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50 Awesome Earth Day Activities
Inspire your kids to appreciate our Earth with these fun Earth Day activities, poems, and songs. After reading through these fun activities, be sure to keep scrolling to see the BONUS tips from my amazing friend, Tina, a Natural Classroom Specialist, from TeachTheTKWay. I am beyond excited to have her as a guest writer, and can’t wait for you to meet her.
Earth Day Activities
- Build a fairy garden
- Make a kid-sized garden
- Go for a nature walk
- Pick up litter from your neighborhood (wear gloves)
- Gather and paint rocks
- Sit outside and draw or paint of picture
- Make upcycled crafts: Here is a list of 36 Upcycled Crafts from Hands On: As We Grow
- Create a photo collage of things in nature
- Make your own paper
- Write the Room: Flowers and Plants
- Build something out of sticks
- Collect a bag of leaves, and do a leaf sort
- Plant flowers
- Make a mud pie
- Practice letter formation with rocks and sticks
- Make a small aquarium to collect things you find outside (grass clippings, leaves, sticks, rocks, snails, etc)
- Paint letters on rocks: Use them for letter identification, name building, or to build sight words.
- Paint numbers on rocks: Put rocks in order, or match sets of objects (leaves, seeds, etc) to the numbered rock
- Take a magnifying glass outside and observe nature up close
- Make a watercolor earth: Use green and blue watercolors to paint a circle cut out of cardstock
- Earth marble painting: Cut out a circle from white paper. Put it on an old edged cookie sheet, or in a copier paper lid box, along with 2 marbles. Add some blue and green paint, and let the kids roll the marbles around to cover their earth.
- Make earth day slime
- Tell Earth Day jokes: my daughter loves telling jokes. I can already here her laughing at: “What kind of shorts to clouds wear? — Thunderwear!”
- Print out Earth Day coloring pictures
- Read The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
- Collect the rainbow: Find something for each color of the rainbow that can be found in nature
- Write the Room: Bugs and Insects
- Learn about shadows
- Turn an old egg carton into a craft tray, painting tray, or sorting tray
- Clean up a park
- Make a recycling bucket for your home or classroom
- Make a bird feeder, and hang it outside your window
- Use old bottle caps to make your own stamp
- Create shapes out of things found in nature (i.e. Take shape cards outside, and use pine cones to make a circle)
- Sing an Earth Day song
- Add a plant to your home or classroom, and give the kiddos the responsibility to care for it.
- Plant a tree
- Write a list or draw pictures of ways you can take care of the planet
- Go for a shape walk outside. Find shapes in nature.
- Read “The Earth Book“
- Make Earth Day discover bottles | Little Bins, Little Hands
- Play with an interactive globe
- Melt old blue, green, and white crayons in circle molds to make Earth Day Crayons
- Weave an Earth Day Paper Plate craft | Pre-K Pages
- Make a playdoh Earth ball | Playdogh to Plato
- Make a pendulum to explore gravity | Kids STEAM Lab
- Watch a space video
- Make a rain cloud craft
- Sing the “This Old Earth” song to peers or family members
- Do a virtual tour of the NASA Glenn Research Center
Earth Day Poems and Songs
This Old Earth
Teaching Earth Day songs helps keep the learning fun, and spread the message about taking care of our planet.
Sung to the tune “This Old Man”, This Old Earth is the perfect song to bridge your lessons about recycling. When teaching kindergarten, I loved hearing the kids sing this song as they worked on the Build a Poem activity.
Get “This Old Earth” poem, HERE.
The Build a Poems are a printable activity your kids can do at home or in the classroom. To get started, simply print off the poem and word cards, and watch as they become engaged in a fun, interactive, Earth Day reading activity.
Get your Earth Day Build a Poem, HERE.
“Great product! I am trying to include more pocket chart poetry in my classroom, and this set is perfect for Earth Day. Thank you!” (Tricia D.)
Get a collection of glass, paper, plastic, and tin cans, and let your kids sort the objects. As your sorting through the objects, talk to them about the importance of recycling.
Get your Recycle poem, HERE.
Get your interactive Recycle Build a Poem, HERE.
“Our kindergarten had a recycle, reuse, reduce unit and this was perfect!” (Jeri M.)
Top 5 Ways to Incorporate Nature-Based Learning (By: Tina | Teach the TK Way)
Getting children outside where they learn about beneficial insects, local wildlife and edible plants is a key component to nature-based learning. As you search for Earth Day activities, I wanted to share ways you can add nature to your learning space, and why you should.
Grow an edible garden
Planting an edible garden and making a snack from the bounty teaches children the joy of growing their own food. As a bonus, they tend to actually try foods they would not necessarily be introduced to- Brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnips, and beets to name a few.
Design a Butterfly Garden
Design and plant a garden that will eventually draw hummingbirds, honey bees, and a variety of beneficial insects to the learning space. The natural wildlife that wanders in may surprise you. Some of which may want to eat the edible plants, others which will help pollinate. They will all offer a variety of learning opportunities.
Create an Outdoor Reading Nook
An outdoor library can consist of books for young children. Books can be taken apart, pages can be laminated, and the whole book re-bound with yarn, metal rings or pipe cleaners. This allows the children to read some of their favorites in cozy outdoor spaces without the fear of water damage..
Embrace Loose Parts
Loose Parts are any manipulative that can be moved, rearranged, and used with an open-ended purpose. Allowing children full access to loose parts can be fun AND challenging. The fun part is when the children begin to rearrange the learning space to suit their needs. They move scaffolding and tires to create a playhouse, or maybe its a seesaw or perhaps a space ship. The challenge is allowing children the time and space to create.
Although I typically have classroom pets that have been raised in captivity, leopard geckos, bearded dragons and betta fish, to name a few. I have always placed value on the differences between wild creatures and tamed animals. When we begin to embrace animals, insects, and amphibians as a way to include nature-based learning into our day the children will thrive. My students have been able to identify differences in environments and what each animal needs to survive. They help feed our indoor pets. And they have become advocates for holding and caring for non-traditional pets. Nature-based learning concepts become the backbone of an array of learning that far exceeds expectations.
Use nature-based learning to offer teachable moments
Teach the students what poisonous plants, spiders, and snakes look like in your community. Design a protocol for what they should do if they encounter those creatures and items. Children should never touch them, but instead, find a teacher or adult immediately. Teachers should keep gloves, glass jars, and nets on hand in order to help remove unwanted creatures from the learning area. FUN FACT– As a result of a teacher blunder, I learned Black Widow Spiders can live in an airtight glass jar with no food or water for 8 months!
Nature-based learning is a key concept for covering standards and objectives across all academic domains, no matter what age the child might be. I hope that this spring season you are able to incorporate more nature into your day, more outdoor time, and more time to connect with your children, learning about our Earth and all of its wild areas.
Until Next Time, Happy Learning, Tina
Bio: Tina can be found at www.TeachtheTKWay.com where she shares all about becoming a Natural Classroom Specialist with her readers. She shares science-related videos for children on her YouTube channel @Teach The TK Way and has a Natural Classroom Specialist Video Series on Facebook @Teach The TK Way.
Thank you for visiting Little Learning Corner for ideas to celebrate Earth Day. A special thank you to my friend, Tina, for contributing valuable tips to incorporate nature based learning. Together, we all can take care of this world we live in, and make Earth a better place.
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