Earth Day is a day to focus on the environment. Celebrated on April 22, it focuses on energy conservation, solving climate change, ending plastic pollution, protecting endangered species, and conserving our resources. However you spend the day, Earth Day is a great way to spend time as a family, enjoying the outside and learning about conservation activities.
Here are some easy Earth Day activities for kids, including our carbon footprint worksheet, an easy explanation of carbon footprint for kids.
Measure Your Carbon Footprint. Your carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gasses (typically, carbon dioxide) that is released during day to day activities. Being conscious of your carbon footprint helps you make smart choices. Use this Carbon Footprint Worksheet to reduce your family’s carbon impact on the earth.
Plant a Tree. Celebrate Earth Day with some beautification in your yard. Pick a fruit tree and you’ll have the fun of fresh fruit! Or plant a tree on the east, west or northwest side of your home to shade your house from the hot summer sun and reduce your air conditioning costs by up to 35%.
Clean it Up. Many organizations will be hosting park clean ups on and around Earth Day. This is a great way to help reduce litter in your community and make parks safer for children to play in. You can even start your own neighborhood cleanup!
Feed the Birds. Bird feeders don’t have to be fancy to be fun. Find a large pine cone and spread peanut butter on the pine cone. Then, dip the pine cone in bird seed and hang from a tree. Or, use a milk carton to create a bird feeder like this one.
Plant a butterfly garden. Did you know that there are specific types of plant that monarch butterflies like? Go to a local garden center and get help finding plants that butterflies in your area like.
Color an earth day poster. Worksheets and coloring are always a good way to learn. This free downloadable poster is sure to be a hit!
Make Conservation Signs. Have your kids make conservation signs to hang around the house. These can be simple reminders like turn off the lights when you leave the room, shut off the computer when you’re done, and turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
Get Rid of Drips. A dripping faucet can waste 2,700 gallons of water by dripping once per second. Go on a water walk with your kids to check out the faucets and make sure none are dripping. Then try this fun experiment with food dye to see if any of your toilets may be leaking. If you have a sprinkler system, get the kids to help you check each zone to find sprinkler heads that aren’t working properly.
Make a “Recycling Rules” Poster. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of poster board. On one half write Yes! and on the other half write No! Then glue or tape examples of recyclable vs. non recyclable items to each side. Hang the poster near your trash can.
Read The Lorax. This classic children’s book is a great read-aloud to start your family’s conservation efforts.
Take a Nature Photo Safari. Let the kids use your camera phone or tablet to take pictures of items on a nature hunt list. You can have them search for things that match a description, like “something red,” or “something fuzzy.” Or give them a list of items to find, like “5 different bugs” or “a dandelion plant.” Then print off the photos to make a book. Let your little ones make up a story about their nature safari and use the book as a keepsake!