13 Indigenous Heroes Every Kid Should Know About

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With holidays such as Indigenous People’s Day and Native American Heritage Month, popular culture and our history books may remind you of only a few indigenous people. We have many heroes, historic and modern, who are working toward goals that help elevate Native American and First Nations people along with protecting things vital to all of humankind, like water and food. Read on to learn about a few more indigenous heroes that your kids should know by name.

Chef Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart

Chef Kimberly Tilsen Brave-Heart's, Rapid City-based Etiquette Catering provides a modern twist on traditional indigenous recipes. Travelers to Rapid City can interact with Etiquette Catering by booking private dinners with Etiquette Catering to experience authentic indigenous cuisine, ordering and picking up Etiquette Catering’s new charcuterie boxes created with locally sourced ingredients, or joining Etiquette Catering for a cooking class.

"As the original inhabitants of this land, it is important to teach all children the significance of Indigenous foods, history, and existence," says Chef Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart. "We all reside upon the ancestral lands of indigenous people."

Phil Lucas

A member of the Choctaw Native American Nation, filmmaker Phil Lucas is most well known for the series of documentaries he created with Robert Hagoplan called "Images of Indians". This five-part series explored the Indian stereotype portrayed in movies and how that stereotype impacted indigenous people's own image of themselves. He also played characters and served as a technical advisor on cultural content in TV series like Northern Exposure and MacGyver

Sean Sherman

Founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef, Sean marries his passion for cooking with his rich heritage by raising awareness of indigenous food systems. As the winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, Sean uses his platform as a way to create opportunities for education around Native foods and culinary techniques. As a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, the work Sean does is deep-rooted in a sense of pride and connection to his people.

photo: Amber Gueteiber

Josephine Mandamin

Born in 1942 in the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory (Ontario, Canada), Josephine was the founder of the Mother Earth Water Walkers and fierce leader of the water protection movement who strived to bring awareness to water pollution. Having great influence on many people in her community, it comes as no surprise that her great-niece, next on our list, follows her path.

Autumn Peltier

Member of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, Autumn Peltier, was only 15 when she first spoke before the UN General Assembly on the issue of water protection in 2018. Known as a “water warrior,” she follows in her great aunt Josephine Mandamin’s footsteps, advocating for the rights of Native American communities to have access to clean water.

Edmonia Lewis

Born in New York around 1844 to indigenous parents—her father was African American and her mother was a Chippewa Indian—Edmonia spent a great deal of her career as a sculptor in Rome, Italy where she gained international notoriety in the world of fine arts. Although many of her sculptures depicted prominent American figures, Edmonia never forgot her heritage, paying homage to both her African American and Native American origins in sculptures such as “The Arrow Maker” (1866) and “Forever Free” (1867).

Neely Snyder

Descendant of Red Lake Nation and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Neely is passionate about creating healthier Native American communities. Applying her education and background in philanthropic leadership, Neely, as Executive Director of Dream of Wild Health, advocates for the organization’s mission to help indigenous Native American communities recover their natural ways of life, especially through indigenous food and agriculture. 

Hilaria Supa Huamán

A native of Peru and a member of the indigenous peoples of Quechua, Hilaria says her adversities are what have given her the strength to fight for many causes that affect the Quechan, as well as people all around the world. She is an activist for women’s and land rights, using her influence as a member of the Peruvian Congress to lobby for and enact laws that would benefit these causes.

Jessie "Little Doe" Baird

Jessie "Little Doe" Baird is a linguist who helped revive the Algonquian language of her ancestors that had not been spoken for more than 150 years. As a citizen of the Mashpee Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation, she started to create a dictionary in 1996 chronicling the tribe’s ancestral language as part of a research fellowship with MIT. The dictionary holds more than 11,000 words.

Bill Reid

Not many kid’s history books talk about the Haida peoples of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, located off the west coast of British Colombia. Their preservation of land and water are admirable environmental achievements. Having a deep respect for his mother’s heritage, Bill Reid dedicated much of his work in the arts to the Haida peoples. Bill created, alongside other native artists, a sculpture depicting the story of human creation as passed down by Haida legend, among others. His work in bringing awareness to and preserving the stories of the Haida peoples is remarkable.

