Whether you’re planning to celebrate throughout “Earth Month”, “Earth Week”, or on the actual Earth Day, April presents a lot of opportunities to gather as a family and show your kids how important it is to protect and preserve our beautiful planet. And we’ve got an exciting list of Earth Day crafts and activities to help you in this endeavor! Plus, as an added bonus, all of these projects center on either free/ existing resources or found/ repurposed items. Meaning, you and your kid(s) can start celebrating Earth Day without even having to make a trip to the store! What’s better than activities that are both planet friendly and budget friendly? Here are 5 Earth Day activities for kids:
1. Make an Earth Collage Out of Recycled Paper
- If you’ve got a stack of old paper laying around, like magazines or half used printing paper, now is the time to employ it! This project is a really fun and resourceful idea where you and your child go through the paper scraps and cut out any sections you see that are the colors of the planet: green and blue. While small-ish (dime-sized) pieces work best, the cut outs can generally be any size and shape you want. The goal is just to gather a selection such that you have a variety of tones, making your final product look like a collage. Using a bit of a sturdier material (scrap cardstock or cardboard, if you have it), cut out a circle. On the circle, use a pencil to draw out the general shape of the planet. Once you have enough of the green and blue scraps, start gluing them to the circle and continue until you have a finished planet. This hands-on and interactive project results in a super cute Earth Day decoration that can be displayed anywhere around your home!
2. Clean Up a Beach or Park
- A great way to celebrate Earth Day is by getting out into your community and cleaning up an area that needs a bit of TLC. Here at Albatross, we love spending a sunny day in the sand, cleaning up our beloved California beaches. You and your family can check on Eventbrite to see if there are any scheduled beach cleanups for Earth Day, or you could just head to the beach anytime with some gloves and a bag! Optionally, the kids may enjoy using a grabber tool or trash picker to clean up refuse. Even if you don’t live near a beach, you can still teach kids the importance of cleaning up our beautiful planet just about anywhere. Using the same supplies that you’d take to a beach cleanup, head to your nearest park and pick up any abandoned refuse you see. Alternatively, you could use “Earth Month” as an opportunity to start making it a practice amongst your family to pick up any trash you see while taking strolls through your neighborhood.
3. Craft an Earth-Shaped Toilet Paper Roll Garland
- As we mentioned in our Winter Art Projects for Kids blog post, there are SO many craft ideas for empty toilet paper rolls! One of these includes turning the rolls into an Earth-shaped garland. This craft requires a few rolls, so you may want to collect your empties for a bit! Cut the rolls like you would bread (slices, with the roll laying flat and long), and try to make each piece be about 1-inch wide. The total quantity of “slices” is completely up to you. Lay a slice on some paper (bonus points if it’s scrap paper that you’re reusing!) and trace the outline of the exterior circle. Continue tracing and cutting out these paper circles until you have enough to cover each end of each piece of toilet paper roll (in other words, you’ll need 2 paper circles for every roll “slice”). Decorate each paper circle to look like our planet. Tape or glue the circles to each end of the slices. Using whatever kind of string or twine you have on hand, adhere the mini planets together, spacing them out as much as you’d like. Now you’ll have an adorable and eco-friendly garland that can decorate any room for Earth Day. Or you could make a bunch of strings of garland and use them as a backdrop for a fun Earth Day photoshoot!
4. Plan a Family Movie Night
- While there still aren’t a ton of environmental movies that fall within the kids and family genre, the ones that do exist are super cute, fun, and can make a great choice for a family movie night on Earth Day! Films like FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Hoot (2006), The Lorax (2012), and Tomorrowland (2015) can inspire children to advocate for our planet and the preservation of habitats and species. Between Disney and National Geographic programming on Disney+, and the David Attenborough-narrated shows on Netflix, there are also a number of nature movies and docuseries that are not only guaranteed to leave the whole family in awe, they will also give you a close up glimpse of areas of our planet that you’ve never seen before. You could also plan to have an eco-friendly bedtime story on Earth Day by picking up a sustainable children’s book. Our friends at Sea Hugger recently released a children’s book called The Littlest Sea Hugger, and it is a must read!
5. Use Leaves to Make Compostable Confetti
- Lastly, we want to mention our FAVORITE Earth Day craft. Did you know that you can upcycle actual leaves into compostable leaf confetti? It’s a very simple and planet friendly alternative to traditional glitter or plastic confetti, and the best part is that you can make it at home! If there are any leaves in your yard or around your neighborhood, scoop them up and take them inside. Use a single hole punch to cut out as many circles of leaves as you’d like. Leaf confetti has multiple uses, including decoration for cards or holiday displays, or pizzaz for envelopes sent via snail mail. You can even use the leaf pieces to make a super simple and DIY confetti popper (YouTube it for some easy how-to videos)!
Looking for other ways to spark creativity in your kiddos?Our Ocean Animal Wooden Toy Set is a sustainable play alternative that we designed to give kids both an educational and real sensory experience. The set includes 10 beechwood animal blocks, and is a great way to not only introduce kids to the amazing animals that live in the sea, but also provide them with the opportunity to play with more 'analog,' hands-on toys. We love this type of play because it augments learning, imagination and motor skills. Check out our toy set today!