I have a soft spot for Earth Day, not only because I love the planet, but my husband and I started dating on Earth Day. So every time 4/22 rolls around, it’s fun to celebrate… it’s become a tradition to treat the day as one that’s extra special. I don’t know that our kids will ever care about the anniversary part of it, but Raya is finally at an age where she can appreciate nature! So I’ve got a list of simple activities you can do with your kids for Earth Day.
1. Go for a walk. I know this sounds obvious, but surrounding yourself with nature is a great way to connect to it. Talk about the animals and bugs you see. Identify the trees. If you don’t know them, learn with your kids, or even count how many flowers you see. Kids of every age can get excited about all the living things you can discover.
2. Make a new friend. You can make (or buy) a bug observation box to take the scary out of creepy crawlies. We did this last fall with a visiting spider and my daughter isn’t afraid of them anymore – it’s amazing! By treating them as though they aren’t scary, and having a safe way to check them out, you AND your kids might find that even the “gross” things in nature are actually pretty fascinating. (You can click the image for a bug box tutorial.)
3. Plant something. Whether it’s seeds, or flowers, or a tree, or fruits and vegetables in your garden – kids love to see stuff grow, and to know they had a hand in it. If sunflowers do well in your area, they are a great quick-gratification plant that can grow quite tall in a short amount of time. And if you’ve got a kid that doesn’t enjoy fruits and vegetables – have them try their hand at growing their own! They’re a lot less likely to think that something they grew themselves is “gross”.
4. Play indoors on a rainy day with eco-friendly crafts. If April showers are putting a damper on getting outside, you can play and learn indoors with your kids with Earth Day activities! I’m an affiliate for Green Kid Crafts, and Raya and I busted into a new activity box over the rainy weekend. Green Kid Crafts are made from sustainable materials and use science themes to get your kids excited about nature and exercise their creativity. This month you can get 20% off individual discovery boxes, or use code EARTHDAY to start a subscription and get your first box for $14.
5. Go lights-out! Take an Earth Hour, and turn off the lights, the TV, even the water. There are so many other things do play and do!
Play a board game, a card game, build a fort – you name it – to emphasize to kids that energy-saving activities can be just as fun. We’re all so plugged-in all the time (and I’m guilty of it too, as I sit here typing away on all of my technology!) that taking a time-out can be a nice eye-opener.
If you can’t go outside for it, don’t let that stop you. We played “camping” on a recent rainy day, and had a ton of fun pitching the tent in the living room and making some sandwiches for lunch!
What are you doing with your kids this Earth Day? If you’ve got some great ideas, leave them in the comments below!