Joy Harjo

A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Joy Harjo is an American poet who has served as the incumbent United States Poet Laureate since 2019. She is the first Native American to hold that honor. She has written nine books of poetry and two award-winning children's books, The Good Luck Cat and For a Girl Becoming. As the U.S. Poet Laureate, she has introduced the country to the many Native poets who live in these lands through her signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words”.

Winona LaDuke

Descended from the Ojibwe tribe in Canada through her paternal blood, Winona has spent the past three decades actively working to recover lands for tribes such as the Anishinaabe. In addition to reclaiming lands, she also works to restore and preserve natural, indigenous cultures through the cultivation of native foods and products. Winona ran for president of the United States in both 1996 and 2000 as a member of the Green Party, and although she was not elected into office, we think the work she is doing carries just as much importance.

Isidro Baldenegro López

As a leader and indigenous member of Mexico's indigenous Tarahumara people, Isidro (b. 1966) staunchly defended the old-growth forests in his territory. In 2005, he was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for organizing peaceful protests that led to the protection of the forests and its indigenous people.

Got a hero to suggest? Email us at kate.loweth@tinybeans.com

—Kate Loweth & Candace Nagy

 

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Little Scientists

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Are you searching for the best gifts for your favorite curious kiddo? Well, get ready to check off your list with this awesome gift guide that will have every child from tot to teen exploring the fascinating world of science through hands-on experiments in chemistry, engineering and more. Scroll down to see our top picks!

If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation.


Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Exploration Kit

$20 BUY NOW

Color-coded pieces make learning about how electronic circuits work easy! There are over 100 projects that can be made from just one kit.


Ada Twist, Scientist On-The-Go Lab

$45 BUY NOW

With beakers, goggles, experiment cards, stickers and plenty of other supplies, your curious kid will be whipping up experiments just like their favorite scientist in no time.


Crayola Paper Butterfly Science Kit

$23 BUY NOW

This butterfly kit will allow your child to discover physics and show off their artistic skills by designing paper butterflies that can fly!


MEandMine Journey Down The Belly STEAM Kitchen Science Kit

$30 BUY NOW

Discover the journey from plate to tummy and beyond! Kids will get up-close and personal with their bodily functions, prompting creativity and self-discovery.


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements

$20 BUY NOW

Renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon gives kids a treat with this stunning book about the Periodic Table (of course) that's also filled with interesting tidbits about scientists and much more.


Feyi Fay Build Your Own Solar Powered Car

$25 BUY NOW

Your kiddos are probably not old enough to drive a car yet, but they’ll have just as much fun building and designing their own real working solar-powered model car!


How I Girl Super Science Leggings

$18 BUY NOW

Ethically produced, tagless and offering back pockets, these adorable science-themed leggings make a great addition to their closet.


Learning Resources Coding Critters MagiCoders

$55 BUY NOW

Your child’s coding magic spells will come to life as Blazer the Dragon lights up, chases a ball and more. The best part? There are no screens to be found.


Hape Discovery Scientific Workbench

$52 BUY NOW

Another amazing science toy for the tots! Watch your child learn about engineering and physics while building pulleys, levers, and more on their very own scientific workbench.


Nancy B's Science Club Garbage to Gardens Compost Kit

$27 BUY NOW

Teaching kids about the environment and how we can make better choices is made easy in this clear kit that will allow everyone to see just how nature handles all that trash!


GoldieBlox Crystal Growing Kit

$23 BUY NOW

Crystals go sparkly in this growing kit that has several colors and LED lights to illuminate the included terrarium.


Educational Insights Sprout & Grow Window Plant Growing Kit

$28 BUY NOW

Give your child a first-row seat to all the action that happens after a seed is planted. Kids will learn about the different stages while they observe and track the growth of their plants.


4M Bubble Science - Physics, Chemistry Lab

$14 BUY NOW

Kids of all ages love bubbles. And now they can learn how bubbles work, all about the different shapes and even make an unbreakable bubble in this fun kit!

