Earth Day Crafts & Activities for Kids
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April 22nd is Earth Day, when volunteers across the world work towards a better, cleaner earth. It’s also an ideal date for teaching children about nature and the importance of caring for the planet. Below are some simple Earth Day activities and crafts to help teach your little one about the world they live on.
Plant a butterfly Garden
Planting a butterfly garden is a wonderful way to teach children about the relationship between pollinating insects and plants. Explain to children that butterflies feed on plant nectar, and when they do so they get covered with pollen, the special material flowers need to make seeds which grow into fresh flowers.
Any small patch of sunny ground can make a good butterfly garden, and if you plant local wildflower seeds not only will the garden need a minimum of care, the seeds will self-propagate year after year. Little ones can water the garden, look for caterpillars, and pick flowers for crafts and decorations.
Go on a Nature Hunt
Earth Day practically begs for hikes and getting out in nature, so why not go on a nature hunt? Take a walk down a local forest trail or along the beach and look for signs of life. Who knows what you’ll find? Talk about how all the animals and plants you find make up a complex ecosystem, and how removing a part of the system can damage it. Ask kids how they’d help keep the plants and animals safe, and make a day of it with a picnic.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder
This can quickly turn into one of the messier Earth Day crafts, so it’s best done outside, maybe under the tree where you’ll hang the feeders. You’ll need:
- Oat bran
- Peanut butter
- Natural Pinecones
- A flexible spatula
- Two bowls.
Mix some oat bran with peanut butter in a bowl and tie a piece of twine to the pinecone to make a loop. Using the spatula or a butter knife, have the child spread the peanut butter all over the pine cone and into its cracks. Only use natural pinecones—the ones you find in craft stores have been treated with chemicals and perfumes that can harm birds.
Pour birdseed into the second bowl and roll the sticky, peanut covered pinecone in the seed. Hang the bird treat from a branch and let the local birds find it. If you don’t have pinecones, old toiler rolls make a good, if less natural, substitute.
Coffee Filter Earths
Have kids create their own earths with this simple but fun craft. All you need are:
- Coffee Filters
- Blue and green washable markers
- Squirt bottle
- Black construction paper
Flatten the coffee filter on a plate and scribble green “land” and blue “water” on the filter. Squirt the coffee filter with the two or three squirts of water—not too much or the colors will fade. An effective way to control the process is to have children squirt once in the middle of the filter and then watch the colors blend as the filter soaks up the water. it’s fascinating to watch.
Let the “earth” dry for about thirty minutes, then glue it to black construction paper for a pretty view of the planet from space.
Volunteer at a Park Clean Up
Earth day crafts are fun, but the real point of the day is to engage in an activity that helps the planet. Check your local area for kid-friendly Earth Day activities, and volunteer your time as a family. Park cleanups, recycling drives, and other activities teach children the important of working to protect what they want, and offer plenty of fun besides!