Here’s a handy list of Earth Day activities for kids and their parents –
Have anOutdoor Scavenger Hunt
What better way to appreciate Mother Earth than to search the outdoors for treasures? Pick up a pine cone, gather sea shells or assemble a cairn (those stacked rocks to mark a trail.) You can search your own back yard or venture into your closest national park. Don’t forget to pack a printable list to guide you in your adventure.
Recycle Sorting Game
Teach your kids the importance of recycling using this fun sorting game. Gather together three bins and a pile of recyclable materials. We picked Paper, Plastic and Cans for our groups. We made a game by timing each child to see how fast they could sort the materials into the right bin. My kids also love playing the app Bugs & Buttonswith the electronic version of a Recycling Challenge. Soon, you’ll have a household of trained recyclers.
Build a Bird Feeder
My kids have been trying to count the birds traveling through our back yard. We’ve seen red-breasted robins, blue jays, little sparrows and an entire family of quail. Why not feed the birds? PBS Kids has a great project list and tutorial for Building a Bird Feeder using an empty plastic soda bottle, some chopsticks and a bit of twine. Be sure and let your kids help with the sorting and planning part since the grown up will get to use a knife or scissors to poke the holes in the bottle.
We’ve been bird watching for a few days and think we may have a renegade squirrel who’s scaring away our feathered friends. Voila! My kids are now more aware of what’s happening in nature.
Plant a Seed
Make starter plants indoors using an egg carton and a pack of seeds. My daughter wanted to know if bigger or smaller seeds grew the fastest. We filled an egg carton with dirt and planted carrots, tomatoes and basil. Let you kids get involved in choosing the types of seeds and being responsible for watering. We love knowing that our children can “tend” a plant, maybe even better than Mama! Once our frost risk is passed, we’re moving these plants to the garden.
Feel the Wind
The wind can be fascinating to children. It’s invisible yet it’s a power that can generate electricity. Busy minds will love figuring out how to test the effects of the wind. Build a cute pinwheel together, fly a kite or grab a parachute or an old sheet to see what happens to each material in the wind. Be careful…your kids might ask you once more for flying lessons!
After your kids have tried out all your earth day activities and it’s time for some quiet silliness, tune in to watch our favorite monkey, Curious George, celebrating Earth Day with a brand-new feature, Curious George Swings Into Spring. We giggled and laughed at the George’s troubles as he was carried away trying to celebrate spring. Check your local listings to find George’s next appearance in your neighborhood, #CuriousGeorgePBS
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Note: PBS Kids generously provided materials and information, but the opinions and fun time with my kids were just for me, okay, and you.