The students and I reviewed all of the wonderful ways we have appreciated and helped nature so far this year - learning about composting/starting and maintaining our worm bin, feeding our backyard birds and sponsoring two raptors at LSNC, learning about paper waste/junk mail and reusing paper - and more. In March, with the start of Spring, we typically learn about "green" cleaning - ways to clean the house (or school) using all natural ingredients and reusable cloths. This is always one of the students' favorite projects - there is art, science, teamwork, and squirt bottles! Lots of good, clean fun.
The first thing we needed to do was to clean out our desks. They had become cluttered with a semester's worth of junk. We will start the final weeks of school with clean slates.
Then the children got to decorate their work aprons with fabric markers.
Each child then got to go to the "scent bar". I set up some essential oils that they could smell and select their favorites. They could pick one (or two) that they thought would smell fresh and clean. Peppermint was a favorite, but some loved the combination of orange and lemon. Tea tree and lavender smelled delightfully fresh too!
Once the scents were carefully picked out, small groups of children followed a very simple recipe to make the very simplest of solutions. They poured the mixture into their spray bottles and got busy!
Each child was allowed to take home their spray bottle, their apron, and their cloth (if desired).
Here are a few recipes, including the one we used today. I find that children love to clean (at least for a short time) if they can be part of the process. Happy Spring Cleaning, Everyone!
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER - this is the one we made!
one cup water
one cup vinegar
15 drops essential oils
1/2 cup baking soda
Dr. Bronner's peppermint liquid soap
5 drops essential oils
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dr. Bronner's liquid soap
2 cups water