Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to support the protection of the Earth. While we should strive to live a green, more sustainable life every day, Earth Day is a great way to slow down and appreciate nature. It’s also an opportunity to introduce our kids to important concepts such as cleaning up, recycling, composting, planting and get them involved in protecting the planet. This might also be a good reason to finally start some of the things you’ve been wanting to do to lead a greener lifestyle. Here are our 10 favorite Earth Day activities you can do with your kids:
Walk instead of Drive
Leave the car at home and walk to your daycare, school or local grocery store. Enjoy your community without polluting the air, and a little extra vitamin D will make you happy.
A great way to get outside and enjoy nature is to go for a hike, a bike ride, a beach walk, a walk through the forest – whatever is nearby. Take the whole family and make it a little adventure.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Nature scavenger hunts are super easy and super fun. You can either make your own list of items at home (see examples below) or just come up with things for the kids to find while walking. Or if you struggle with creativity, you can just print a scavenger hunt template from the Internet. A scavenger hunt can take place in your own backyard, but it might be more fun to venture to a local park. Have your kids bring a basket, so they can collect their items, and see how many they can find. Here are some examples of what you can add to their list:
- Small flowers
- Big flowers
- A big leaf
- A small leaf
- A leaf with a cool shape
- A feather
- Something that shouldn’t be found in nature
- Something in your favorite color
- Something that smells good
- A bug (doesn’t need to be added to the basket ;) )
Have a Picnic
Want to take it easy while enjoying the outdoors? How about a cozy outdoor picnic? Try a new place you haven’t visited before. Make it an eco-friendly picnic by using reusable containers, silverware, and napkins and, of course, a homemade meal.
My kids love this activity. Pick a location in your neighborhood or at a local park or beach and have a clean-up walk. Grab some gloves and garbage bags and pick-up all the trash you can find. It’s like a treasure hunt for kids. Sometimes my kids find items they want to keep or reuse for their next art project, and they are usually amazed how much stuff they find. It becomes a race to see who finds more trash. Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition to beautify your neighborhood. Afterwards we usually get ice cream to celebrate their work.
Grow Flowers or Vegetables
All kids love playing in the dirt. Head to the nursery together and have them pick some flowers for the garden or for pots if you don’t have a garden. Starting with seeds can be fun, because kids are fascinated by watching little seeds turn into flowers. Alternatively, growing vegetables is another great way for kids to learn about sustainable living and how to grow their own food.
I’ve been wanting to start a compost for a while now. So Earth Day might be just the excuse I need to finally get it organized. My kids enjoy recycling and I know that they would love to do composting as well. You don’t have to live in the countryside to compost. There are many composting ideas and options out there (for example: https://childhoodbynature.com/yes-its-time-to-compost-with-your-kids/) and you can use your compost as fertilizer for your plants. A “win-win” for everyone.
Make a Flower Crown
Flower crowns are so beautiful, and little girls love them. They are also a great accessory for pictures. You don’t need to buy anything to make them. You just need to find some flowers – my favorites are wildflowers, but long grass or sticks will work, too. Here is just one example of how to create them: https://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/07/how-to-make-daisy-chain-flower-crown.html. You can find plenty of additional inspiration on Pinterest.
Use Nature to Create Art
Most kids love art projects and it’s fun to create nature art to celebrate Earth Day. There are heaps of DIY kids’ projects on the Internet with natural materials including leaves, rocks, seashells, pinecones, flowers, sticks, etc. Whatever is available will work. The finished artwork will be fun to display in the house. Here is some inspiration for you: https://www.marthastewart.com/275439/nature-crafts-for-kids.
Make a Bird Feeder
There are many ways to make your own bird feeders with your kids using recycled materials, including recycled toilet paper tubes, pinecones, and other everyday items. Check out this great post by Run Wild My Child https://runwildmychild.com/easy-bird-feeders-with-kids/ for more details on how to make a few eco-friendly bird feeders.
Enjoy Earth Day with your children and hopefully you can incorporate some of these activities into your life every day, not just on Earth Day.