In celebration of Earth Day, here are some fun and engaging activities to do with kids to build their appreciation for nature and help them understand our role in protecting the planet. There is even an idea for how they can easily create their own video spot to share their personal vision for a better tomorrow.
- Take a color walk. One of the best ways for kids to learn how to be good stewards of the environment is to simply get outdoors. Before setting out for your local park, have kids pick their 10 favorite colors from a box of crayons, draw circles with each color on a piece of paper and write down the name of the color. Take the list with you on your walk and see if the kids can find each of the colors in nature. Can they find periwinkle blue or marigold? For ideas of green spaces in your area, check out National Wildlife Foundation.
- Visit your local water treatment plant, recycling facility or landfill. Many water treatment and waste facilities around the country organize tours and often have designated visitor centers and public education services. Not only can kids learn easy ways to protect our water supplies and reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills, but these tours are also a lot of fun. All of the sounds, sights and smells they will encounter are sure to make it a memorable experience!
- Get kids involved in a citizen scientist project that benefits wildlife and the environment. Kids can use their observation skills to help scientists learn more about the natural world. There are lots of options, from counting monarch butterflies or frogs, to planting sunflowers to taking pictures of the sky to monitor air visibility.
- Plant a bee garden. Surround your home with beautiful flowers and learn about bees and the super important job they do. Without pollinators such as bees, plants wouldn’t be able to produce the fruits and nuts we enjoy. Even if you don’t live in a home with a garden, a window container or rooftop can become an inviting oasis for bees. To keep bees safe, be sure to use only natural pesticides and fertilizers. Contact your nearest botanic garden to find out which native plants in your area bees like best.
Share your personal Earth Day wish. After exploring some of the activities above, kids can use what they learned to create a video with their personal Earth Day message. The Weizmann Institute’s Care, Share, Repair project is a super cool web-based platform made up of stories from people all over the world expressing their vision for a better future. It’s an easy and fun way for kids to share their hopes for the planet with family and friends and join a movement larger than themselves.