5 Fun Earth Day Activities for Kids
The world comes together every year on April 22nd to contemplate our Earth and how we can lighten our impact on it and its inhabitants.
Most adults know about the 5 R’s of recycling, Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Recycle; Earth day is the perfect time for parents to educate our little ones about the natural world, climate change and learning ways to reduce our impact.
Fortunately, we can use many different activities to inspire our kids to care for the environment.
Connect with Nature
The best way to celebrate Earth Day is by getting outside and exploring nature.
Take the kids on a bushwalk in a nature reserve or conservation area and as they explore, kids can birdwatch and observe wildlife in their natural habitats. As they observe nature in all its glory, our kids might just develop a love for it.
Googling your local walking club and their websites gives you many different examples of the best family hikes. A website showing where to find family-friendly throughout Australia can be found here.
Organise an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt
While your kids explore nature, ask them to tell you what they find. Little ones are very focussed on what is in their immediate surroundings and need to be taught to look up in the trees, under logs or rocks in a stream, or behind a leaf.
There are many ways to observe and record nature without disturbing the environment or taking things out of it. The perfect Nature Hunt Kit can be found here, or you could create a list of things to spot as they walk, including:
- Drawing pictures of flowers and plants
- Bird spotting and discussing the names if known
- Take pictures of any wildlife they see
- Collect litter and recycling – gloves on for this.
Hang a Bird Feeder or Make a Seed Ornament
It is autumn in Australia, which means less food will be available for our little bird friends. This activity is fantastic for kids of all ages, and the finished product gives our feathered friends a snack and lets kids observe the birds as they fly in for a visit and a snack. Hang the ornaments outside a window so that children can watch from inside without scaring the birdlife away. There are many different bird feeders available at your local hardware store, or you could make your own birdseed ornament!
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons glucose syrup
- Cookie cutters
- Baking paper
- 2 x packets of gelatin
- ½ cup cold water
- ½ cup boiling water
- Mix the gelatin with cold water until it dissolves.
- Ask an adult to add ½ cup of boiling water to the gelatin and mix until it dissolves.
- Add 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup to the gelatin mix
- Add enough birdseed to the gelatin to make a wet pliable mix
- Place baking paper on a tray and put cookie cutters on top
- Spoon the birdseed mix into the cookie cutters and push seeds firmly into the moulds
- Be sure to leave a hole to thread twine through the ornament
- Place the tray of filled cookie cutters in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, gently push the birdseed shapes out of the cookie cutters, letting them fall out.
Thread twine through the hole and hang outside for the birds!
Build a Bug Hotel
Kids love digging around the garden in the hope of finding earthworms and little bugs, so why not build an amazing hotel for the mini beasts you find using materials found around the home...and you’ll be recycling some rubbish in the process. This is a great activity for kids of all ages and is something they will happily do together.
What you’ll need:
- A large plastic bottle
- Fallen sticks and twigs
- Tree bark
- Any other earthly elements from the garden that the kids may wish to add.
- Cut off both ends of the plastic bottle. Cut the long cylinder section of the bottle in half creating two smaller cylinders approx 10cm long.
- Push holes in the top of the bottle pieces and thread twine to hang bug hotel when it is finished.
- Put twigs, branches, leaves, and pine cone pieces inside each bottle, creating the perfect resting place for the bugs. You may need to snap twigs and branches to shorten them. Fill the bottles completely.
Hang in the garden and let the mini beasts enjoy their new home.
Grow Seeds in a Jar and Grow the Love for Plants
Children are fascinated watching seedlings grow from seemingly nothing – it is like magic to them.
Make seed pots from recycled glass jars and watch seeds sprout and grow into a flower or vegetable. You can use a paper towel or soil to sprout the seeds; either will work well; the benefit of using a paper towel is that children will be able to see the seed sprouting. Seeds germinated in soil are likely to transfer to the garden more successfully.
What you need:
- Glass jars
- Paper towels or soil, depending on your preference
- Seeds that germinate quickly such as bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce and beans.
What to do:
- Fold paper towels and place them inside jars. Push the paper down into the jar.
- Add water to the jar slowly, making sure not to overfill. You want the paper towel to be quite wet but not floating in the water.
- Sprinkle seeds onto the wet paper towel, ensuring some are near the edges so that the kids can easily see them grow.
Place in a sunny position and check daily…or every hour, like my children do!
There you have it, some fun and simple yet educational activities to do with the kids to learn more about our beautiful Earth and the creatures that live on it. Enjoy!
Reference: 20 Fun Earth Day Activities for Kids to Help the ... - Prodigy. https://www.prodigygame.com/main-en/blog/earth-day-activities-for-kids/