5 Tips to Celebrate Earth Day
After being cooped up during the cold months of winter, April is a great time to help kids step away from their screens and get back outside. In fact, you can get into the spirit by celebrating the natural world. Earth Day happens on April 22nd, and Arbor Day is a week later on April 29th. Use these holidays as opportunities to try out some of our suggestions.
1. Plan and celebrate an Earth Day party!
We all enjoy a good birthday party, so why not work with your kiddos to plan an Earth Day party? This is not only a great opportunity to learn about how kids can help the environment, but also a great time to build those essential planning and social skills. The party can be as small as your own household or as large as you want. Consider supply-less backyard throwback games like Mother, May I, Freeze Tag, or Red Light Green Light. As you plan, challenge your kids to create an earth-friendly party with these questions:
- How can we avoid single-use plastics or items you throw away after just one use?
- What can we reuse or recycle for our Earth Day party?
- Why is it important to care for the earth?
You can also use our awesome planning sheets and ideas to get you started.
Spring means that the world is changing. Challenge your kids to identify plants that are growing where the ground was bare, or trees that have new buds. See what birds you can hear, or animals you can see that have come out of winter hiding. You can create a list ahead of time or just take a walk and see what you see. If you want to honor Arbor Day in particular, look for different types of trees in your neighborhood. Take pics, grab a leaf, and start a tree diary to track how each tree looks throughout the year. That means you have future excuses to get outside and moving!
3. Soak up the world with an environmental meditation.
Go outside and enjoy some relaxed time using a simple meditation. Notice the world around you and how you feel inside that world. Use one of these videos or create your own meditation:
4. Explore a state or national park.
State and national parks are great places to visit, where the government and the people have decided that nature and/or history are so important that we want to save them from development. You can find national parks by visiting this site https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm and state parks by visiting this site: https://stateparks.com/index.html#findPark.
Did you know that the national park system has a special program for kids? It’s called Every Kid Outdoors. This program includes tips for visiting parks with kids, junior ranger activity books, and free park passes for 4th graders and their families. Check out how you can get your pass today! https://www.everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm. You can also get inspired by Real-Life Superhero Robbie Bond, who developed an organization called Kids Speak for Parks to help preserve these natural spaces!
5. Participate in a community clean-up near you.
Spring cleaning may be the order of the day in your house, but why not take it outside as well? Many communities sponsor organized clean-ups where they will provide you with the tools to be successful. Our local organization, Brightside, has even provided some awesome shirts in the past. If not, identify a place as a family that you would like to take care of. This is a great way to reinforce the lesson not to litter. Here are some tips for your clean-up:
- Avoid areas close to busy roads with small children.
- Bring gloves to protect your hands.
- Make a list of “adults only” pick-up items, like broken glass.
- Divide your targeted location into sections so each person has their own space.
Hopefully these simple suggestions will get your kids away from their screens and into the green world! For more ways to care for the Environment, join our free Educator Portal to access our grade-appropriate lessons focused on the Environment Badge and our Earth Day activity magazine.