Kids and Earth Day are a natural combination -- with their sense of wonder and excitement about the environment, as well as their boundless energy, this is the perfect time to get kids involved in Earth Day activities like art projects, music, crafts and anything else that celebrate Earth.
Kids can learn about the Earth, its oceans, ice masses and continents by making their very own globe from strips of papier-mache wrapped around a balloon. Painting and naming each land mass, mountain range and body of water is a valuable geography lesson they can take home and keep for years.
Make a joyful noise unto the Earth with these two songs about Earth Day and kids' involvement in the celebration: "Recycle" and "The Earth and the Rainbow." Kids love music and singing, and these songs will help get them in the Earth Day spirit.
Kids can learn about recycling discarded items while making a whole menagerie of colorful animals. Egg cartons, plastic bottles, corks, bottle caps, grocery bags, popsicle sticks and other household items can be turned into caterpillars, fish, camels, birds and insects with just a little glue and imagination.
If a day spent indoors seems like a lousy way to celebrate Earth Day, get the kids outside and spend some time where the wild things roam. Most zoos and aquariums are planning special Earth Day festivities especially for the young ones, who can learn first-hand about the natural environment, the plants and animals living there, and why it's important to save them.
If you're looking for some easy coloring for Earth Day to keep younger children thinking about nature, visit the website of the EPA for Earth Day coloring activities. This section of the EPA's site also includes links to other places with great ideas for celebrating Earth Day with kids.
Kids love it when you read them a story, and the following list of Earth Day-related titles is by no means complete:
- Celebrating Earth Day: Circle the Year With Holidays, by Janet McDonnell
- Every Day Is Earth Day: A Craft Book, by Kathy Ross
- Keeper of the Swamp, by Ann Garrett
- Mr. Garbage, by William H. Hooks
- Gover's 10 Terrific Ways to Help our Wonderful World, by Anna Ross
- Tanya's Big Green Dream, written by Lida Glaser
- Pollution? No Problem!, by David Morichon
- For the Love of Our Earth, by P.K. Hallinan
Originally designed in the 60s to celebrate the environmental movement, the green Earth Day flag has evolved over the years and now has a partner, the blue Earth Day flag. Pick one (or both) and hoist it on your nearest flag pole.
Birds are migrating back north this time of year -- help them on their journey by making an inexpensive pine-cone feeder for Earth Day. All you need is a pine cone, some string, and peanut butter (or lard -- this can be mixed with seeds, oats, corn meal or nuts). Smear the mixture onto the pine cone, then hang it outside to attract cardinals, chick-a-dees and other birds.