Celebrating holidays is one of the best parts of our homeschool. Not only do we get to learn so many amazing things about different holidays, but we also incorporate lots of fun crafts and activities into each celebration. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to introduce eco-friendly habits to your family and complete some fun, Earth Day activities.
These activities are great for the entire family and will help reinforce how important it is to reduce, recycle and reuse in your day-to-day routines.
Create Reusable Shopping Bags
An easy way to reduce waste is by using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic or paper bags. Children can easily decorate canvas shopping bags to take to the grocery store.
This allows them to teach other family members and even fellow shoppers about the importance of reducing plastic use.
Planting flowers, vegetables, or herbs is a great way to make an impact on the environment. Plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Choose something that will grow well in a container indoors or plan out a more elaborate plot like a fairy garden.
Plan a Plant-Based Meal
Food production accounts for more than 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If your family doesn’t already eat a plant-based diet, you can plan a plant-based meal.
Earthday.org has climate-friendly recipe suggestions. You can allow the children to each choose a meal to prepare for one day or set a goal to eat plant-based a few times during the week of Earth Day.
Recycle Broken Crayons
Some crayons are non-biodegradable which means they can have a negative impact on the environment when they are thrown away. Start saving your old crayons to make into fun, new crayons.
Using the broken and partial crayons to create new crayons is a great way to reduce waste and it’s a fun activity for a rainy day. You just need a silicone mold and unwrapped crayon fragments.
Make Bird Seed Ornaments
Birds are an important part of our ecosystem. They are seed dispersers and pollinators for many plants, trees, and flowers. You can create birdseed ornaments with just a few ingredients. Simply hang these ornaments in your yard during the cooler months to provide an extra snack for the birds.
Play an Energy Conserving Game
It seems I am always turning off lights in unused rooms at our house. Although it may not seem like much, leaving unneeded lights on can waste a lot of energy. Lights can also heat a room unintentionally. This can cause more power to be used in the form of air conditioning.
Energy Heroes and Villains
Play a simple game to see who can remember to turn off lights when they leave a room. Everyone starts with five tokens in a cup or bowl. When someone leaves a light on in a room they are considered an energy villain.
If someone catches the villain leaving a light on, then the energy hero gets to take one of the villain’s tokens. This is an on-going game to keep children actively engaged in turning off lights.
Read an Earth Day Book
There are dozens of great children’s books about Earth Day. Check your local library for a selection of Earth-themed books. You can also choose to go green and rent e-books for the occasion.
Study Earth Day
Plan an entire week of Earth Day celebrations by completing an Earth Day unit study. This study unit prompts discussions on how everyday actions affect the environment.
It encourages children to reduce, recycle and reuse by reinforcing those habits with fun worksheets and puzzles. There are also additional Earth Day activities suggested. This unit study is geared toward kindergarten through second grade.
Create Earth Art with Recycled Paper
Old magazines, newspapers, and stationery make great mediums for art projects. Creating recycled art is also a great way to reduce waste and recycle everyday items.
Using a piece of construction paper or cardstock, draw an outline of the Earth. You can encourage older children to draw the outlines of each continent as you practice geography. Then using the recycled papers, cut or tear small 1/4 inch pieces of paper. Glue those papers onto your Earth to represent the oceans and continents.
These Earth Day activities are great ways to start a family conversation about responsible recycling and sustainability. I encourage you to celebrate Earth Day and continue the conversation all year long with your children.