Updated: April 5, 2023
By Pretzel Kids staff writers
Let’s celebrate planet earth! And while we’re at it, let’s teach children the importance of taking care of our environment.
Let’s Learn about Earth Day
But first….a bit of history. Earth Day arrives once a year, on April 22. This annual celebration “marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970,” according to Earthday.org. And, it gives you an opportunity to show support for environmental protection and Mother Earth, as well as understand what’s going on with climate change and global warming.
What is Earth Day and Why do we Celebrate it?
This yearly celebration was established more than 50 years ago, yet has been recognized worldwide since the 1990s. Earth Day focuses on sustainable living, healthy choices, and clean living for humans and wildlife.
How do you explain Earth Day to a child?
While the true meaning and history of Earth Day may be a lot for young children to digest, getting kids involved is a great way to teach them about sustainability, recycling and protecting our planet. And, luckily, Earth Day often involves events for the whole family, such as heading outside to clean up local parks and neighborhoods.
What are some activities for Earth Day?
Today we’re sharing some simple ways for families and kids to celebrate this important environmental holiday!
The 8 simple ways for families to celebrate Earth Day below are a fun way to help children learn more about climate change and the environment, all the while creating new springtime family traditions. We hope you enjoy this list of ideas that will get your whole family up and moving to enjoy some fresh air while you celebrate ways to protect our environment. Take a look!
1. Start a Garden
One of the more popular traditions for Earth Day is to start a garden and grow your own food. You don’t need a lot of space to start a small container garden. You can easily recycle old plastic jugs or coffee cans to start the seedlings of herbs, veggies, or fruits.
Find a location outside where you can place a container to grow some herbs or food options. The space will need to have access to sunlight and you’ll need to be prepared to water the container. This is a fun project to help the planet while teaching kids where food comes from!
2. Go for a Nature Walk
Get your hiking shoes on and head out to a local nature trail! Be sure to bring along some water in your recyclable water bottles, and some healthy snacks. As you enjoy this family walk, take note of what types of animals and plants you see along the way.
Consider bringing a notepad or gratitude journal to write down the various things you notice in nature. When you return home, help your kids research each plant or animal to learn more about their planet. This will help your kids understand how wildlife and plant life helps human beings in everyday life.
3. Clean up the Community
This is a fun way for families to celebrate Earth Day with local community members. Call your neighbors and see if they’re interested in helping to clean up the community. You’ll need trash pokers to pick up small pieces of trash, trash bags, and gloves to protect your hands.
Not only will this be a beneficial way to get the litter off your local streets and forest areas, but the sense of accomplishment can help boost your child’s self-esteem.
In addition, this will help strengthen your family’s connection to your community. As you work with members of your neighborhood to clean up the trash, you’ll start forming new friendships that could last a lifetime.
4. Host a Community Yard Sale
Another fun way to celebrate Earth Day and get outside is to host a yard sale and donate all of the proceeds to an environmental charity or local cause that helps our planet. So, gather the kids and go through every closet, attic space, basement, and room in the house.
Call your neighbors to see who would like to be a part of the community yard sale. Take a day to collect all of the items and determine where you’ll host the yard sale. Once the sale is over, take all of the money earned and write a check to an organization that works to help offset global warming.
5. Celebrate Earth Day: Plant a Tree
Many families enjoy planting a new tree each year, especially if they have a large yard. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can ask your town manager about planting a tree at a local park.
While this activity is a popular choice among families for a traditional Earth Day activity, you can also get your community involved. So, consider asking your friends and family to plant one tree on Earth Day, too. When you plant just one tree, you help offset the numerous trees lost to wildfires every year!
6. Have a Scavenger Hunt
Another fun activity that families with younger children enjoy doing is hosting a nature scavenger hunt. To get started, make a list of plants, flowers, trees and animals that your kids can find in nature around the backyard, at a local park, or on a nature trail. Give each kid the list of things to look for, adding images for kids who can’t read yet.
Walk around your community, backyard, and nature trail to find everything on the list. The first person who finds the most can even win a small reward.
After the scavenger hunt is over, discuss how the plants, trees and animals are helpful for the planet. This will help expand the kids’ knowledge about how all living things on Earth are connected.
7. Practice Yoga Poses Outside
While getting outside in nature, why not practice some Earth Day related yoga poses for kids?
For example, kids can practice Tree Pose, Mountain Pose, and even do Sun Salutations!
You can even introduce yoga printables and yoga pose cards to help educate kids about Mother Earth and animals.
Plus, practicing yoga poses will help kids feel better about themselves and their accomplishments. So, perhaps you can combine outdoor yoga with other Earth Day activities, like separating cans and plastic items into recycling containers, picking up trash, or starting a composting bin.
8. Make a Family Pact
Lastly, you can use Earth Day as a time to create a green pact with your family. To start, make a list new habits that the whole family can take part in.
Things to consider include turning off the lights when you leave a room, replacing light bulbs with eco-friendly bulbs, using reusable tote bags when grocery shopping, and recycling materials throughout the year. Another idea: Review your energy usage each year to help reduce energy usage and teach kids how their small habits make significant changes for the planet.
A family pact can be typed up as a formal contract between every family member. Once signed, you can create a large poster board for a visual reminder of what each family member can do throughout the year.
What Will Happen to Earth if We Don’t Take Care of it?
Now that we shared some simple ways for families to celebrate Earth Day, you may be wondering: what will happen to Earth if we don’t take care of it?
This is an excellent question!
While there’s no one answer to this, here’s something we do know: If we don’t take care of our planet, it will become more polluted with toxins that are harmful to all living creatures. This includes contaminants that will deter tree growth and plant growth. Our food supply will diminish and our planet will become increasingly warmer.
Yikes is right!
What can we teach children about Earth Day?
This list of simple ways for families to celebrate Earth Day is a great way to educate kids and help them learn how to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Our hope in sharing this list of ideas is that you will use them in your everyday life to be more mindful of how your choices help or harm the planet. I know you can do your part so that our world stays healthy for more years to come.
Happy Earth Day from all of us at Pretzel Kids!