 


Insect Lore - Butterfly Growing Kit

$23 BUY NOW

Enjoy the fascinating stages of butterflies from caterpillar to adult. Can’t find any caterpillars? No problem! The kit includes a voucher so you can have them shipped to your home.


SmartLab Ultimate Secret Formula Lab

$37 BUY NOW

There are actual tubes, valves and PH strips in this chemistry lab for kids! Chose from over 40 included experiments or make your own.

—Candace Nagy

Editor’s Note: Prices and availability reflect the time of publication. Images courtesy of retailers.

Featured image: iStock.

 

12 Incredibly Easy Tie-Dye Crafts for Kids

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It’s a scientific fact—kids love color! Primary colors are bright and cheerful; they help young children distinguish shapes, and they have a positive effect on the moods of kids of all ages. Since we can’t think of anything more colorful than tie-dye, we wanted to gather the best projects for kids. From cool tie-dye patterns to the must-know tips, we’ve got you covered. So, scroll down to see our favorite fun and unique tie-dye projects kids can do this summer.

Tie-Dye Kit

The first thing you need for any tie-dye clothing like hoodies, shirts, and dresses is a tie-dye kit that has all the colors and supplies you'll need. This one has enough supplies for six people, includes 18 colors and an instructional guide with tie-dye patterns. The dyes are safe to machine wash and won't fade with time. 

Buy it here, $19.86.

Watermelon Tie-Dye Dress

Nothing says summer like watermelon! From the bright, fruity colors to the cute little seeds, we simply can’t get enough of this adorable dress. It’s a good thing Paging Fun Mums put together this super helpful tutorial complete with step-by-step video!

Tie-Dye Socks

While we’re on a roll tie-dying every piece of white clothing we can get our hands on, let’s not forget the mountain of white socks just begging for a splash of color! The Tip Toe Fairy used a one-step tie-dye kit to make these rainbow-inspired pairs, and we think they turned out fabulous! Want the full experience? We personally love this kit from Bombas, where every purchase helps support organizations in Chicago and NYC to bring family-friendly programming to those in need.

photo: A Little Pinch of Perfect

Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

Yes, we know Easter is months away, but we can’t help but get a little excited about this edible craft. After all, it pays off twofold. Awesome crafts to keep the kiddos busy, check. Snacks, check! Head over to A Little Pinch of Perfect to find out how to make these easy tie-dye eggs today!

photo: The Kitchen Table Classroom

Colorful DIY Paper Crowns

Do you have a little one who adores watercolor painting and loves crowns? Then this is the cleverest mashup you’ll find! We think The Kitchen Table Classroom’s idea to take paper doilies, paint them, and fold them along a band of paper is pure genius. Click here to see how to make these colorful crowns that are giving us all the tie-dye feels.

Crumpled Paper Art

This crumpled paper art craft by Buggy and Buddy is perfect for the little ones. Toddlers are sure to have a blast squishing up paper into balls and having messy fun decorating them with paint. Since this is a squish, paint, repeat type of craft, it’s sure to keep your kids busy for quite a while. The result makes for cute refrigerator art!

Tie-Dye Party Favor Bags

Celebrating your child’s birthday this summer? Even if you're throwing a virtual party, these tie-dye party favor bags by Ginger Snap Crafts are sure to be a hit with all of their friends! They’re so easy and fun to make, and once dried, just fill them up with some treats and you have the perfect party favors.

Tie-Dye Beach Towels

Summer wouldn’t be complete without outdoor water play and of course, you'll need beach towels to dry up afterward. Since shopping at our favorite stores this summer is a bit of a challenge, why not round up a few white towels and let the kids have fun turning them into colorful tie-dye patterns? We love how Emmy Lou Styles’ tie-dye beach towels turned out. She also made tie-dye shirts, and we think they turned out great! 

