Earth day is celebrated every year on the 22nd April. On this day we think and show awareness of how to protect the environment and the world we live in. Saving water and energy, reducing pollution, recycling, protecting our animals, trees and plants are all ways in which we can help maintain the planet’s beauty. On Earth day it is a great way to make changes to our lives and encouraging the children to get involved. Below are a few activities to help celebrate Earth Day with your children and do your bit in protecting our atmosphere and planet. Even the smalliest changes can make all the difference.
Find 3 big bags (material bags are the safest, make sure handles are not too long) or 3 large cardboard/ plastic boxes, make three labels one saying plastic with a picture of a plastic bottle underneath, one saying paper with a picture of a newspaper or paper and the third one saying cardboard with a picture of a cardboard box underneath. Older children can have a glass one and tin one too making labels like the other containers. Next get lots of each type of rubbish (reasonably clean) and ask the children/child to sort the rubbish by type and put into each box. You can talk to them about why we recycle and how we can use the rubbish again. This activity is also great for introducing them and discussing the different shapes, textures and colours.
Growing our own vegetables and fruit
Planting and growing our own fruit and vegetables is a great way of showing the children how to care and look after the environment and fun to do. You don’t need lots of garden space to do this or even a garden, some fruit and vegetables can be grown in plant pots and window boxes. Strawberries, cress, salad plants, tomatoes, carrots and herbs are great for children and adults to start with. Making sure the children water the plants regularly and provide them with enough shade or sunlight. A lot of gardening centres and even supermarkets will have packets of seeds or plants that are excellent for beginner gardeners and children. I know from personal experience how hard it is to grow plants but with tender loving care anyone can achieve it J
Saving water and energy
- Encouraging the children to turn off taps when they brush their teeth,
- Use any water from water trays or paddling pools to water the garden and plants
- Turn off the Tv, computer, game consoles and lights when not in use.
Provide the children with a tick chart nature hunt list, items to include can be different coloured leaves, feathers, acorns, pine cones, a daisy, grass, stick, small rock. Children can then later make a collage of all the things they collected on paper.
Another nature hunt could be to provide the child with their own camera and to take pictures of things they see and find in the environment, whether that be in the garden or in a park.
Draw a picture of the Earth on a piece of paper and ask the child to finger paint it green and blue, or stick on squares of blue and green or colour it in with green and blue crayons.
Make Earth day Biscuits
250g butter , softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
Green and blue food colouring
Makes about 30
- Preheat the oven to 180c, fan 160c, gas mark 4
- Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl
- Add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine.
- Sift over 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined
- Then you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.
- Using a round cutter cut out about 30 biscuits.
- Cook in the oven for about 10-15 mins or until the biscuits look lightly golden brown. Cool on a rack.
- Once cool make up two lots of icing sugar by mixing the icing sugar with water until it forms a smooth paste. Add blue food colouring to one of the mix and green to the other and stir well.
- Decorate the biscuits putting green and blue icing on each biscuit to make it look like the world.
Collect lots of different boxes, yogurt pots, different coloured papers/materials, anything your child can use safely and that are clean to make a model with. Use glue and cellotape to hold things in place. You can make robots, towers, houses, aeroplanes anything the child’s imagination can think of.
Bird feeding ball
Suet or lard melted
Mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake
- Take the yogurt pots and carefully make a small hole in the bottom of the pot. Thread a piece of string inside and tie a knot so you can hang the pot up. Alternatively just use the pot without string.
- Melt the lard/suet in a saucepan.
- Put the mixture into a bowl and add the melted lard/suet.
- Mix together well then spoon the mixture into the yogurt pots.
- Let it set then cut off the pot around the bird mixture and hang up somewhere outside. Or if you done it without string turn out the solid mixture and place on a bird table.
There are excellent programmes on Cbeebies for the children to watch: Our Planet, Mr Bloom’s Nursery, and The Green Balloon Club all relating to looking after the planet, garden and environment.
Why not wear all green, blue or brown on Earth Day to show your support.
Donating and Recycling
Donate and recycle old toys, clothes and books asking the children to help choose what they have grown out of or what they do not use anymore.