the craft sticks from the water.
4. Tear pieces of paper into squares about 1-2" wide (6 sheets of copy paper makes a nice batch). Place squares into blender and cover them with warm water. Turn the blender on and process until a thin paste is formed.
5. Fill a 13" x 9" baking pan halfway with warm water. Pour the paper paste from the blender into the warm water in the pan. Stir gently. For flower bookmarks, add flower seeds, small bits of cut up hemp cord and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. For herb bookmarks, use beige art or construction paper, basil seeds, and sprinkle with dried basil. Stir.
6. Place a clean kitchen towel on a nearby counter and have a sponge and another towel waiting as well.
7. Dip your screen frame into the mixture, going underneath the layer of paper and seeds. As if panning for gold, gently bring frame to the surface and move back and forth to get a fairly even surface on your screen. Lift straight up out of the water and allow excess water to drip off.
8. Carefully carry your screen to the towel on the counter and set the screen down on top of it. Place the second kitchen towel on top of the screen and flip everything upside down and place back on the counter. Remove the towel that is now on the top.
9. Use a kitchen sponge to press firmly down on top of the screen getting as much water out as you can.
10. Lift the frame up and gently loosen your seeded paper. You may need to clean off the edges of the frame and gently coax a corner loose, but the rest should fall out easily.
11. Place your sheets of seeded paper onto a wire rack to dry.
12. Tear each sheet gently into 2 or 3 bookmarks. Use a hole punch to make a hole about ¾" from the top. Thread a string of hemp cord through the hole. Tie the cord in a knot and trim the ends to be even if you wish.
1. Copy paper, construction paper, and even newspaper are all safe, compost materials. Avoid glossy papers such as magazines. Flower seeds, herb seeds, dried herbs, and even flower petals will look wonderful in your seeded paper.
2. These bookmarks can be planted! Just tear into a few pieces and plant the whole thing right into the ground. Hemp is also a natural material, so it's not necessary to remove it.
3. If you have extra seeded paper, tear it into a few pieces, wet a piece of paper towel, and put the paper towel and the seeded paper into a zipper sandwich bag until the seeds sprout!
For more fun crafting and science experiment ideas from the Air Zoo visit their website at www.airzoo.org.
Experience the magic of Grand Rapids with a ride through the city on a horse-drawn carriage.
Student marvels at how far they've come at West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids.
Maranda and her partners joined together for a special holiday celebration at Meijer for foster & refugee families with Bethany Christian Services. WOTV 4 Women along with Bethany Christian Services, Craig's Cruisers, Meijer, Fifth-Third Bank & Priority Health & other partners spent the night meeting these special families during a taping of Maranda Where You Live. The night was filled with food, entertainment and shopping with these special families.