 

Coffee Filter Flowers

These are the perfect way to teach your little ones about nature and art at the same time. Simply take a stroll, and let your kids point out flowers that catch their eye. Then head home, and with just a few simple supplies, help them recreate nature by making these beautiful Coffee Filter Flowers with all the colors of the rainbow!

photo: The Kitchen Table Classroom

Tissue Paper Tie-Dye

If your little ones aren’t quite ready for some of the more advanced tie-dye projects, you can start them out with this colorful Tissue Paper Tie-Dye craft that requires only tissue paper, food coloring, rubber bands, cups, and imagination!

Ice Tie-Dye Technique

There are no rubber bands needed for this technique! Bre Pea’s How To Tie Dye with Ice tutorial is super cool. Pun intended! We think you’re going to love how she turned standard white t-shirts into throw pillow covers.

Permanent Marker Color Bursts on Fabric

This is another great way to get that traditional tie-dye look without kits or rubber bands. The Kitchen Table Classroom’s Permanent Marker technique is so fun, and it will give your kids more control over the finished design since they'll be drawing out their desired patterns.

—Candace Nagy

 

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Looking for fun and free ways to bring excitement to your child’s day? Since we’re spending a lot of time at home these days, why not have some joy delivered straight to your mailbox? Kids will love seeing their local postal carrier arrive with free samples by mail, and there’s good news for parents: our list is full of items that encourage kids to learn about themselves and the world around them. From books to free stickers by mail, scroll down to see how to request them today!

Stickers!

The Wildlife Conservation Society has been preserving wildlife and their natural habitats since 1985 through education, conservation and encouraging people to join in their cause. Recognizing the importance of inspiring children from a young age to be a part of these efforts, the WCS offers of range of learning resources, as well as free stickers by mail, featuring amazing animals that kids will love.

Chances are your little ones love to play in the dirt, dig for worms, and make mud pies. A group of some big kids (ahem, adults) that love dirt as much as yours got together to start the Soil Science Society of America so that they could study and support this super important part of our natural ecosystem. The SSSA wants everybody to learn and get excited about soil so much that they mail free I LOVE SOIL stickers straight to your home.

Do you have a little animal lover in your house? If you do, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will send free stickers by mail so your child can show off their love of animals while inspiring others to show kindness to all of our furry (or furless) friends!

photo: iStock

Books & Magazines!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might be a go-to for COVID-19 facts and updates, but did you know that they are always looking for ways to help teach children about the health of themselves and their communities? Since books are always a hit with kids, the CDC will mail free books to children when their adult requests them here. Our favorite free book—Amazing Me: It's Busy Being 3—the CDC is currently offering follows Joey the kangaroo and friends along a developmental milestone journey.

Dolly Parton (yes, the country singer!) founded Imagination Library in 1995 to encourage the love of reading and literacy among children. Today, the organization mails free books to kids from birth to the time they begin school. Check here to see if your child is eligible to receive free high-quality books from Imagination Library!

PETA is on our list again, this time with their Kids’ Guide to Helping Animals’ Magazine! The magazine includes puzzles, stickers and quizzes that aim to help kids learn about animals and how they can protect them. Want a free magazine mailed to your child today? It’s as simple as filling out this super quick online request form!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to get kids excited about protecting their environment. That’s why they offer free activity books by mail such as Planet Protectors Club: Follow That Trail that takes kids through a fun-filled mission to protect their environment. You can request one here!

LEGO bricks are the ultimate imagination building toys around, so it’s no wonder that kids around the globe are passionate about their colorful creations! But sometimes, children need a little bit of inspiration to help kickstart their LEGO builds. Your kids will never run out of ideas with the free LEGO Life Magazine mailed to them four times per year.

photo: iStock

Letters!

If your child dreams of getting mail from their favorite Disney character, encourage them to write to them! Follow this guide by charactersignatures.com with tips on where to mail your child’s letter and which characters are most likely to respond.

NASA astronauts love getting letters from kids! So, if you have a space-loving, aspiring astronaut in your home, have them write to NASA today. In a few weeks, they’ll be surprised to see a (free) autographed photo of an astronaut arrive in the mail just for them. We think that’s pretty far out—and your kids will, too!

