Earth Day is this weekend and there are so many ways we can celebrate this beautiful planet as a family. It's wonderful to have a reason to teach our kids to protect, preserve and restore our planet.
Whether you take a walk outside on your own to enjoy the fresh springtime air or gather a whole crew of your family and friends to clean up a neighborhood park, use this holiday as a way to recognize the gift of this world.
Here are a few ideas to give you a head-start on your festivities.
Chelsea Furlong from, Run Wild My Child offers ideas for your kiddos to celebrate:
Getting kids involved in taking care of the planet when they’re young encourages them to continue the tradition as they get older. It’s a parent’s job to teach kids to be good stewards of the earth encourages them to love and respect their planet and nature. There are so many amazing ways you can celebrate this day with your kids and family while being conscious of your carbon footprint. Here are some of my favorites!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of things found in nature around your home, neighborhood or a local park. Then go out for a walk or hike with the family and see how many items you can find. In order to save paper, you could make the list on your phone or a reusable dry erase board or reusable writing board. We love our Boogie Board writing tablets for things like this!
Family Bike Ride
Going on a family bike ride is a great way to get the family outside enjoying what Mother Earth has to offer while being active and adventurous! Head to your favorite bike trail or try a new one. You can enjoy your town or city without polluting the air and you’ll feel so great afterward!
Get Out On The Water
Spend the day observing nature from the water. Instead of using something motorized, try a kayak, rowboat, stand-up paddle-board, or other pollution-free water vehicle.
Have A Picnic
A great way to get outside and enjoy nature is by having a picnic. You can have a picnic inside or outside! But be sure to keep it earth friendly by:
packing your picnic in reusable containers,
bringing reusable utensils/straws/water bottles, and
bringing cloth napkins/hand towels.
Bonus: Try to reduce your picnic carbon footprint by preparing a vegan meal!
Make Nature Crowns
Nature crowns are a really fun and easy craft you can make and wear in celebration of Earth Day! No need to buy anything, just use whatever you can find in nature. You can make nature crowns out of just about anything – flowers, grasses, clover, vines, sticks, dandelions or wildflowers! Be creative and have fun with it!
Make Nature Paint Brushes
Head out on a nature walk and collect different materials to use as paintbrushes! Pick up things like sticks, leaves, long blades of grass, flowers, etc. Take them home and dip them in paint to make a family piece of artwork to hang up forever. It’s a great way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. You’ll be able to look at the art you made and remember the time you spent with your children for years to come.
Earth Day Puppet Show
Another fun way to celebrate Earth Day with kids is to make puppets with materials from your recycling bin. Or, you could make sock puppets from all those single socks you have lying around! You can have your children do some research online or read some books about ways to protect our planet. Then they can share what they’ve learned by putting on a puppet show! This is also an amazing activity to share with family and friends on FaceTime or other video chatting app during quarantine. You don’t have to leave your house and you can bring some joy to others in isolation from a safe distance!
Build A Fort
Another great way to celebrate Earth Day is to head out into the woods with your family and make a fort together! Use materials found on the ground to design a shelter. (Do NOT take down anything alive! I’m sure you’ll have plenty of options that are no longer alive and that have fallen to the ground without the help of humans!) You could have a picnic inside your fort, read some books, or just sit in the quiet and observe Earth’s gifts surrounding you.
Here are a few family activities from We Have Kids, Kathy Simamar:
Plant A Tree
Planting trees is an activity commonly associated with Earth Day, with good reason. Trees provide us with many benefits. They can help to reduce energy consumption by breaking winter winds and providing shade in the summer. They also provide shelter for birds and animals and help stabilize soil to reduce erosion, and they improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gasses by absorbing carbon dioxide.
Whether you plant a tree in your own yard or participate in a tree-planting project in the community, this is a perfect Earth Day activity.
Clean Up Your Neighborhood
Pick a local park, roadside or trail in your community and see who can collect the most garbage and recyclables. Be sure to have everyone wear gloves!
It's not a glamorous task, but this activity definitely reinforces the idea to kids that they should not litter and makes the community more attractive for everyone.
Plant A Garden
Growing your own vegetables and herbs is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint, and is a wonderful activity for the whole family.
Your kids can help plant seeds indoors, which can be transplanted to the garden when the weather is warm enough in your area. Be sure to involve your kids in the decisions about which vegetables to grow, and get them to help care for the garden by watering or weeding it. Helping to grow the vegetables themselves may even make picky eaters more inclined to eat them!
Hold a Swap Or Yard Sale
Every family has toys, clothing, and books that their kids have outgrown or no longer use. Why not organize a swap event with some other families to put these unwanted items to good use and keep them out of the landfill?
Alternatively, hold a yard sale of your unwanted household items and donate some of the proceeds to a local environmental organization, or use the money to buy some eco-friendly products for your home.
Earth Day is the perfect day to do a little birdwatching with the kids, either in your own backyard or while out on a walk. See how many different types of birds you can spot in a day. Borrow a bird identification book from the library, or take photos of the birds you spot with your camera and try to identify them by searching on the internet when you get home. Your kids might be interested in starting a photo album or scrapbook of the different types of birds they've seen.
Although not absolutely necessary, a pair of binoculars can help make bird spotting and identification a lot easier.
If making crafts is more your style C.D. Cunningham from The Third Hour may have some inspiration for you:
Stained Glass Earth
This idea comes from ICanTeachMyChild.com
To make this craft, use blue and green markers to draw Earth on a coffee filter. Use a spray bottle to slightly wet the entire filter, and then let dry. Once dry, laminate the filter, and hang in the window.
This idea comes from Mixing Bowl Kids
To make a delicious “Dirt Dessert” make chocolate pudding, and cover with crumbled Oreos. Insert Gummy worms.
This idea comes from Pinspired.com
This project is simple. Take magazine or newspaper print, and using finger paint place both hands down with the thumbs and pointer fingers making a heart. Then using finger paints draw a heart-shaped Earth inside. This project helps us see how the future of the planet is in our hands.
Shaving Cream Earths
This idea comes from TeachingWithTLC.com
Get a cookie tray and blue and green paint. Swirl it around. Then take a circular piece of construction paper, dip it in the shaving cream. Let stand for 10-15 seconds, and then wipe away the shaving cream. You’ll have a beautiful marbled design left.
Seed Paper Globes
This idea comes from LittlePassports.com
The instructions for this one is a little complicated, so you should check out the link above for all the details, but you are building a recycled paper garden that looks like Earth. If there is a more perfect Earth day activity I don’t know about it.
Egg Carton Garden
This idea comes from BirdsAndBlooms.com
One of the wonderful things about Earth day is that it corresponds with planting season in many parts of the world. To take advantage of a simple way for the whole family to get involved with the garden, take an old cardboard egg carton and use each space to plant a seed. Simply fill it up with soil. You can even use the flap to keep track of what seeds are where.
However you choose to celebrate, remember that the earth was created for families. There is no greater way to thank God for the gift of this world than to celebrate the honor we have to protect and preserve the earth for future generations.