Today I had two sick kids and we were getting squirrely inside the house, and wanted to be outside, but close to home. Yesterday when I was doing some yard work, I was astounded by the amount of garbage in my yard left after the snow melted. So I decided to take the kids for a walk just down our street and pick up garbage. This was our service project today to love the earth that God has given us and maybe feel a little less ghetto in our hood.
So I loaded up the sickos in the stroller, packed a snack, seven grocery bags, and my oldest on a scooter. Off we went down the street. Just our one block. Down to the corner and back.
We were singing songs, playing eye spy, and getting our hands dirty. It was so much fun! We ended up collecting ALL seven bags full of garbage. The only reason we stopped, is we ran out of room in our bags. I couldn't believe how dirty our street was. They boys loved our activity and time together and we counted the bags as we hurled them into our garbage.
If you are interested in doing this with your kids, which again was really fun, here is what I learned. This will make it more enjoyable for you and for us next time.
1. Pack a snack and water bottles. You never know when they need refocus energy.
2. Bring hand sanitizer.
3. Wash your hands as soon as you return home.
4. Pick a bag for garbage, a bag for glass, and a bag for plastic. Its great that you can recycle too, but you don't want to dig through the garbage twice.
5. The parent gets to grab the garbage in the street, but the kids get a point if they spy it!
6. Make clear rules about what they can't touch; cigarette butts, broken glass, animal droppings, and whatever else you deem full of germs and not worth touching.
7. Give each kid a fun pair of plastic gloves. This is the fun part for them.
8. Bring enough bags, because you never know how much garbage you will find.
9. Have fun!
10. Thank and encourage your kids for taking care of the world around them.
11. Always have a plastic bag with you at this point forward. Now that they notice garbage, they will always want to pick it up!