Earth Day is a wonderful time to explore the wonders of our planet and learn how to best take care of it! Read on for some great ideas for family-friendly Earth Day crafts and activities.
Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?
In 1970, senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to get the nation involved and interested in protecting the natural world. We only have one planet…so why not take care of it? On April 22nd, get the whole family involved in Earth Day crafts and activities that get them excited about celebrating and taking care of our world.
What Are Some Earth Day Activities?
The Earth is full of so many natural textures and colors, many of which make great sensory play activities for little ones. Fill some little bins with leaves, sand, pebbles, acorns, flowers, twigs, anything that is age-appropriate and safe. They’ll love searching, creating, and exploring all the different natural items.
Tin Can Band
You can make all kinds of fun projects out of all recycled items. When I was younger, I made a guitar out of a recycled cardboard tissue box and rubber bands, and I thought it was just about the coolest thing I’d ever made—literally hours of entertainment. You can make an entire band out of recycled materials and have a jam sesh! Whether it’s tin can drums or maracas made out of plastic eggs and spoons, turn on your favorite tunes and start jamming! Talk with your kids about how we can save resources by using old materials to make new things.
The Trash Game
Sadly, humans don’t always take the best care of our Earth. Littering has always been a huge contributor to the degradation of our Earth and natural resources. However, we can work to combat litter by picking it up as we encounter it and properly dispose of it or recycle! You could even turn it into a game and see who can collect the most!
Spend Time Outside
The best Earth Day idea? Enjoying its beauty, of course! With the weather warming up a little and the days getting longer, there’s plenty of ways you can get outside and appreciate the natural world. Go on a bike ride, walk on the beach, hike through the mountains, or go to the park! Watch the clouds roll by and look for shapes. It’s a great way to spark a conversation about all the ways our world is beautiful and ways we can protect and maintain its beauty.
Have a Photo Scavenger Hunt
You don’t have to collect things for this scavenger hunt! Bring your scavenger hunt into the tech age and have your kids use a phone or tablet to take pictures of certain things they find in nature. Here are some ideas for things to look for:
- yellow flower
- y-shaped stick
- spider web
- tree with blossoms
Simple Earth Day Crafts
Try some of these fun crafts to get your kids excited about learning about the importance of respecting and protecting our planet!
Coffee Filter Earth
Coffee filters are one of the most versatile craft materials. They’re cheap, they absorb color well, and they’re light as a feather. Use blue and green watercolors to make an “earth” that you can hang in the window.
Earth Day Paper Plate Craft
If you attended elementary school, you probably made some variation on the “paper plate earth” craft at some point. That’s because it’s a classroom classic! There are plenty of different ways to make this craft, but we like this fine-motor activity. Have your child decorate a paper plate to look like the earth, then fold in half and cut half a heart (unfolded to make a whole heart). Punch holes on the rim of the heart. With red yarn, tie one end to a hole punch. Have your child lace into different holes across from each other until the heart is filled out. Then tie it off at the end!
Bake Earth Cookies
We love this photo from @montessoricatholic. How cute are they? We love the addition of the tiny heart in the middle! Check out this recipe for Earth Day Cookies.
Earth Day Cookies
- 1 17.5-oz. bag sugar cookie mix plus the ingredients called for on package
- 6 drops green food coloring
- 6 drops blue food coloring
- Preheat oven to 375º and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Prepare the cookies according to package directions on the back.
- Place about a quarter of the dough in one bowl and dye green using 4-6 drops of green food coloring (or until you reach the desired color).
- Add 4-6 drops of blue food coloring to the rest of the dough (or add drops until you reach the desired color)
- Pull out pieces from each color and start shaping into a 1″ ball. Patch the colors to create an Earth effect.
- Place the dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake according to the package instructions (8- 9 minutes, or until edges are set).
Hanging Planter or a Bird Feeder
With this fun Earth Day project, not only are you recycling an old bottle, you’re providing birds with food or a plant with a home! Check out this tutorial from Jennifer Perkins at the DIY network.
Give Old Crayons New Life
If your family is anything like mine, you may have some loose half-crayons rolling around in drawers everywhere. They’re like glitter. You just can’t seem to keep them all in one place. Instead of tossing them, collect the green and blue ones, melt them down, and create a new “earth” crayon! Take it a step further and make yellow, red, and brown “layers” to learn about the inner layers of the earth!
Earth Day Stem Activities
Stem stands for Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. So, on Earth Day, you could integrate activities that use STEM elements. Who said learning isn’t fun?
- Earth Day Science Activities: Plant seeds in an old egg carton, and over several weeks watch their life cycle.
- Earth Day Technology Activities: Explore the world using Google Earth! Or, with older kids, you could have them create a digital campaign about protecting an endangered animal.
- Earth Day Engineering Activities: Use old paper towel rolls to have marble races with paper tube tunnels!
- Earth Day Mathematics Activities: Use acorns you found outside for a math activity or sort the leaves into different colors and shapes.
Get Excited About Earth Day!
What are some of your favorite Earth Day Activities? Share your creations or pictures from your Earth Day adventures on FamilyApp!