Making Earth Day Fun and Meaningful for Kids
If you are looking for amazing earth day ideas for kids, look no further. We have gathered all the best Earth Day activities for kids into one complete list for your convenience. These Earth Day activities are also low cost or free making them appropriate for the classroom or daycare as well as home. We have been careful to include both indoor and outdoor activities for any type of weather. You will also find activities for various age groups. Get motivated to make this Earth Day both fun and meaningful!
Covid-19 Precautions: In light of the current public health situation regarding Covid-19, some of the Earth Day ideas listed below may not be possible or may need to be modified to remain in compliance with social distancing and “stay at home orders” in your area. Please, for the health and safety of yourself and others, always defer to your local public health officials and follow their recommendations and guidelines.
13 Fun Earth Day Activities For Kids
- Pine Cone Peanut Butter Bird Feeder
A small twist on the toilet paper roll bird feeder, this project can be done indoors or out, by even a small child. Starting with a nature walk to collect pine cones is a great start to Earth Day as well. Then simply spread peanut butter on the pine cone and roll through birdseed, then tie a string to the top and hang it from a tree. It’s wonderful to see the thrill your kids will get checking to see if birds have found their homemade treat.
- Make an Earth Day Pledge
For a thought-provoking assignment try having kids make an Earth Day pledge this year. This is a great way to bring meaning to your Earth Day celebration. Kids want to help and make a difference too and encouraging that is vital. You may need to start them off with a few broad ideas such as recycling, sustainability, going green, conserving energy, or animal conservation. Then let them choose their own simple pledge to write out or draw depending on their age level.
- Design Classroom or Bedroom Recycle Bins
If your home or classroom doesn’t already have a recycling bin a great activity is to create and decorate one with the kids. Letting them be involved will help them get excited about using the recycling bins as well. You can use an old large cardboard box for paper recycling, or purchase a plain blue or green bin and paint recycling symbols on it for plastics recycling. Have fun with it and let the kids get creative!
- Plant food or herb seeds
This Earth Day you can teach your kids about plant life and how to grow their own food! Choose a vegetable or possibly an herb for cooking, and teach them how to care for their plant. This is a great activity for kids from preschool to middle school or even high school. Growing our own food close to home or frequenting local Farmer’s markets is better for the environment, cutting down on transportation pollution and supporting local organic farmers. Knowing where our food comes from and the importance of clean, quality soil and water sources is an important lesson to teach our youth.
- Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
A twist on the simple nature walk, you can combine a beautiful walk in nature with a scavenger hunt to add to the fun. Print out a list of specific items each team or player will need to find and bring back. Spending time outdoors on Earth Day is a great way to pause and reflect on all mother nature has to offer. You can include things such as: pinecones, leaves, pebbles, pine needles, flowers, bird feathers, and maybe even a piece of trash to help clean up some litter along the way. For more fun, use the collected items to create a work of art afterward!
- Learn How to Compost
As a family or as a class, start a compost pile or bin. It is more simple than it seems. There are a few basic rules to follow: laying straw and sticks first, alternating dry and moist layers, adding a nitrogen source, keeping it moist, covered, and turning it every few weeks. This can be a great project to start on Earth Day, keeping more waste out of landfills and creating healthy rich soil for a future garden.
- Make Pencil Holders out of Tin Cans
A fun art project that encourages the idea of upcycling is turning old tin cans into useful pencil holders. Kids of all ages can participate and have fun getting creative while decorating their own personal pencil holder. You can make it an educational experience by explaining the term upcycling and sharing some innovative ideas others have had to reuse items otherwise tossed in the trash.
- Grow a Sprout House
This is a super cool project based on the idea of growing something without soil. It utilizes sponges to create a “house” shape and wheat berries, chia, or alfalfa. You can also turn this into a fun science experiment by creating multiple samples and placing them in direct sun, less sun, or watering them more or less, and then observing the results. You may also need toothpicks or hot glue to create the structure for your sprouts to grow on.
- Make Helpful Signs for Home or Classroom
A quick and simple project that actually makes a difference is creating helpful reminders to post in your home, office, or classroom. Things like, “Remember to Turn off the lights!” next to the bathroom light switches is one example. Another sign reminding you to recycle plastics placed near your trash can will help get everyone in the habit of recycling. When kids create the signs they are more likely to participate in conserving energy and recycling more often in honor of Earth Day.
- Plant a tree or Donate to The Canopy Project
Earth Day is a great way to teach kids about the important role trees play within our ecosystems, and also bring light to the devastation deforestation is causing throughout the world. Finish the lesson with an action step of planting a tree together. Be sure to choose a tree native to your area for water conservation. If this doesn’t work logistically for your home or school, you can also challenge your kids to raise money to donate to The Canopy Project, where every dollar equals a tree planted. This is a great way to get kids involved in the community and active in the fight to save our planet.
- Organize a Recycling Drive at your School
Older kids can help organize a recycling drive in their neighborhood or their school. Everyone can participate by creating signs to display in heavily trafficked areas and setting up collection bins. Set a specific time frame, maybe culminating on Earth Day. Adult help will be needed to transport all the collected recyclables to a proper recycling center. The bonus is that if any money is redeemed after recycling the kids can throw themselves a pizza party or do more good by donating the proceeds to an environmental charity such as The Canopy Project.
- Earth Day Movie Day
If you’re looking for an indoor activity to help celebrate Earth Day, consider a movie day! We’ve taken the time to create a shortlist of kid-friendly movies appropriate for Earth Day: Wall-E, Nim’s Island, Planet Earth, The Blue Planet, Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, Free Willy, March of the Penguins, and Oceans. Some are documentaries possibly more suited for slightly older kids, but some will work for kids of any age. This is a great, entertaining way to start them thinking about ideas of conservation and our impact on the environment.
- Take an Earth Day Quiz
One last suggestion is to test your kiddos knowledge on Earth Day and all that encompasses. Our Earth Day Quiz covers everything from Earth Day history to sustainability, and recycling do’s and don’ts. It’s a great way to finish off Earth Day and learn a little something that can actually make a difference.