Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd of each year, and has been an annual day of environmental recognition for around 30 years. Earth Day promotes awareness of eco-issues such as pollution, the importance of clean water and air protections, taking steps to fight littering, and the promotion of agriculture.
Here are some easy ways to get involved this year!
Create a Seedling Pot Out Of Recyclables
The kids will love the idea of planting their very own addition to the Earth, and better yet, doing the whole project with recycled materials. Not to mention, it’s practically free! First, gather some items for the project such as a marker for marking seedling pots, a glass, soil potting soil to start your seeds, seeds to grow a new plant or tree, and newspaper.
Begin the project by laying a one-sheet, 4-page piece of newspaper on a flat surface. Fold in half twice, so you have a long, approximately 6 inch wide piece of newspaper. Take your newspaper, using a flat surface again, and roll it onto the mouth of the glass, so there is an overlap of at least two-three inches to stuff inside the glass. Stuff this extra paper inside the mouth of the glass, and then wiggle the “pot” off the cup. Once off, turn upside down and shove the rumpled edges of newspaper down in on itself, compacting it and forming a “bottom”. Use the bottom of the drinking glass to help pound it down if needed.
Now fill with dirt, and plant a seed! Set the newspaper pot on a dish or tray to catch any leakage. Water frequently; these pots are very free-draining, which makes them great for starter pots! Keep moist, and on a sunny windowsill for best results.
Another option: You can use cardboard toilet paper tubes as seedling starters; simply fold one end of the tube in on itself, fill with dirt, and sow a seed!
Make Egg-Carton Creations
You can make all sorts of creepy, crawly, or even cute, critters out of an old cardboard egg-carton. Note: styro-foam ones will work, too, but this is an Earth Day project and sytro-foam isn’t really a great way to celebrate Mother Earth. Unless you already have styro-foam containers, in which case, re-using them is better than tossing them away!
Simply help your child cut apart sections with safety scissors according to what he or she wants to make. Perhaps a lady bug could be fashioned from a single section cut off the egg-carton, painted red with water-based paints, and pipe cleaners attached for legs. Or you can make a centipede, with lots of squiggly pipe-cleaner legs and several sections of egg-carton still connected. Cost may be almost nothing, but shouldn’t exceed $5-7: you need an egg carton, some paints, and a bag of pipe cleaners in one or two colors. You may have these items in your home right now for various reasons; I do!
Lovely Leaf Rubbings
You remember doing these, don’t you? When you were little, you’d go find the perfect leaf, and bring it home to capture forever with a Crayola and a piece of paper? Revisit this simple pleasure by taking your kids for a nature walk through the neighborhood, or through your local park, to see what treasures you can uncover. Leaves come in all shapes and sizes, and you can easily turn it into a scavenger hunt by challenging your kids to find ones of a certain color or type. Even oddly-shaped, skinny twigs can be rubbed for contrasting results with the leaves.
When you return home, break out the crayons and construction paper for some easy fun, and an interaction with your child just brimming with conversational possibilities. This activity is good for young children, however all age groups can enjoy it.