Eight Exciting Earth Day Activities for Your Entire Family
Earth Day is held each year on April 22 to show support for environmental protection efforts and to demonstrate respect for the wonders of the natural world. Celebrating this annual event with your children can help to reinforce the values of environmental responsibility and personal initiative. Here are eight activities that can make your Earth Day festivities something special.
Reuse and Recycle
Using old coffee containers, boxes and wrapping paper to create brightly colored drums and containers can provide hours of fun for you and your children. Designing and constructing these items can also stimulate creativity and instill the importance of reusing and recycling materials in younger children.
Trace and Color
Collecting leaves outdoors and making rubbings or tracings using colored pencils or crayons can allow your children to create unique works of art while experiencing the beauty of nature firsthand. Helping your children to choose the most unusual leaf shapes can provide extra fun for your whole family.
Indulge Your Inner Shutterbug
Taking photographs of trees, flowers and insect life in your yard or around your neighborhood can give younger children a sense of artistic form and structure while spotlighting the plants and animals that live in your area. For added fun, you can print and label these photos to create a colorful collage as a memento of your Earth Day celebration.
Color Your World
Finding items to represent various colors of the rainbow or in the crayon box can be an entertaining and educational activity for your child. A checklist can turn this diversion into a full-fledged scavenger hunt that can engage the competitive spirit of your children and provide added fun for the whole family.
Enjoy Down-to-Earth Fun
Toddlers and preschool children will enjoy the chance to get messy making mud pies under close parental supervision. For older children, creating clay sculptures and turning them into permanent works of art can ensure that Earth Day is remembered long after the day has come and gone.
Soliciting donations or holding fundraisers for environmental causes can provide direct financial support for initiatives to preserve wild spaces and to promote greater responsibility on the part of local organizations and individuals. Bake sales, pledge drives and other community activities can also raise awareness for key issues affecting wildlife and the natural balance both locally and globally.
Pick Up the Place
Adopting a local park or green space and taking time out as a family to clean this public area on Earth Day can provide valuable perspective for children regarding the impact of pollution and litter on the natural environment. This can also provide opportunities for discussing issues of personal responsibility for one’s own actions and the ethical basis for green-friendly lifestyles.
Test Your Wits
Planning an Earth Day trivia contest can be both educational and fun for all members of the family. Sample questions could include the following:
Q: The world’s first national park was established in the U.S. in 1872. What is the name of the park?
A: Yellowstone National Park. Since that time, more than 4,000 national parks and nature reserves have been established worldwide.
Q: What city first proclaimed Earth Day as a holiday?
A: San Francisco has that honor; Mayor Joseph Alioto issued a proclamation establishing Earth Day as a holiday on March 21, 1970.
Q: Why was the date for Earth Day moved from the March equinox to April 22?
A: Earth Day was moved from its original March date to April 22 to encourage greater participation from college students without interference caused by spring breaks or studying for final exams.
Awarding small prizes for the winners can provide added motivation for participants in this friendly competition.
Making Earth Day celebrations a part of your regular routine can ensure that your children grow up with a sense of responsibility regarding the protection of green spaces, endangered wildlife and the environment as a whole. Discovery Point can support your efforts with targeted activities that help children appreciate and enjoy the wonders of the natural world.