Earth Day is an opportunity to exercise good stewardship and show kids how to care for the planet God gave us. But, you want to use fun Earth Day activities that are easy for kids to do. We want kids to learn the importance of plants, the benefits of the outdoors, and develop a real appreciation for nature. They also need to understand the impact of their everyday activities. Just a few simple changes in their daily routine and they can make a big impact. Check out these ideas and grab your free challenge!
Start a compost pile.
On my Crunchy Christian Podcast, I discuss how to start a compost pile. I also discuss different types of compost in the video below, which is part of my Ultimate Garden Bundle. Composting is an awesome example of how God doesn’t waste anything and neither should we. He is the great recycler, providing a way for dead things to give new life. It is as simple as saving vegetable scraps and old shredded paper and burying them in the ground, such as is done in the lasagna method. Composting offers an opportunity to share the Gospel of God taking our dead souls and giving us new life. But, even if you don’t want to make a Bible lesson out of it, composting is the first step in creating the best soil for gardening, another one of our fun Earth Day activities .
This is a pretty basic idea that even very small children can do. The first that comes to mind is often planting vegetable seeds. But, why not a native garden, in which you plant flowers, grasses, and other plants that are native to your region? This provides so many additional lessons about habitat, stewardship, soil, ecology, and more. It is an easy, fun Earth Day activity. Another way to enjoy planting seeds with kids is planting a row of sunflowers along a fence. These majestic flowers can grow to eleven feet tall! Or, just plant some herbs in pots and keep them in your windowsill to enjoy some fresh in your cooking all year round.
Build a bird feeder as one of the fun Earth Day activities.
I have mixed feeling about bird feeders. Sometimes they can disrupt a bird’s natural feeding habits. They can also make it a lot easier for predatory birds to hunt since we are gathering up prey birds for them by erecting a common feeder. Bird feeders have also been known to spread bird diseases. However, if the feeder is small, regularly cleaned, and placed near your home, it can provide opportunities to observe birds up close and be a special treat for your flying friends. Of course, you may also get many furry squirrel visitors, too. They are pretty crafty. I like to call them “rats with beautiful tails!”
Alternatively, you may choose to create bird houses as one of your fun Earth Day activities. I have seen beautiful handcrafted wool bird houses as well as wood and grass ones. These also invite birds to your yard without endangering them. The only downside is that the bird house may become a home to insects or bats instead.
Take a shorter shower.
This is super easy! But, kids may wonder and grumble about why they should shorten their showers. Standing in the shower under warm water is so relaxing after all. Well, according to Constellation Energy, the average shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute. In addition, all that water is heated, so there’s energy used there, too. All that water isn’t even dirty, really. It’s like turning on the faucet and letting it run for 20 minutes. For some families, taking a bath is actually more energy and water efficient.
So, you can inspire your kids by making it a challenge. Start by timing each person’s normal shower. Then, create a chart that includes everyone’s initial shower time. Now it’s time to start the challenge! By how much time can each person reduce their shower? What is the shortest time in which each person can bathe and still get clean? You may even want to compare these numbers to how many gallons of water are in the average bath, which is around 30 gallons.
Repurpose old clothing.
What did I used to do when a pair of jeans grew too short? Of course, I cut the legs to make shorts or even a skirt. To make the skirt, I cut along the inseams of the pant legs and then I simply sewed the loose fabric so that it made the front and back of a skirt. When that wouldn’t work anymore, I sewed the bottom edges of the skirt together to make a tote bag. All I needed to do was add the strap at the top. We made doll clothes, small pillows, and other things from old clothes and sometimes purchased items from the thrift store specifically for these projects. It’s much cheaper than buying new fabric from the hobby store and embraces good stewardship of resources. However, there does come a time when the clothes just need to be tossed. But, what about using them to make woven mats, hot pads, or even just rags? Let your imagination go wild!
Go on a nature scavenger hunt as one of your fun Earth Day activities.
This is another easy fun Earth Day activity that the whole family can enjoy together. You can do this in a city park with a bit of creativity just as well as you can in a natural setting. Try using the alphabet as a springboard for items to look for. Or, use numbers, such as find one oak tree, two spider webs, three birds, etc. You can also put together a scavenger list before you leave based on what is typical in your area. For example, if you live in a dry, desert area, it might be better to look for saguaro, Joshua tree, aloe, different lizard and snake species, and insects or small mammals indigenous to your region. If you keep it to five to ten items, the kids are more likely to enjoy the hunt. This is a great way to get to know the flora and fauna in your area and start a discussion about how you can be better stewards.
Earth Day is a wonderful time to get in touch with the plants and animals that are all around you everyday and discover how you can make a difference.
This copyrighted content has been republished with written permission from Julie Polanco.