30 Fun Ideas To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Child

Earth Day

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I have to admit that when I was younger, I thought Earth Day was kind of…boring. I remember being in elementary school and learning about Earth Day for approximately one day and then not thinking about it for the remaining 364 days. As an adult, now I realize the importance of raising awareness about environmental issues and preserving our planet’s resources. I want my toddler and preschooler to begin learning about simple ways to care for our environment. As I considered ways to teach them about this important cause, I decided to complete one Earth-Day related activity with my preschooler for 30 days leading up to April 22 (including my toddler in the activities as much as possible). Some of the activities were as simple as reading a library book together; other activities took a little more planning. You’re sure to find something on this list to inspire and occupy your little ones!

  • Visit your local library to check out books about recycling. With help from the librarian, we found Recycle! by Gail Gibbons and Stuff: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by Steven Kroll.
  • Pick up trash and recyclables around your neighborhood.                                                                   EarthDayActivitiesNeighborhoodCleanUp
  • Listen to a song about caring for the Earth and talk about the meaning of the song (our current favorite is Garden Song from Raffi’s Owl Singalong album).
  • Plant a tree or flowers in your yard (or in a neighborhood park or community area- just make sure to ask permission first!).
  • Look at a sunset and talk about the colors.
  • Look for other books that can help your child understand Earth Day and ways to preserve and protect the planet. I was surprised to find quite a few resources at our local library. We checked out Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute Anymore by Stan & Jan Berenstain and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
  • Make Cheerios bird feeders and place them in a tree outside your home (bonus- kids will get extra motor skills practice with this one).
  • Create a craft using recycled materials.
  • Make a peanut butter bird feeder.
  • Play a sorting game and help your child learn about the difference between garbage and recycling. My preschooler loved this game!
    My preschooler observed this unique sunset with a tree in the forefront and we took a photo!

    My preschooler observed this unique sunset with a tree in the forefront and we took a photo!

  • Print some coloring pages about Earth Day and help your child laminate them to make placemats.
  • Many Associations of Zoos & Acquariums-accredited zoos and acquariums participate in Party For The Planet activities (registration may be required). The Sedgwick County Zoo will be celebrating on Thursday, April 21, from 9 AM- 2 PM with a free environmental fair featuring activities, exhibits and learning opportunities.
  • Watch a Netflix show about recycling (we like the episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood where Mr. Rogers and Mr. McFeely visit the neighborhood recycling center).
  • Look for items with the recycle symbol on them. I was shopping at Costco with my preschooler when he pointed out the symbol on an outdoor mat made from recycled water bottles. Proud mom moment!
  • Find ways to help your child enjoy the outdoors in new ways. My boys love the playground, so we tried slide drawing. It was a hit!
  • Create a “reduce, reuse, recycle” poster.
  • Decorate a reusable shopping bag.
  • Upcycle before you recycle (for preschoolers). For a fun preschool-age activity, we saved our plastic milk container lids to make stamps.
  • Upcycle before you recycle (for toddlers). A simple toddler activity is saving plastic milk bottle lids or baby food lids and putting them into an empty baby wipes container. My toddler loves taking the lids out of the wipes container and placing them back in one by one. Just be sure to monitor your child during this activity if you have a curious toddler who enjoys putting non-food items into his mouth.
  • Go on a nature walk and play “I Spy”. Encourage kids to to notice the world around them.
  • Repurpose those old, broken crayons and make DIY Earth Day-themed crayons.
  • Teach your child about composting by letting him help build a compost bin.
  • Earth Day bingo. Be sure to laminate the bingo cards or use card stock so you can reuse them.
  • Point out garbage trucks and recycling trucks when you spot them on the road and around your neighborhood.
  • Think of new uses for things around your home. With brown paper lunch sacks, we made puppets, played a guessing game by placing objects in the bags and taking turns guessing the objects (by shaking and feeling the bags- no peeking!) and making silly shoes and hats for my toddler that he promptly ripped up.
  • Cereal box parking garage. My preschooler was so excited about this activity that he could hardly wait for the glue to dry. A win for any hot wheels-loving child.
  • Collect rainwater with a DIY rain gauge made from a plastic bottle. Simply cut off the top and mark your measurements on the bottle.
  • If you have clothes, toys or other household items that don’t get much use, donate them! Allow your child to help with the process. Recycling isn’t only about cans, bottles and newspapers.
  • Use both sides of the paper when coloring.
  • Make art with items found in nature.

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