Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jumping for Joy & Weaving Your Own Rope

About a month ago now (how does time go that fast!?!), I attended an annual favorite:  the Maryland Association of Environmental & Outdoor Educators' Annual Conference.  Set in Ocean City this year (it's been here several times before, but a few other places in the state the last 6 years I've attended as well), it's a neat time to go to Ocean City--from an environmental standpoint.  It's brisk, the crowds are way down, the beach takes on new light & life, and it's always a conference filled of goodies.  Just the way I like it!

One of the highlights this year (though there were many), was an investigation on "plarn."  What's plarn, you ask?  Plastic yarn.  We had an adventure in weaving with plastic bags.  Who knew!?! The final outcome:  a jump rope, just in time for our school's Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser last week from the American Heart Association.  How perfectly synced is that?

The jump ropes are really a neat investigation in reusing materials (which is higher on the 3R spectrum than "recycling"--on purpose).  A remnant of an old pizza box made the octagonal loom, slices of plastic bag made the yarn, and empty/used glue sticks made the handles.  A little time and effort wove the rope.  My 3rd graders tried their hands at it, and one child had it finished in time to jump with during the Jump Rope for Heart activities in PE class.  No works!

Added bonus is the educational value:  The loom with plastic strands looks a lot like a does a floating plastic bag in the water.  Not good for turtles out there who eat jellyfish.  Additionally, the life span of a plastic bag is about 20 minutes--from store to home.  Then it becomes one with the 95 million other plastic bags you stockpile in your house, or worse yet it becomes trash.  Planned waste.  Thin store bags often are also very hard to recycle.  All too often they glut our environment as the waft on the wind, pollution that ultimately lands in a waterway and makes its way to the ocean.  Senseless waste.

One of the great things about the MAEOE Conference too this year that had me "jumping for joy" is that they posted the a lot of the resources the presenters used.  This one included!! To learn how to make a "plarn" jump rope using this or a few other ways, click here.

For some of the other great finds at MAEOE's conference this year, click this link for 16 other great environmentally-based finds!

MAEOE logo from
Pics from my camera--featuring my very own plarn jump rope!

No comments :

Post a Comment