Are kids today allowed enough freedom to roam from home and explore outdoors? This month we focus on children and nature - and the benefits of getting out of cyberspace and into some outdoor space…except, of course, during Superstorm Sandy.
Watch A Real Fish Story to see how 13-year-old Tavish and other volunteers in Bowmanville, Ontario lifted 5,540 fish over Bowmanville Creek dam last summer so they could spawn upstream…the fish, not the volunteers.
If wrestling with a 20 kg salmon is way too much nature for you, how about a little indoor gardening? This month's Science in Action shows you how to build your own bottle garden step by step. To get started, all you have to do is empty a large bottle of pop! Burp…
Here's a really green way to recycle old pop bottles and get closer to nature! You can create just one bottle planter, or hook several together to form a hanging garden like the one we had this summer in the KidSpark children's museum at the Ontario Science Centre. Depending on the climate where you live and the plants you choose, you can hang your bottle garden indoors or out.
What you'll need:
Clean, empty 2-litre plastic pop bottle
Metal finishing nail or skewer
Scissors or box cutter
Clothesline rope, twine, wire or string
Two #6 washers, or beads
Drainage pebbles or gravel
Hooks (S, ceiling or cup)
Seeds or plants
Prepare the container:
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Empty and rinse a large plastic pop bottle, cap it and lie it on its side.
Carefully heat the tip of a nail with the barbecue lighter (have an adult do or supervise this step).
Poke two small holes at each end of the bottle with the hot nail tip.
Cut a rectangular opening at the top of the bottle on the same plane as the holes at each end.
Make the hanger:
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Cut two, 60-cm pieces of rope, twine or string. If the ends fray, bind them with tape.
Tie a loop at one end of both pieces of rope. Make sure the loop's knot is bigger than the hole in the washer.
Slide the washer down to the knotted end of the rope.
Thread the ropes through the bottom and top holes on each side of the bottle.
Plant the garden:
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Add pebbles to the bottom of the bottle for drainage. Then fill with potting soil.
Planting time! Choose seeds or young plants, herbs or flowers and set them in the soil. Water them carefully - there may be drips from the holes in the bottle.
Hang your garden:
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Knot a loop at the other end of both ropes so the bottle is horizontally level. Hang the bottle near a window using ceiling or cup hooks or “S” hooks.
Create a green “ladder” by hooking a series of bottle gardens together!
Studies show that getting kids outdoors makes them happier, healthier and even smarter. The 2012 World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Jeju, South Korea recently endorsed a child's right to nature with a number of approved declarations and actions.
Sandy strikes U.S. east coast
Nature has many benefits…but hurricanes are not one of them! Superstorm Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, as well as the second costliest Atlantic hurricane in history after 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Check out these images of its trail of devastation after landfall in New Jersey and New York on October 29th. The UN sees the superstorm as a wakeup call for global action dealing with climate change.