Celebrate Earth Day as a Family

April 2016

Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on our planet, our resources, what they mean to us and how we can protect and preserve them. Earth Day is a wonderful chance to introduce children to the concept of conservation and being green in a fun, engaging way!

Go on a nature walk.

  • Go outside with a magnifying glass and look at bugs, trees, flowers, leaves and anything interesting. Kids can bring a notebook to record or draw what they see.  Binoculars can be a fun addition to check out birds in trees.
  • Children can collect leaves, flowers and twigs. Make a collage and preserve them. Use clear contact paper to place objects where they want them to go; once everything is in place, adhere another piece of contact paper firmly on the back.
  • Learn about local recycling programs, and take your children to see the recycling center in your neighborhood, if possible. Call ahead – not all recycling centers are open to the public, but they may have tours or programming on Earth Day.

Make crafts with recycled items.

  • Check Pinterest for crafts using cardboard tubes, baby food containers, plastic bottles and newspaper. With some paint, brushes, glue, glitter, sequins and creativity, the possibilities are endless.

Grow a garden.

  • Earth Day is a great time to start a garden! Help children pick seeds that will flourish in your garden or in pots on your deck. Hanging planters and window boxes can be an easy solution to green a small space. Try planting a mix of flowers and herbs if you don’t have much space – make sure to emphasize the connection between the herbs and the meals you cook with them to reinforce the importance of gardening.

Save energy and water at home.

  • Walk through the house and ask what uses energy and how to conserve, turning off electronics when they are not in use.  Easy conservation tips that children can practice are shutting off lights when the room is not in use, turning the faucet off when brushing teeth and using buckets to catch rain water for the plants.

No matter which activities you choose, they will help children to begin to think about how their actions affect the world around them, even in the smallest of ways.