April 22 is Earth Day. Founded in 1970, more than 1 billion people in 196 countries now participate in this annual celebration of our planet. Earth Day focuses on three objectives:
- Building a healthy and sustainable environment
- Addressing climate change
- Protecting Earth for future generations
Earth Day is a great opportunity to teach kids about the environment and how they can do their part to protect the planet. Here are some fun activities for celebrating Earth Day with your family.
Hand and Foot Print Art
Create a tree mural with your child’s hand and foot prints. Grab a brown and green ink stamp pad and an art canvas or t-shirt at your local craft store for this Earth Day keepsake craft. Cover your child’s foot with brown ink and stamp the canvas with your child’s toes pointing to the bottom. This is your tree trunk and the toes form the roots. Next, cover your child’s hand with green ink and stamp at the top of the footprint to form the tree’s canopy. Date the canvas “Earth Day 2016.” Repeat this craft annually to see how much your child grows each year.
Kids always tend to love boxes and bags more than the toys that come in them, so here’s your chance to create something new with them. Raid your recycling bin and let the kids go wild creating a sculpture. Let their imaginations take over as they transform boxes, milk jugs, paper towel rolls and water bottles into works of art. Provide tape, string, glue and possibly a low-heat glue gun to bind the recycled items together. When you are done with the sculptures, put a Happy Earth Day sign on them and leave it for the sanitation crew to pick up. It’s sure to brighten their day.
Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
Head to the backyard or a local park for a rainbow scavenger hunt with the whole family. Bring along a camera or your smart phone and snap pictures of the items you discover to fill the colors of your rainbow. From flowers to leaves to water, you’ll find many beautiful items in nature to complete your rainbow. You can also include man-made objects like signs, cars and buildings. To challenge older children, complete the rainbow in color order. When you get home, print the photos and create your rainbow collage. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet
