diy {craft hope for the earth}

Thanks for your sweet words about the shower I threw my sister (yesterday’s post). I’ll post a bit more on some of it on Friday….

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time
If you have read this blog any length of time you know I am a big fan of Craft Hope. I have not participated in every project, but I try to as much as possible. Recently the newest project was announced: collecting wash cloths and soap to aid various organizations in saving the lives of animals affected by the recent BP oil spill.ย  You can read all the details on the Craft Hope site.

I remember seeing the news of the Exxon Valdez spill when I was growing up. It is so difficult to imagine and know that the current spill is massively larger. I wanted to participate in the Craft Hope project, but I also wanted my kids to participate. My kids are at ages where stuff really sinks in for them if we can make it hands on. So before we went to gather supplies to send in, I wanted them to really understand what we were doing.

We started with talking about oil, oil rigs, drilling, and the recent spill. I then let them watch a little video I found on Google that showed the live feed under the water and showed some animals affected.

I purchased a manatee from the Dollar Tree for $1.00 (that is repetitive!) and mixed up some ‘oil’. For my ‘oil’ I used corn syrup and worcestershire sauce.

We put the manatee in a tub of water and then poured ‘oil’ into the water.

In another bucket we mixed soap and water to clean the manatee.

The manatee got a hose down – to be sure all the soap was gone.

Littlest Brother went for a swim in our ‘oil spill’.

The next day we went to the Dollar Tree to gather some washcloths to send to the doctors, scientists and volunteers working to save animals hurt by the oil.

The Dollar Tree has packs of 3 washcloths for $1.00. On the Craft Hope site you can find specifics on what is needed and what is not. You can make your own cloths to send, it was easier for me to involve my kids this way. If your kids are older they might enjoy sewing some washcloths. Keep in mind each cloth will probably only be used 3 times and then no longer used.

Before we mailed off the package the boys wrote notes and drew pictures for those working hard to save the animals.

This was a really fun project for the boys to be a part of. They have radar ears now anytime anyone mentions anything about the current status of the oil spill.ย  I love the concern they have for the animals and the people affected by this disaster. I also love that they feel like they were able to help with part of the solution. Thanks Craft Hope!

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  • Cate O'Malley - I love how involved you got the kids in current events, such a great way to bring the problems of the world closer to home.

  • Evie - what a great way to give your little ones understanding of the oil spill. And then be able to see that they can help.

  • Christy - What a great idea!

  • Grace Soh - The first picture with a smiley stamp on littlest brother head is SOOOOOOOO adorable. Made. my. day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy - I love how you did this for your kids. It’s so important to get kids involved at a young age. Very inspiring!

  • Shannon - Thank you for sharing this wonderful project. I will be cutting down all my old towels to washcloth size tonight.

    Kudos to you for including the kids. They are going to be some pretty darn amazing adults!

  • Jane - What a wonderful project to do with the kids!

  • Kaylene - We were just talking about this a few nights ago at dinner, We did a example with oil and water and showed what was going on. Ours wanted to go wash some animals, but with a almost one baby sister he realized it would be hard. This is something we could do. Thanks!

  • amy - I know this is not the right attitude to have but I have avoided talking to my kids (3 and 5) about the oil spill because i feel like it is so overwhelming and there is nothing we can really do to help. When the Haiti earthquake hit we baked and sold muffins and raised $500 so I know everyone can make a difference, even a small one. This post makes me feel like we can do something small here, too….and you’ve inspired me. We have talked about having a lemonade stand and wondering where the profits could go…I think buying supplies to send is a wonderful idea and that’s what we’re going to do.
    Thanks so much for sharing Ashley!

  • raychel - Thanks to you, your children will grow up to very smart, aware, and caring young men and women. Kudos to you Ashley!! What a great mother you are, and a great inspiration to the rest of us!

  • patti - what an awesome project. my oldest girl (she’s 5) has been collecting coins in a special box to “save the pelicans” as she put it. we showed her the damage and explained what happened. i think it’s so important to share these types of things with our children. it helps them learn compassion and empathy for others. i know too many parents that hide disasters from their kids. i think living under a rock only makes them less aware of what life is like for others. what you are giving your kids at such a young age is invaluable!

  • Denise - a wonderful way to involve your children, I am inspired.
    thanks for sharing xx

  • Jessica - Ashley, you are amazing! I love that you are teaching your boys compassion and the importance of lending a hand. This project is a great idea. When and if I’m ever a mommy, I hope to be the kind of mommy you are.

  • Barbara - Love how you got the kids involved in such a concrete way. By the way, Firecraker’s onesie is adorable.

  • anne c - Ashley, you get the “Mother of the Year” award in my eyes…and it is only June. You are a wonderful mother! and you are always teaching your children the important things in life. I can’t imagine how much more you do that we don’t even know about. Keep inspiring us daily!

  • julie - Beautiful. Real. Helpful. Life changing. Your sweet examples and hands on reality is changing your little ones to think about the whole world outside their doors and feel like they can actually do something to help. I am so very, very encouraged by you. By them.

  • Lindsay - Thank you for sharing this! My co-workers and I are going to get together and have a wash cloth making party!

  • Heather - this is a fantastic way to explain this horrible situation. my husband was trying to explain it to our six year old and it’s so difficult to. we explained to him what we could do to try and keep this from happening again by trying to use less oil/gasoline. we explained to him that it’s why we chose to use the bus instead of buying another car, etc. i think doing this project with him would help to bring it full circle.

    thanks for always giving us such do-able projects that allow us to teach our children about the world they live in.

    have a happy day!

  • Holly - What a wonderful story! I love that you helped the little people better understand what all of this oil spill business really means. Thanks to you I have joined the project as well and have put a post on my blog to encourage others! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • chantelle - A++ Family! Great idea and super wat to connect with concrete manipulatives and activities.
    The stamp on the forehead of littlest bro is my fav shot ever!!

  • amber - that is awesome. my 3 year old so needs to do this…thanks for sharing. you’re so full of great ideas. i love it!

  • the inadvertent farmer - As always you are an inspiration! Kim

  • bambooska - So inspiring. I hope I’ll do that one day too and teach my kids something (when I have them, right now I’m childless. LOL).

  • Kirsten - Oh, do you mind if I totally steal this idea? I would love to do this with my 6yo. I love the way that you get your kids involved with current events and how you find ways to help them minister to others at a young age. So awesome. Thanks for all the inspiration! Can I be like you when I grow up? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tweets that mention diy {craft hope for the earth} ยป ashleyannphotography.com -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jade Sims, Abi Martin. Abi Martin said: awesome post by one of my faves! http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2010/06/15/diy-craft-hope-for-the-earth/ […]

  • shelly - What a great idea, I’m so glad you shared this!

  • Kim - Thank you. I so badly needed to be reminded today that the world is bigger than my little problems. You’re an amazing Mum and an inspiring person.

  • Kelly - This is so cool! I love how you made it accessible to your kids. Thanks for sharing. Kelly

  • Missyirene - Hi from ol’ NZ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been following your blog for some time but never left a comment. Just want to let you know that your blog inspires me soooo much, and I’m amazed with how you teach your kids to make this world a better place from small simple things. They’re very lucky to be your kids. Keep rockin’!! Irene x

  • zoe - You are such an inspiration!
    Thank you!

  • Sarah - Great project for a good cause. You do such a good job of getting BIG ideas down to a little kid level. I feel horrible for the real animals that are being harmed- but I had to laugh at myself when I was making a sad face for your manatee. When I saw the picture of him in your “oil-spill” I was thinking- poor little guy he never saw this coming.

  • Jodi - This is a fantastic way to help out. I posted on FB and will post on Twitter!

  • Kim - Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was planning to do the craft hope project with my kids but was struggling with how to help them understand what is happening in the gulf. FANTASTIC ideas right down to the letters of encouragement to those helping the wildlife effected by this catastrophe. I never walk away from your blog without an idea or inspiration. Just wanted to let you know that.

  • Yolanda - You are such an awesome(and incredibly talented)mom!

  • Heather King - Hey girl… love the post, that’s a great idea, but even more then that I like that littlest brother has a stamp on his forehead… crack me up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Patricia Teo - This is sooo sweet! It’s brilliant that you always find ways to involve your children and educate them on issues

  • Sarah M - This is an absolutely fantastic idea to simplify and share the news & solutions in a realistic manner for such young kiddos. Thank you for sharing. Although my children are very small (2 under 3), I will be sharing this on FB with my friends.

    Sarah M

  • emily anderson - lovin’ the stamp on little brothers forehead ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amy Holgersen - What a teachable moment. Thank you for sharing this. I am Florida girl. Born and raised on the Gulf Coast. And this has been devastating to say the least. I *heart* the sense of service and responsibility you are instilling in your little ones!

    I will be borrowing this idea…

  • amber - Thank you so much Ashley for posting this! I have been wondering how we could help in some tangible way and this is the beginning! We are going to send some in to help with the clean-up, along with some Dawn soap too!

  • christina larsen - Great post.

  • Carrie Fay - Thanks for the amazing idea! We shamelessly recreated the project and had a ball. Here is our take on it: http://www.allfordaniel.blogspot.com/

  • kids and craft hope - […] involved with Craft Hope. Ashley did a wonderful demonstration that you can also do for your kids here. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but show your kids what’s going on. Teach them about the […]

  • allison - This is wonderful. What a great idea!