Every year, more than 1 billion people around the world celebrate Earth Day, on April 22. Created in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to draw awareness of environmental issues into politics and the media, Earth Day started a global conversation that led eventually to essential legislation like the Clean Air and Water Acts. But even if all you do to celebrate Earth Day this year is head outside for a few hours, it’s a great opportunity to introduce your kids to practices that teach them the importance of caring for their environment, caring for others, and being responsible for one’s actions. Whether you’re looking to introduce your kids to the concept of sustainability or simply want to engage them with fun outdoor activities to commemorate the day, our five-pronged list includes actions you can take, craft ideas and great learning resources, as well as curated experiences that you can enjoy together.
- Go on a scavenger hunt for recyclable materials.
- Go on a garbage-collecting walk.
- Create a bird feeder for your garden.
- Make a promise to the Earth, write it down and sign it.
- Visit your local farmers market and make dinner from the produce.
- Write a letter to your local government showing your support for Earth-friendly initiatives.
- Donate toys and clothes that are no longer needed.
- Gather stones and paint them different colors.
- Make a DIY wind chime.
- Create a DIY drum set from tin cans.
- Create DIY hanging planter with plastic bottles.
- Create a new crayon from an old one.
- Make a wall art from up-cycled materials.
- Live-stream sea creatures at the Georgia Aquarium.
- See giant pandas, elephants, lions and other animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
- Enjoy a collection of flowers with the Hunting Botanical Gardens live tour.
- Explore the Canadian Rockies right from your home.
- Live-stream the Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls.
- Experience a virtual view of the Aurora Borealis.
- Learn how to create a compost bin.
- Learn the basics of sustainability — reduce, reuse recycle — with the going green song.
- Learn about climate change, according to a kid.
- Prep the garden for spring planting.
- Make a container garden.
- Plant bee-friendly flowers.
- Go for a hike and plant a tree at the end of your hike.
- Make an herb garden out of mason jars.
- Create an eggshell seed starter.