Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Helping your kids celebrate the wonders of our planet doesn’t mean you have to make sweeping changes to your lifestyle. Often the lessons with the biggest impact are small! Here are some fun, easy ideas to show some love to Mother Earth.
Safety Tip (2021): With the ongoing pandemic in mind – wear a mask, use hand sanitizer often, and stay socially-distanced if you plan to organize or participate in group Earth Day activities!
1. One of the best and simplest ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kids is to get out into nature!
- Unplug the whole family and have a picnic dinner at a local park, or even in the back yard.
- Plan a hike in a local green space or ride bikes together.
- Create a neighborhood smartphone scavenger hunt – have participants to take pictures of Mother Nature’s small miracles like budding leaves, colorful flowers, squirrels, birds’ nests, beetles and butterflies.
- Plant a vegetable garden or a tree together, or plant flowers in pots for the windowsill!
2. As a family outing, participate in a park clean-up effort, or if none exists, plan your own neighborhood-wide event using SignUp. Create a free SignUp sheet listing cleanup locations, supplies and tools needed (think trash bags, lawnmowers, edgers, hedge clippers, seasonal flowers) and refreshments. On the big day, work alongside your kids to pick up trash and spruce up landscaping. SignUp will even send thank you notes to everyone who participated!
3. Make a pledge to do one earth-sustaining thing every week. Walk or ride bikes to school or work (or if that’s not feasible, organize a carpool.) Plan one day a week of meatless meals. Give up bottled water for one day, or pack lunches in reusable containers instead of buying food in disposables. Commit to recycling as a family.
4. Get creative! Decorate canvas shopping bags with paint or permanent markers and store them in the car for shopping trips. Create ‘found art’ sculptures out of packing styrofoam, plastic bottles and other discarded items. Make simple bird feeders by rolling toilet paper tubes in peanut butter and birdseed, hang with string.
5. A simple activity with an enormous payoff is to raise and release butterflies! Either purchase a butterfly kit or take your kids on a butterfly egg hunt. Create a home for them with a good amount of space and ventilation. Research the appropriate food for the caterpillars to eat and provide something for the caterpillars to climb up to create their cocoons. Watching the life cycle in action is something your kids will never forget.
6. Explore earth-saving options for recycling, reusing and reducing waste by starting a school-wide green team. Up to 80% of school waste is recyclable and a school recycling program is a hands-on lesson that educates students about the environment, personal responsibility and community action. Kids can see first-hand how much of a difference they can make. Assemble a team with your parent-teacher group to research these options:
- Are there programs promoted by your local government that offer recycling incentives or program support?
- What is the life cycle of paper, water bottles and electronics used on campus? Are there overlooked opportunities to reduce waste?
- Would it be feasible to plant a school garden?
- Are buses and carpools used as widely as possible? Can more kids walk or ride bikes to school? (SignUp is the perfect way to organize carpools! Share the ride and share the fun!)
- What happens to cafeteria leftovers? Can you partner with local shelters to pick up excess food?
- Are there ways to turn recycling efforts into cash? Several fundraising companies support recycling of specific items like batteries and kids’ clothing collected from the broad school-family community.
This Earth Day, celebrate our planet in real and measurable ways. Start small or go big for lasting impact!
Looking for more hints, tips and ideas for great Spring Activities & Events? Check out our Spring Idea Center here.