Thursday, November 15, 2018

15 Fun and Easy Earth Day Activities for Kids

Throw a party for Earth with your kids on April 22nd – Earth Day – with these 15 easy ideas for celebrating the natural environment of the world. This day of recognition began in 1970 with the first Earth Day celebration, a time that marked a slow evolution in learning more about the environment and our places in it. Teach your kids about their surroundings and how to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle with these family friendly crafts, recipes, and activities that will help you celebrate Earth Day (any day).

  1. Make cloth napkins and rings as gifts for family and friends. This Earth friendly gift will get everyone thinking about their use of common household products and encourage them to make and keep instead of buy and throw. Take cotton (you can even use pillowcases) fabric and cut into rectangles or squares approximately 15” x 15”, fold the edges under twice and hem, or cut with pinking shears and just sew a zigzag seam along the edge. Little ones can take old (clean) shower curtain rings and decorate with beads, pipe-cleaners, and stickers to create napkin rings.
  2. Visit an arboretum or greenhouse with your kids and explore a new world of plants and flowers. The arboretum near our home has everything from exotic plants to native grasses, and you can visit no matter what the weather outside is doing.
  3. Help your children refinish a bookshelf, desk chair, or toy box for their room. Sand off the old finish if needed, grab some spray paint, and bring old furniture back to life. Kids love to paint – let them try stenciling designs or using bubble paint to write their name across the piece.
  4. Make pine cone birdfeeders. Have kids spread peanut butter over the cones and then roll in pans of bird seed. Hang with yarn outside near windows where the kids can bird-watch.
  5. Make Earth Day cupcakes. Prepare a white cake mix as directed and separate into two bowls. In one bowl add ½ of a 3 ounce package of dry (lime) green Jell-O mix and stir, and to the other add ½ of a 3 ounce package of dry (blue raspberry) blue Jell-O mix and stir. Add one tablespoon of each mixture into cupcake liners and bake as directed for cake.
  6. Challenge your kids to go for a day without using electricity. Cook on the grill, use candles in the evening as you play a family game of cards, and head for a hike in the woods instead of to the television or computer.
  7. Plant a tree or flower together. If you don’t own ground space for one check with your local nature center or city office to see if you can donate and plant one as a family.
  8. Send the kids on an Earth Day treasure hunt. Make sure that you include clues that will lead them to discover outdoor features such as anthills, bird nests, puddles, and anything else in your neighborhood or yard.
  9. Clean the ditches or a neighborhood park. Kids are impacted when they do. I know that after ditch cleaning with my children they are much more conscious of how litter affects their environment.
  10. Go bird watching together. Grab some binoculars and a bird identification key from your local DNR office. We also have bird call recordings that help the kids identify the birds based on the sounds of the calls.
  11. Sleep under the stars. Kids love camping and there is no better way to get them in touch with nature than to tent it for a night with them.
  12. Make a picture frame from nature. Take the cardboard from a box of cereal or other similar item and use it for the base, then have your child add twigs, acorns, dried flowers, and bits of grasses to create a natural photo frame (these make great Mother’s Day gifts, too!).
  13. Make edible mud in a bucket. Take a new/clean sand castle bucket or plastic flower pot and add chocolate pudding, a layer of crumbled chocolate cookies, and then sprinkle a few gummy worms on top for an edible and sweet desert.
  14. Read books about taking care of Earth. Some great titles include: The Earth and I by Frank Asch, Big Earth, Little Me by Thom Wiley, and The Curious Garden by Peter Brown.
  15. Make a pet rock. Kids love to scour the ground for the perfect specimen. Have them add wiggly eyes, yarn hair, and painted smiles. Everyone in the family can create a pet rock and then take turns telling a story about the life and times of their rock – where it has travelled, what it has seen, and what it has learned about Earth.

Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the 1970s that sometimes I feel like a hippie-at-heart, but Earth Day isn’t just for throwback hippies. When we teach our kids about caring for their environments we teach them about empathy, community awareness, and social responsibility. All that from some mud in a bucket and my pet rock named Susie.

Related posts:

  1. 17 Fun St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids
  2. 10 Fun and Easy Summer Activities to Keep Kids Learning
  3. 5 Fun Activities for You and Your Toddler

View full post on Parenting Tips For Raising Successful Kids |

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