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9 things to do with the under-9 crowd on EARTH DAY

Posted by Amy Siders on April 15, 2022 0 Comments


Most grownups are familiar with the 3 Rs — reducereuse, and recycle.

But it’s important to make sure kids understand their responsibility to care for planet Earth, too.

Every year on April 22nd, Earth Day brings the world together to celebrate, and it’s the perfect time to educate kids about climate change and how they can work to protect our home with Earth Day activities for kids.

Here are 9 things to do with the under-9 set on April 22nd.

Connect with nature

Wouldn't it be fun to take a walk through a local park? The first and best way to celebrate Earth Day is getting outside and exploring nature.

As they explore, kids can birdwatch and observe wildlife in natural habitats found throughout city parks and conservation areas.

Organize an Earth Day scavenger hunt

While kids are exploring nature, have them record what they find!

There are lots of ways to observe and record nature that don’t involve disturbing the environment or taking things out of it. Create a list of things for them to do and spot as they walk, including:

  • Drawing pictures of flowers and plants
  • Spotting birds (and identifying them if they can)
  • Writing down or taking pictures of any wildlife they spot
  • Collecting litter and recycling — with the proper equipment, of course

 Build an insect hotel

Your students can build an adorable hotel for bugs using basic materials you’ll find around the home — and recycle some trash in the process!

What you need: 

  • Tree bark
  • Pinecones
  • A large plastic bottle
  • Fallen sticks and twigs
  • Any other earthly elements your kids may want to add

What to do:

  1. Cut the bottle into two pieces to form separated cylinders. Remove the top and bottom pieces, as we will not be using them.
  2. Push holes in the top of the bottle pieces and thread twine to hang when the hotel is completed.
  3. Put twigs, branches, and pinecone pieces inside each bottle. You may need to snap the twigs to shorten them. Fill the bottles.

Hang outside to allow bugs to enjoy their new home.

Grow a love for plants with seed jars

Students love science experiments! Involve kids in making seed jars to honor Earth Day. They'll be able to watch seeds sprout and grow into a flower or vegetable, then plant it in a garden once it’s ready.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • A clear large jar
  • Seeds (nasturtium, sunflowers, peas, and beans germinate quickly)

What to do:

  1. Fold paper towels and place them inside jars. Allow your students to push the paper towels down into the jar.
  2. Add water slowly into the jar but do not overfill it.
  3. Put seeds on the wet paper towels near the edges of the glass so kids can watch their experiments grow before their eyes

Teach kids to recycle

It's important to get kids interested in saving our planet at an early age. A valuable technique for instilling good recycling habits is to show kids how to sort recyclables.

This is a perfect Earth Day activity for preschoolers or kindergarteners, since it’s a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
Show kids how to separate plastics, metals, cardboard, and glass. Ask them to place each type of recyclable into separate bins.

Reinforce these skills throughout the year at lunchtime, or whenever students have recyclables.

Make a bee and butterfly garden

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in our food supply. Their decreasing numbers could affect the availability of produce at grocery stores.

Set up a new project for kids with basic instructions on how to plan and build a home garden that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Give them handouts that contain a list of various plants and shrubs to get them started.

For kids who live in apartments, container gardens are a great space-saving alternative.

Make a coffee filter Earth

Watch kids' amazement as they drop green and blue food coloring on coffee filters to create their own unique artwork of planet Earth! Here's how:

What you’ll need:

  • Newspaper
  • Coffee filters
  • Eye droppers or spoons
  • Blue and green food coloring

What to do:

  1. Take the supplies outdoors under the sun to maximize drying time.
  2. Lay out newspaper on a table or walkway.
  3. Put coffee filters on top of newspapers to catch excess water.
  4. Use eye droppers or spoons to apply drops of food coloring on coffee filters. You can also use blue and green markers for the same effect!
  5. Add a bit of water with a spray bottle to blur the lines between the blue and green and watch as the Earth takes shape.

Create an Earth Day pledge.

Make a list of the things kids would like to do to maintain the health of our environment:

  1. Plant trees
  2. Go paperless
  3. Turn off lights that don't need to be on
  4. Use cloth grocery bags instead of plastic ones
  5. Try shampoo bars instead of the bottled variety
  6. Make cleaning products using lemon and vinegar
  7. Stick to the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
  8. Lower your carbon footprint by reducing trash output
  9. Spend more time outside than playing video games indoors
  10. Use energy-efficient LED bulbs -- they last much longer than traditional bulbs

Or anything else you can think of!

Turn off the TV, put down the devices and phones and GET OUTSIDE!


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