To children, our planet is a wondrous place. Earth Day is a perfect reminder to do something to help our planet continue to thrive. Children can participate in simple activities to help set the stage for a lifetime of caring for our planet along with the plants, animals and people that live on it!
Pick Up Litter
Helping children to clean up their neighborhoods is a great start to keeping our Earth healthy. Provide children with gloves and a paper bag to collect litter in. Be sure to supervise to ensure that nothing unsafe is touched!
Plant a Tree or Some Flowers
Trees help to provide the oxygen we breathe so adding more to our Earth can only help. Flowers make our planet beautiful and make people feel happy and peaceful. They are also necessary for bees to be able to pollenate and make honey! Helping children to plant flowers in a garden or a tree somewhere special is a great way to love our planet and celebrate Earth Day.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Our landfills are overflowing and one of the easiest ways to be green is to recycle. Showing children what symbol to look for, what type of items can be recycled, and where to put each item will give them a sense of responsibility. There is value in showing a child that they can color on both side of the paper instead of just one! Learn more about practicing sustainability with children here!
Make a Bird Feeder
Help children to take care of the creatures on our planet by making a bird feeder! Brush a pinecone with peanut butter (or soy/almond butter) and roll it in bird seed. Hang the bird feeder outside and watch the birds (and likely squirrels) have a treat!
Beach Cleanup on Earth Day
Similar to picking up litter in your neighborhood, you can help children to clean up our beaches. Keeping trash out of our oceans will help keep the water clean and the sea life safe and thriving.
Make an Outdoor Mud Kitchen
Giving children an opportunity to really dig into nature and get messy can help to give them an appreciation for our natural world. Bring out their creativity by adding rocks, leaves, grass and other items from outside.
Take a Nature Walk
Getting children out into nature is a great way for them to see and experience our world. Try having a scavenger hunt where you look for different items in nature such as acorns, moss, animals, birds, streams, or anything else you can think of!
Start a Compost Bin Outside
This is a great way to show children how we can salvage many types of uneaten food to reduce waste while at the same time, help our gardens grow. Research the types of foods that can be composted and get your child involved in the process from start to finish!
Start or Join a Community Garden
Community gardens are an amazing opportunity to create something beautiful and sustainable, while connecting with other people in your area. Growing fruits, and vegetables in your garden shows children how we can provide our own food.
Go Plastic Free
Purchasing items that do not include plastic can help to reduce the amount of waste we are putting out into the world. Having children donate old plastic toys rather than throwing them away helps them to participate in this effort while also doing something nice for another child! On Earth Day, ask your kids to go through their old toys and pick a few to donate. Have a discussion about different materials, such as plastic and wood, and what is better for our planet.
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.