Earth Day is April 22nd this year and if you’re looking for some ways to celebrate or participate, check out this list of fun, and safe, Earth Day activities for kids you can do at school or at home with your family. If you are distance learning, no problem, tips #4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are relevant for you!
1. Pick up Litter!
This is probably the easiest thing you can do on Earth Day. Earth Day is all about protecting and cleaning up our planet and what better way to do that than to pick up trash. Super easy since this can be done anywhere you see a need. Every year, I like posing the question to my class about where they see litter. Oh, my gosh, they really do notice it and get excited about cleaning it up.
Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and in turn help our planet. Some things that can be recycled are cardboard, plastic, and aluminum. Once your students learn about the process of recycling and what they can do to recycle, they will get really excited and want to give it a try. Does your school have recycle bins?
Include them in the decision making! Ask them what they think they can recycle? Maybe they want to collect their water bottles they use in class or collect used paper from all the classrooms in the same hallway! You'll be amazed at all of the great ideas your students will have!
3. Make a Craft
Recycling can be creative. One of my favorite STEM activities is to make something out of something else. For example, you could use an old milk jug as a base for a bird feeder or you could turn an empty pizza box into a hands-on “oven” to bake cookies or brownies. The easiest way to collect STEM supplies is to have students collect things at home and bring them to class. If it looks like trash? Bring it to class! Bottle caps, empty paper towel rolls, it all works!
4. Make your Voice Heard
If you have social media, post online using the hashtag #EarthDay2021 or search #Earthdayactivitiesforkids and encourage others to get up and participate. If your school doesn’t have a recycling program, students can come up with an idea of how you can start recycling and present it to your principal.
5. Learn More About It!
Easy to understand and interactive text is an easy way to learn about Earth Day. There are awesome Earth Day activities for 2nd and 3rd grade students. Students will read a mini-book all about learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle! It includes comprehension questions, Earth Day discussion cards, and more. This fun, low prep resource is available in digital and print; perfect for in-person or distance learning needs.
6. Get Outside!
Enjoy Earth’s beauty by getting outside. You can walk around your neighborhood or a trail nearby and do a nature walk. One of my favorite Earth Day activities for kids is to do a scavenger hunt outside. You can do it on paper, find one on the internet, or use a cool app called GooseChase.
7. Plant Something!
Find a spot at your school, with permission, or home and plant a tree. You can plant anything you want. Do some research and see how big the plant/tree is going to be and see what kind of sunlight and care it needs. Then, sit back, watch it grow, and help out the Earth.
Another super easy win for planting is using sunflower seeds! They don't take as long to sprout and they get super tall which is exciting for students!
8. Take a Virtual Tour
With today's technology, it is so easy to find fun places to explore. Google Earth is always a fun and easy tool to use. If you would rather take a virtual field trip, I highly recommend the website, Virtual Field Trips. This virtual field trip on the Amazon Rain Forest is a class favorite!
9. Read a Book
Especially right now during distance learning, this is something super fun and easy to do! The best thing about Amazon books is that you can buy the Kindle Version. With Kindle, you can share your screen on Zoom and then share the books!
What a Waste is an informational book that will teach young budding ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth and the big impact we can make by the little things we do.
Kids will love this fun and sometimes yucky book about compost. Not only is composting becoming more common in households, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? Perfect for an Earth Day focus this inviting book provides all the answers for kid-friendly ways to help the planet.
This engaging book teaches about plastic pollution! With beautiful and charming illustrations, this is a book adults will love reading over and over again with their kids. Save the Ocean's heartwarming lesson of recycling and conservation that will stay with the reader for a lifetime.
As you can see, there are so many fun Earth Day activities for kids that will get you active and having fun while helping our favorite planet! So, get out there, make it fun, and do your part in helping keep our planet safe and clean.