Every year, Earth Day happens on April 22. The day is a wonderful opportunity to teach our kids more about protecting planet Earth. We can teach them about the 3Rs — recycling, reducing, and reusing — as well as how plants grow, among so many other fun activities.
Here are 10 of our favorite hands-on things to do that gets kids interested in the world around them:
Learn the History of Earth Day
This year, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. For the past five decades, April 22nd has been a day dedicated to bringing awareness to environmental protection issues. Teach kids about why it’s so important to protect the environment through resources and worksheets from KidsKonnect and the Smithsonian Learning Lab.
Organize a Neighborhood Safari
National Geographic has a fabulous idea. First, learn about the world’s many animals through their resources. Next, encourage your kids to draw or color pictures of animals. Hang those pictures in your window, and then go on a neighborhood safari! (To get your whole neighborhood in on this Earth Day hunt, be sure to share this idea with your community.)
On April 22, walk around your neighborhood and look for pictures of animals in people’s windows. Encourage your kids to point them out and name the animals. Be sure to share your kid’s animal drawings through #NatGeoEarthDayatHome on social media too.
Visit National Parks Virtually
We may not be able to go on a road trip right now, but we can still discover national parks. Many parks are currently offering virtual visits. Get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon. Discover the fjords of Alaska. Or visit the active volcanoes of Hawaii. Nearly all 62 national parks of the United States offer some sort of virtual tour.
Make Nature Art
After collecting rocks, sticks, flowers, and more from around the backyard and neighbor encourage your kid’s creativity through some nature-inspired art projects.
Create a Play Garden
Whether you have a backyard or not, you can create a play or mud garden for your kids to dig into and explore. As Gardening Know How shares, all your kids need is a small enclosed area, a little bit of dirt, and some tools for digging. A play garen of their own will encourage them to learn about planting things and, well, getting muddy!
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| SEA CREATURE RESCUE | Will you be celebrating Earth Day this week? I'm hoping to do some fun Earth-themed activities for Mr 5 & 9 as we will be back to 'school' after our Easter 'holidays' (every day blends into another if I'm honest though ?) Here's a throwback to one of my first posts on Instagram (almost two years ago ?) – I think S was a bit young to understand the message behind this first time round, so I am going to try it again! The sea creatures need to be rescued from the plastic using our trusty @learningresourcesuk tongs ? Another fine motor workout and a great way to start conversations about recycling ?? . . . . . . #howweplayandlearn #finemotorskills #earthday #scienceforkids #stemforkids #stem #stemeducation #stemactivities #activitiesforchildren #activitiesforkids #kidsactivities #recycleandplay #sensoryactivity #sensoryplayideas #sensoryplay #sensorybin #finemotor #handsonactivities #handsonlearning #oceanawareness #earthfocus #scienceforkids #recyclingideas #trayfortheday #waterplay #funforkids #kidslovelylearning #learnthroughplay
Make a Bug Garden or Hotel
Bugs can be really important in keeping plants healthy. This Earth Day, encourage your kid’s love of insects by creating a bug garden or hotel. Parents can assemble the hotel with a wood crate, and kids can fill in the “rooms” with items, like leaves and sticks, to attract insects.
Upcycle Toys Into Something New
Teach kids about how we can reuse old items, like toys, and turn them into something new and fun. Turn old sports equipment into functional household items, like planters. Or use old stuffed animals as bean bag filling! Your kids will love that they can “keep” their old toys too.
Make a Bird Feeder
Want to encourage a love of bird watching? Encourage birds to visit your backyard by making bird feeders! We love this idea of rolling pine cones in peanut butter and bird feed, and then hanging up this tasty treat in our backyard. (You can also use old plastic eggs to shape bird feed treats).
Make Some Earth Day Meals
Bring your kids into the kitchen and make some Earth Day inspired meals. In other words, all these dishes are green!
Start a Seed Jar
Since we’re in the Midwest, it’s not quite time to start our garden. But that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our kids about how things grow! Get your kids excited for their (future) garden by starting a seed jar. As Little Bins for Little Hands shares, this is a great experiment to show kids what seeds typically do underground before they sprout from the earth.
Earth Day may only come once a year, but you can do these activities all year round.
SOME MORE OF OUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES:
- Play these 50 science games for kids
- Help your kids learn how to make bubbles at home!
- My kids are obsessed with these active indoor games.
- Spread joy with these fun facts to share
- Handprint art will give you all the feels
- Love these fun games for girls (and boys!)
- Your kids will love these pranks for kids
- Check out these fun duct tape crafts
- Make galaxy slime!
- Let kids explore this virtual Hogwarts escape room!
- Check out these kids education websites offering free subscriptions.