The White House receives all kinds of mail, and you guessed it, a lot of that mail comes from children eager to share their thoughts on everything from the environment to White House pets! Does your child have something important to share? While they may not receive a personalized response, The White House secretary diligently attempts to mail a reply on official White House letterhead when you follow these instructions.

photo: iStock

Seeds!

The Live Monarch Educational Foundation needs your child’s help supporting monarch butterfly populations by planting milkweed! And while they do encourage small donations to help keep their foundation going, they are happy to send free seeds by mail when you send them a self-addressed stamped envelope!

The Rob Greenfield Free Seed project strives to help people learn to grow and share food within their communities. We think this is a fun – and delicious – way to teach children about where their food comes from and get them excited about preparing and sharing healthy meals! Join their 2021 waitlist today so they know you want free seeds mailed to your child.

—Candace Nagy

Featured image: iStock

 

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Working and schooling from home are an unexpected shift from our normal routine, and we’ve been left scrambling to set up a workspace within our homes. So, whether you’re working from the kitchen table or a desk that seems to have magically appeared in your bedroom overnight, we’ve put together this list of 11 fun DIY desk accessories to brighten up and organize any workspace. See them all below.

Can’t read them all now? Click here and save to Pinterest.

DIY Rainbow Mouse Pad

Because color is probably the easiest way to cheer up even your most ordinary desk staples, we’re starting off our list with this adorable and colorful DIY Rainbow Mouse Pad by The Crafted Life. You’ll be happily surfing the internet in less than an hour with only a handful of supplies you probably already have around the house!

DIY Mountain Range Desk Organizer

Looking for a way to sort that boring mail? Crafts Unleashed has got you covered with this adorable DIY Mountain Range Desk Organizer. Pro tip: Customize it with your favorite colors to match your workspace. Suddenly the bills don’t look so bad!

DIY Drawer Dividers

Paper clips, push pins, staples—struggling to keep those tiny office supplies organized? The Crafting Nook’s cute DIY Drawer Dividers will have you smiling every time you slide open your drawer to a colorful and organized surprise.

Rainbow Fruit Mason Jars

These Rainbow Fruit Mason Jars by Color Made Happy are sure to delight the kids with their bright, tropical colors and adorable expressions! DIY projects like these are fun for the little ones and make for an excellent color matching activity.

Neon Yarn Wall Hanging

We know February is months away, but don’t be fooled, this DIY Valentine’s Day Neon Yarn Wall Hanging by A Kailo Chic Life is a lovely way to bring a little heartwarming color to your workspace year-round! We tried this one out with our kids and with only a little help and supervision, we had cute walls hangings and even made a few into bookmarks.

Painted Glass Storage Jars

Because jars are a cute and inexpensive way to organize your home, we’ve added another jar craft to our list. These Painted Glass Storage Jars by Alice and Lois come together with only a few supplies and are so versatile. We think they’d be great for craft and office supplies, baking ingredients, and even terrariums!

Easy Painted Frames

The geometric painted pattern on these Easy Painted Frames by BrePurposed is a modern meets rustic way to show off your favorite photos. There’s nothing like looking at your children or reminiscing about a memorable moment to inspire your work!

Pom-Pom Desk Lamp

While you’ve got the pom-poms out, don’t forget to liven up your desk lamp with some 3D color. We think A Kailo Chic Life’s Quick And Simple Pom Pom Desk Lamp is a super cute and fun DIY project for the little ones!

Giant Mood Board / Hanging Wall Organizer

If you’re looking to use wall space to both organize your workspace, we have two genius DIY projects by Paper & Stitch. This Giant DIY Mood Board Organizer is a vibrant way to add color, while the Hanging Wall Organizer is chic and perfect for blending into your room. Bonus: both can be easily taken down or moved with our ever-changing needs!

Gold Foiled Planters

Plants are a perfect way to add a touch of nature to any workspace. Not only do plants look beautiful, but they’re also good for purifying the air and boosting our moods. A Kailo Chic Life has inspired us yet again with her Gold Foiled Planters!

—Candace Nagy

 

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