Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These are My Little Monsters

These are my little monsters. Don’t be scared!!! We made them from milk cartons, filled them with shredded paper, and hid some things inside like plastic bottles with shells so they have a cool sound…and then Duck Tape. My mom and dad taught me how to do things like this when I was little, reuse it, repair it, or refashion it. My childhood in rural Pennsylvania looks very different than my son’s childhood in New York City, his big back yard is one of several glorious parks shared with millions of people. We share our home with our community, too! As a family daycare provider, my goal is to “support the art of parenting in the greenest ways possible.”  Our playroom is filled with toys that are eco-responsible, and these “Milk Blocks” are a big favorite among my kids.

The Great Green Play Date for a Cause is our way of sharing our ideas and what we have learned as green explorers and creators. Healthy Child, Healthy World, our cause, has been a trusted guide. Their website and book are a reference and news source for me as I “vote with my dollars” to support green efforts in the marketplace. Every mom, no matter how much or how little she has to spend has a vote.  What’s really scary, as we prepare for Halloween, is how many monsters attack our kids in the form of artificial colors and flavors, GMOs , pesticides, herbicides, cheap, plastic toys, mounds of trash post-holiday. Making good choices is too often feels like a choice between two “evils.”

Our partnership with Green Halloween® has revealed dozens of safe, green, healthy ideas and inspires more daily as other parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and advocates creatively change the way we celebrate this tradition to be in harmony with our planet. We look forward to sharing our ideas as a revolution through play with your child. Sunday, October 30th at The Pump Station, The Great Green Halloween benefit is a collaboration of like-minded business determined to make a healthy world for every child. The best part of Halloween is all ages get to pretend, dress up, and confront goblins, ghosts and goons with a laugh and of course, eat candy!!! Vote with your dollars and join our cause!

Natalie Cronin-Reyes is the Founder of Tinker Tree Play/Care on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Deeply passionate about children and the environment, she has developed a number of charitable initiatives that support children’s health and ecologically sound parenting, such as “The Great Green Playdate for a Cause” and the “Be Brave Adventure Benefit” for the MaxCure Foundation. She is a featured artist and consultant for the Rug Bug Music Program, and served as the founding National Director of Child Development for Kidville until 2011. She resides inNew York City with her husband and son, and is thankful every day for the opportunity to “play” for a living.