Celebrate the earth and incorporate learning with five earth day activities
Earth Day is coming up on April 22 and it’s a great opportunity to teach toddlers and preschoolers about how to be Earth-friendly all year round. Recycling activities is one of our top shared posts by educators – and you can find a few more ideas from educators over at Early Education Nation!
Our team compiled this list of fun, planet-friendly Earth day projects to try out in your classroom!
Earth Friendly School Bags
Toddlers can learn the importance of reducing plastic by decorating their own school bags with art supplies like markers, felt, pompoms, or craft sticks. They can then use the bags for toting snacks, blankets, or other items from home each day. Reusable bags are typically about a dollar each, but getting them from a second-hand source like resale stores or clothing donation is even better. Each tote can be a daily reminder to minimize plastic bags and reinforce the idea that everyone has something to contribute to Earth Day.
Have a Donation Drive
Teachers can work with parents to coordinate a donation drive and teach students how to reuse things instead of throwing them away. Your drive can gather gently used clothing, shoes, or even toys. Preschoolers can participate at home by picking out items to donate and teachers can emphasize how their teamwork will help others and the environment.
Most child care centers offer regular meals and composting waste is a perfect way to teach children about recycling. A cafeteria compost is a year round project that emphasizes the differences between trash, reusable material, and biodegradable waste. Maintaining a compost can be hard work, but students will love watching the changes that occur and seeing the slow process of solid food turning back into fertile soil.
April marks the start of spring and planting a seed is the perfect Earth Day activity. Potting soil (or that compost if you have it!) placed in paper cups or plant pots can be kept in the classroom. Petunias and bean sprouts are fun for young ones because they’re simple to care for and grow quickly. Students can learn about how plants provide us with oxygen while they observe their seed as it grows.
Mason Jar Greenhouse
This is a simple but neat Earth day lesson to demonstrate for younger children how the greenhouse effect works. First, the teacher puts a thermometer into a mason jar and seals the lid. The jar is then placed in the sun on a flat surface. Next, a second thermometer is positioned next to the jar for comparison. As time passes and the temperature changes, students can use the thermometers to observe how the inside of the jar is warmer than the rest of air around it.
What are some of your favorite Earth Day games or activities? Tell us about them on Facebook.