By Katie Carpenter
Our Earth is amazing! But it needs each one of us to play our part to keep it clean, healthy, and thriving. April 22nd is Earth Day! As grownups, it’s a great time to celebrate our Earth and set an example of environmental responsibility for our kids, so they are empowered to care for our environment.
Think about what you, your family, and neighbors can do to celebrate Earth Day this year and make a positive impact! Activities like cleaning up your neighborhood, planting trees, reducing waste as a family, and focusing on recycling can help to reduce the pollution and deforestation that is hurting our planet.
A Special Earth Day Song
Nature Cat, Squeeks, Daisy and Hal sing about what you can do every day to help out mother nature.
Now that we’re all excited after singing that song, let’s get to work! Below are some exciting and useful activities from PBS to get you started.
We challenge you on April 22nd to pick one activity below to try out and make our Earth happy and healthy!
1. Reducing Waste
Help your kiddos think about their impact on our Earth and how each of us is tied to bigger environmental issues facing our communities. We encourage you to brainstorm with your child some of the ways that your family can reduce waste at home and your impact on the environment.
Make a Cloth Bag (Children 2 to 5)
Bringing reusable bags when we go shopping makes less plastic and paper trash that can be harmful to nature. Make this reusable cloth bag to bring on your next shopping trip and use it to collect treasures on your next nature adventure!
Did you know?
In its lifetime, one reusable bag can prevent the use of up to 600 plastic bags.*
Make a Composter
Daisy loves to garden and use compost to help her flowers grow. Her compost heap even saved the day in the Nature Cat video Soil Stealers! Try making your own compost with this DIY experiment using everyday items.
Your child can learn more about recycling by sorting a day’s worth of trash from your home into different categories and then graphing what percentage can be recycled vs. true trash. Sort a day’s worth of trash from your home into different classes and graph what percentage can be recycled vs. true trash to make greener choices.
2. Clean Up Your Neighborhood
Think about ways that you can make your own neighborhood a cleaner, safer place for all. Perhaps you can work with your family and neighbors to create a Neighborhood Cleanup Day! Grab trash bags and gloves and hit the streets to clean up and have fun while you’re at it!
Test your clean-up skills in the exciting games below:
Plant a tree!
One of the easiest ways to love Mother Earth is to plant a tree! Trees help to absorb carbon dioxide and provide clean oxygen for us to breathe. Gardening is good for you and good for your kids’ development.
Did you know?
Researchers estimate roughly 15 billion trees in the world are cut down each year, so help offset that loss by planting a tree of your own.*
3. Become a Recycling Expert
Did you know that it can take over 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down? Why not think of creative ways to “up-cycle” a bottle and create a Hummingbird feeder, garden planter or a toy!
Craft a Colorful Hummingbird Feeder Out of a Plastic Bottle
The Kratt brothers love learning about and observing animals, big and small. Observe one of the world’s smallest birds by making a feeder for hummingbirds!
Build a Recycled Sailboat
Reuse old materials from around your home to help your child build a toy boat.
Watch AJ as he comes to the rescue- a recycling rescue!
AJ’s Recycle Rescue Game
Test your recycling skills with AJ from Hero Elementary!
Nature Cat’s Recycling Challenge printable
Reward your little recyclers with a printable badge!
Did you know?
Recycling one can of soda will save enough energy to power a tv for three hours.*
Additional Earth-Friendly Ideas
Protecting Our Planet Collection from PBS Parents
Best Free Apps That Take Kids from “Screen” to “Green”
Earth Science Activities from our friends at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Earth Day classroom resources from the PBS Learning Media American Experience Collection: For Grades: 6-13+
Earth Days: Rachel Carson & Silent Spring
Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” exposed the negative effect pesticides had on bird populations, but its influence went far beyond birds. For the first time, Carson made millions of people aware of how humans were damaging the environment. Video from American Experience: “Earth Days.”
Earth Days: The First Earth Day
Demonstrations and more during the First Earth Day, observed April 22, 1970. Video from American Experience: “Earth Days.”
Earth Days: The Seeds of a Revolution – Photo Gallery: Earth Day across America
The first Earth Day — April 22, 1970 — marked the advent of a new movement among the American citizenry to effect change in environmentalism. View a gallery of the effort, from American Experience: “Earth Days: The Seeds of a Revolution.”
*Factoids from National Geographic Kids
Will YOU be our neighbor?
Saturday, April 24
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Online and broadcast
Join us for the 6th annual Be My Neighbor Day event! The entire event will be virtual so there are plenty of opportunities to participate at home!
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