Inside: Fun Earth Day activities to inspire your kids and show them how they can help save the planet. Try our low-prep Earth Day Water Challenge to transform their thinking about water.
Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22nd, is a great day to think about all the wonderful things our planet gives us—fresh air, life-sustaining water, sunlight, plants, food, minerals, and so much more. It’s unlike any other planet in the solar system!
Therefore, the choices we make every day are important. “Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes.” Did you know that last year we consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fiber, land, and timber by August 1st!
Don’t let Earth Day go by without engaging your children in a conversation about our planet and exploring Earth with some facts and activities. If you’re here for the water challenge, scroll all the way down.
Earth Day Activities and Ideas
Learn Something New about our Planet
I believe that the more children learn about the Earth, the more likely they will care about it and protect it.
Planet Earth, Explained from National Geographic
50 Facts about Earth from Live Science
10 interesting facts about Earth from Universe Today
Teach Environmentally Friendly Habits
26 Ecofriendly Habits You Should Incorporate Into Your Weekly Routine from Biofriendly Planet
50 Easy Ways to Save the Planet from The Guardian (FYI: driving slower is better for the planet than driving fast!)
Test your knowledge of green living with these ten questions from National Geographic
17 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste from the Green Education Foundation
Related Post: How to Explain the Greenhouse Effect to Children With Hands-on Activities and Free Printables
Start a Garden
Gardening teaches food appreciation, reduces picky-eating, and helps the planet (for one thing, it reduces CO2 emissions).
Here in the Midwest, it’s too early to start gardening on Earth Day (it might snow on Earth Day!), so we usually start the seeds inside and move them out after Mother’s Day.
Here’s how to germinate seeds inside in one day.
Peruse Vegetable Gardening for Beginners from The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Scroll down to a list of Gardening Activities with Kids from Planet Natural
Pick up Garbage
We have done our share of Earth Day crafts and book activities, but our favorite thing to do on Earth Day is to pick up garbage in our neighborhood. I bought my kids grilling tongs at the dollar store as a tool for picking up trash. If your kids are not sure how picking up trash helps the planet, talk about reducing pollution and how one million birds die each year because of plastic.
Earth Day Water Challenge
Most of us take water for granted. It’s always there when we need it. But do you know that close to 663 million people in the world don’t have access to clean water?
Last year my kids and I decided to try a water challenge to see what it’s like to keep track of every drop of water we use.
To do that we decided to fill empty milk bottles with clean water and not use sinks for a day. It was hard, but it certainly increased our awareness of how much water is wasted each day. For example, we usually get our hands wet and then add soap, rubbing our hands for a good minute or two while the water is running.
We didn’t last a whole day last year, but we’re doing it again this year!
Do you want to try an Earth Day Water Challenge with us? Even if you don’t last all day, it’s a good exercise to become aware of how many ways we use water every day without thinking twice about it.
Earth Day Water Challenge Setup
What you need
Clean milk cartons, jugs, or bottles for water
What to do
- Save milk cartons, bottles, or jugs, clean them thoroughly, and rinse well.
- Fill them with clean water.
- Use this water in place of a faucet all day.
When you need to clean your hands, have someone splash a bit of water over your hands, soap them, and then pour more water to rinse off the foam.
This challenge can certainly be a challenge. Lol.
You can take it a step further and ration the amount of water that can be used on the day of the challenge. We tried two gallons of water per person for a day. We failed.
If you want to print out this Earth Day word search, enter your e-mail HERE.