8 Earth Day Activities for Kids
If you haven’t introduced your child to celebrating the global day that is set aside for appreciating the environment, there is no better time than the present to start. There are many things parents can do with their children to celebrate Earth Day and at the same time teach them about respecting the land we live on, the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Earth Day was an idea that was started in 1969 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin), who wanted to bring about awareness to environmental problems. The day was dedicated in 1970 as the day for celebrating and respecting the planet we call home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 20 million people celebrated the first Earth Day in America. Today it is celebrated by people around the world. The idea behind starting the first Earth Day celebration was to promote ecology, encouraging people to respect the environment and bring about awareness of environmental problems like pollution. There are now more than 140 countries that celebrate the day with a variety of events, activities and fairs.
Setting the Example
Teaching kids about Earth Day from a young age helps to start good habits early. When they learn at a young age about protecting and preserving our natural resources, they will likely grow up to be adults who do the same. They will grow to learn the importance of protecting natural resources and will respect the process involved. Becoming environmentally friendly can be a family affair with a little effort.
There are many fun ways that children can learn about their environment. Most of these things can be done in your community and even in your own backyard.
Whether you plan to attend an Earth Day event or make it a family celebration at home, there are some simple things that you can do.
Here are some Earth Day activities that are great for the whole family, and ways to help the environment every day:
1. Create a terrarium out of a plastic 2-liter bottle. Parents can cut the top part of the bottle off (with the cap on), leaving only the base. Then fill the bottom part with potting soil and seeds. Lightly water and put the top back on the bottle and place near sunlight. You and your child can monitor the growth process and transfer it to a larger pot or garden when needed.
2. Team up with trash bags and paint to clean up and beautify an area of your neighborhood or community.
3. Plant a tree together and discuss how they help to clean the air. Be sure to take a picture by the tree to show how your child and the tree grow over the years.
4. Get the whole family on a mission to recycle, starting with newspapers, cans and bottles.
5. Visit a recycling center to see how things get recycled instead of being thrown away.
6. Search the Internet for Earth Day to find a variety of crafts, projects and fun activities for kids of all ages.
7. Teach children conservation of resources by teaching them to not let the water run while brushing teeth, turning off computers, lights and televisions when they are not being used, and taking a reusable bag to the store for purchases.
8. Check the calendar for local events and activities that the whole family can get involved in – Earth Day events that everyone can enjoy.
Making it a family tradition this Earth Day and every day will teach your children about the importance of our natural resources – and that’s something that everyone will benefit from.
Web sites to visit for more activities
Jacqueline Bodnar is a freelance writer and mother of two.