Earth Day is a great opportunity to talk with our children about environmental issues and solutions while learning about and appreciating our planet’s incredible properties and resources. Rather than driving to local parks or playgrounds to celebrate Earth Day this year, consider trying some of these at-home activities with your family:
With so many awesome online resources available right now, you don’t need to visit your local zoo to see some of our planet’s coolest and cutest creatures. VIP access is right at our fingertips! Zoos and aquariums around the world have animal cams running day and night on their websites. Some livestream exclusively at feeding times so you can really see your favorite animals in action. Others have controllable cameras so you can move around their enclosures remotely. Check out where to see giraffes, penguins, pandas, polar bears, jellyfish and more with this list from Parade Magazine.
Planting seeds is almost synonymous with celebrating spring. There is nothing more exciting than watching your seeds begin to sprout and grow from tiny seedlings to mighty plants. If you don’t have an outdoor space suitable for a full-blown garden or even container plants, map out what your “dream garden” would look like instead. You can talk about what your plants would need to thrive, companion planting, pollination, composting, and water systems. Make a diorama of your garden using LEGO® bricks or other household items.
Use recycled household materials such as plastic milk jugs, soda bottles, or egg cartons to create your own bird feeder. Decorate your feeder with non-toxic paint or loose string for nest building. Keep a journal near the window where you can view and observe birds that visit your feeder. Note what types of birds you see, what times they seem most active, and try to identify bird calls. You can even make your own bird food with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Recycle your old, broken crayons by melting them together into fun shapes using flexible molds or ice trays. Mix primary colors to create new colors or mix them all up for a tie-dye effect. Voila! Old crayons made new again. Via She Knows.
Talk about the Earth’s water cycle and create your own mini water cycle using a Ziplock bag and colored water. Via Mobile Ed Productions.
Demonstrate the greenhouse effect using jars of water, a light source, and a thermometer. Encourage your child to predict if and how the temperature will change. Via Sciencing.
Take this unique opportunity to be your child’s teacher, or even fellow student, while talking about environmental issues and potential solutions. Come up with a list of everyday ways to reduce your family’s carbon footprint. Go through the invention process to come up with an invention that would benefit our planet. Discuss the ways that the Earth may be healing during this time of global isolation such as less traffic and less littering.