Earth Day is April 22nd this year and it occurred to me that we as parents should really teach our children how to care for our earth so it takes care of them as they get older. Children learn better by doing and by having fun while doing. I really think we all learn better this way. So, I have 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Children. I hope you will do some of these activities with your children and have loads of fun doing it.
The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, in the United States. It is credited with launching the modern environment movement which helped get the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. Now, 46 years later, more than 1 billion people world wide celebrate Earth Day, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Personally, I love the idea of taking care of our planet and responsibly utilizing it’s resources. I also believe that we should teach our children to do the same. Here are my ideas.
#1: Take your kids or grand kids fishing. Be sure to check the regulations where you live first so you are fishing in open areas and for the right kinds of fish. While you’re fishing, teach your children to clean up after themselves. We always have drinks and snacks. Don’t leave your trash laying around. Either put it in the trash can or take it out with you. Teach your children to respect the fishing area, the laws and the fish themselves. If you won’t eat the fish, teach them to safely put it back in the water. Teach them not to waste the resource.
#2: Take a walk with your kids and have everyone carry a small bag and pick up trash while you’re walking. Make it a game to see who can pick up the most trash. This time of year is a great time to pick up trash because it’s just getting warm in most places and people haven’t been picking up trash in the winter. Remember safety first. If you are picking up trash in a busy area, wear bright clothing and hold your little one’s hands.
#3: Take your kids on a picnic. Go to a park so they can have a fun time enjoying the environment. When you’re finished, be sure to pick all of your trash up. If you want to go a step further, don’t bring anything you will have to throw away. Use things that can be used again, like plastic plates, regular utensils and plastic cups. Teach them that even though you are on a picnic, you don’t have to use things that fill the landfill.
#4: Plant a garden. Even if it’s not warm enough where you are, you can get your garden area ready and make a plan for your garden. Let the kids help. Give them a rake or have them pick up rocks. I know it seems like the rocks multiply every year at our house. Ask the kids what they want to grow in the garden. Take a trip to the local garden store and pick out some seeds. You can even get some peat moss pots and start the plants for planting later.
#5: Don’t have a garden are at your house? Plant a container garden. You can move that around your house or keep it on a porch. No large yard needed. You can get instructions for this container garden on my blog, Fearlessly Creative Mammas.
#6: Keeping with the gardening theme, buy a terra cotta pot for each person and paint some pots to plant flowers in for your entryway. The kids will love that they are helping decorate your yard and you will all have fun painting the pots and putting your individuality in them. When you are finished painting the pots and they are dry, spray them with a sealer so the paint doesn’t wash off.
#7: This next idea will take a little planning and money. How about planting some trees? If you plant out in a wilderness area, you can plant smaller trees. If you decide to plant in your yard, plant trees that are a little bit bigger. When we bought our house, we planted a cherry tree in our yard. It was a sapling about 18 inches tall and didn’t look like much, but our kids helped us, so they knew where it was located. About a week after we planted it, our daughter was mowing the lawn and mowed right over it. Darn her.
#8: Pick a place and go hiking. We like to hike and the place we usually go is pretty mountainous, but you should pick a place for your children’s age level. We usually see animals like deer, elk and lots of birds. Sometimes we see antelope and coyotes too. There is no one out there but us and we love it. It’s quiet, clean and beautiful. A great way to recharge. Be sure you take what you need to be safe, like enough water and some high protein snacks. We also take firearms because there are bears and wolves out there and you never know if you will run into something that wants to eat you. While you’re out there, pick up any trash you see and carry it out.
#9: Take a visit to the local zoo. Our zoo isn’t huge, but the kids love it and it grows a little bit every few years. I took my kids to this zoo a lot when they were young and my grandkids love to go too. While you are touring the zoo, talk to the kids about the different animals, where they are located in the wild and their status as far as if they are endangered, protected, etc. There are usually plaques on each enclosure that will provide this information.
#10: Gather things that can be recycled and visit a recycling center. You can go to the city recycling center or a place where you can recycle things like cans for money. My friend’s daughter (with the sun glasses on her head below) recently discovered she could take cans in and get paid for them. Now she has everyone she knows collecting cans for her. She is too funny. Call around because some places have a special rate they pay on Earth Day. She is very excited about that because she gets more money!
There you have it. 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Kids. What will you do to celebrate and how will you teach your kids? Let me know in the comments. I love reading them. Happy Earth Day!