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Earth Day Activities : Sandbox Savannah

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Growing mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds indoors was a part of growing up. Every year for golu/dussherah we did a small world setup ( farm, park, temple, cricket- the game not the insect etc). This was in addition to the main event,  the display of the deities.  Helpful links at the end of the post. Armed with that background, our recent viewing of “African Cats”, “The Last Lions” and of course “Lion King” innumerable number of times, with Earth Day coming up and with my long standing affection for indoor mustard plants, this earth day activity came naturally.

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So let’s bring nature indoors and combine a small dose of African Savannah for Earth Day.

Please be prepared for an image heavy post. This one was way too much fun for the kids and my 4 year old said ” Mom, I want to play with this all by myself because you might mess up my Savannah scene”. She gets a little picky when she is creating animals scenes.
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  • Dirt
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Mustard Seeds/ any quick growing seed
  • Plastic animals

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We added soil to our “sand”box and prepared the dirt by creating a terrain of sorts. Then we sowed the seeds and sprayed some water and within 2 weeks we had lush greenery. Keep the soil moist and in shade.

growing fenugreek and mustards

Growing herbs or any plants indoors or in a container on your patio by itself is a great earth day activity rather any day activity for kids. It gives them something to expect, watch excitedly and also teaches responsibility. After 2 weeks of tending and a few muggy days we had this lush greenery.

earth day activities with mustard

We also grew some more mustard plants in a tin foil just for my toddler. Mustards and fenugreek seeds are so easy to grow that it is perfect for younger kids. Why not start a fenugreek garden as an earth day activity for kids?

earth day activities for toddlers

Our invitation to create an African animals scene with homegrown mustards and fenugreeks. Combine animals with greenery- earth day activities can’t get easier than this!

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After that it was all my kids and their imagination. I heard so many ideas and words from all the movies we watched I was almost thinking ” Is my kid learning more from TV than any other means?”

Have you watched African Cats? If you have a nature lover, you should. We have a Lion-cheetah face off ( they may look like they are kissing though) with the mom cheetah hiding her cub in the grasslands. Ok that’s a baby jaguar but we are pretending that’s a cheetah cub.

lion cheetah fight small world play

I noticed that my preschooler pretty much retold the entire wildlife documentary and mixed up good old Lion King and a few scenes from “The Last Lions” and created a wonderfully whole new story line to go along with her small world play.

Here are a couple of hippos hanging out in a watering hole..

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We also had a Lion King on Pride Rock.

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lion earth day activities play  lions zebra small world

It is not Africa until some one has a wildebeest for lunch. Sorry for the “graphic” image.

small world play lions and wildebeest

The pretend play session extending for a long time and I owe it all to our homegrown greenery. It just changed our usual wildlife play scene. Suddenly the animals had  a place to hide,

kids activities small world for earth day

This Earth day activity turned small world play has tremendous potential.

playing on earth day activities

 This is how we grew our own mustards and fenugreek and used them in play.

earth day activities with animals


Thanks for reading

Helpful Links

Mustard Seeds we used

Growing Indian mustard

More about fenugreek

What on earth is Dusshera/Golu?

Small world setup as a part of a religious festival

Affiliate links 

Links to the SAFARI toobs. The animal figurines are one of the toy purchases I never ever will regret!

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