Honor the Earth with These Inspiring Earth Day Activities
Earth Day 2008 falls on Tuesday, April 22. It’s a special day to learn about our planet and how to take care of it! Whether Earth has been your home for a short time or a long time, you’ll have fun playing the recyclables game, learning the meanings of recycling terms, and eating a “dirty” snack.
Earth has a special day. It’s sort of like a birthday. It’s called Earth Day. It began on April 21, 1970. Earth Day is celebrated all over the world, usually on the first day of spring but sometimes on April 22nd. It is a special day to remind us to take care of our Earth, our environment, and to learn what we can do to help keep the Earth healthy—not just on Earth Day but every day! Help your children honor the Earth by sharing with them these inspiring and educational Earth Day activities.
Recyclables Game Collect small cans, plastic bottles, and newspaper. Label 3 bins or trash cans: cans, bottles, and newspaper. Draw a line and place the containers about 3 to 5 feet away from the line. Have children stand behind the line and try to toss the recyclables into the appropriate container.
Provide each child with a bag and gloves. Have them pick up trash. Talk about the items that they picked up. Ask children if they think any of the items they found are recyclable. If so, have them place the items in a container to be recycled later.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
First, explain to children what the following words mean:
Reduce: This means you cut down or lessen the amount of materials you use. For example, if you use both sides of a piece of paper, you are reducing the number of pages you need.
Reuse: This means you use the material over again, either for the same purpose, or for something else. For example, a coffee could be reused as a container for crayons or pencils.
Recycle: This means to use the materials over again to make a new product. For example, old newspapers are recycled when they are made into new paper products.
Next, create a 3-column chart. Label the columns Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Cut out pictures from a magazine of items like a tire, a Styrofoam cup, a plastic bottle, a glass jar, soda can, etc. and have children categorize them. Variation: Have bins in which children can sort the items.
Have children collect plastic grocery bags and return them to their neighborhood grocery store.
Trash CollageUse throw away paper, labels, scraps cut from junk mail, aluminum foil, pull tabs from soda cans—anything you can find that is typically thrown away—to make a collage.
Earth Day craft: Cut the bottom of a cup or margarine tub. Cut streamers from crepe paper, ribbons and plastic bags. Attach other recycled items on a string. Arrange and glue them around the cup so that they hang down over the edge. Make two holes and attach a pipe cleaner or ribbon to make a hanger.
Have children make this fun snack by putting chocolate pudding in a paper cup. Have them top the pudding with crushed chocolate cookies and a gummy worm.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jolanda Garcia is a former teacher and educational content designer. Her goal is to provide parents and teachers with quality resources to promote their children's development and creativity. Visit her websites at: Preschool activities and crafts and http://www.eartwiggles.com/.