Earth Day Activities for Kids
Earth Day takes place on April 22nd each year. It’s the perfect time to teach kids about the planet and about recycling. Saving the Earth should be fun for kids, so it’s important to have activities such as games and crafts planned for the occasion. Fortunately, you can use mostly recycled materials and celebrate Earth Day with the kids for next to nothing.
Recycling Games for Earth Day
One great game for kids on Earth Day is a recycling scavenger hunt. On recycled paper, print out some lists of recyclable materials that the kids should find. If a lot of children are participating in your Earth Day activities, divide them into teams. Then get some large trash bags and some rubber household gloves and take the kids out to a safe place to look for recyclables. The child or team that find the most recyclables wins a small prize.
Recycling basketball is another eco-friendly game that’s sure to keep the kids interested. In the days leading up to Earth Day, gather some recyclables, and wash them out, but don’t sort them. Get several large recycling bins and label them for different types of recyclables, such as paper, plastic and cardboard. Don’t use glass recyclables for this game, and take care to remove any sharp lids, pull tabs and other hazardous pieces from metal recyclables. Make some basketball hoops out of recycled materials and mount them on a pole or wall above the recycling bins. Place all the recyclables in a large bin, and let the kids shoot hoops to get them in the recycling bins. Additionally, you can set up or create a therapy gym at home for your child using recyclable materials. In this way, you can uplift the spirit of earth day and at the same time, you can provide fun and joy to your child.
Earth Day Crafts
The recycled crafts you can do with the kids on Earth Day are limitless. Before you get started, collect as many recyclables as possible. Recyclable items to gather include newspaper, egg cartons, magazines, old wrapping paper, plastic utensils, cardboard and tin cans. Also get some crafting materials such as scissors, chenille stems, craft sticks, glue, craft paint, paint brushes and yarn.
Pine cone bird feeders are easy to make, and are beneficial to the wildlife in your area. If you don’t already have some pine cones, take the kids out on a pine cone gathering expedition in a local park. Spread some recycled newspaper on a table and get some plastic knives, some pieces of yarn, some peanut butter and some bird seed. Have the kids tie some yarn at the top of their pine cone. Make sure the knot is tied securely so that the pine cone can be suspended from the yarn. Then spread peanut butter between the pine cone scales. Spread some bird seed on the newspaper, then roll the pine cones in the bird seed. Take the kids outside to hang their bird feeders on a tree.
Egg carton creatures make another fun craft project for kids on Earth Day. If you’re using Styrofoam egg cartons, wash them ahead of time.
Have the kids cut out one, two or three sections or more from an egg carton, then use craft sticks, recycled paper, chenille stems, yarn and other materials to make creative animals and insects. Some examples of creatures the kids could make include butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars, cats, dogs, birds, fish, horses, cows, mice and elephants.
Using a simple piece of cardboard, the kids could make a simple Earth decoration for the door or window. Trace a large circular object over a piece of cardboard, then cut out the cardboard circle. Lay down some recycled newspaper, then have the kids paint the Earth on the cardboard. Provide them with a picture of the Earth’s land and water masses to use as a guide. Have them paint the land in green and brown, the water in blue and the clouds in white.
For more ideas, read Recycling Made Easy: Organize Your Recyclables and Creative Ways to Recycle Old Clothes.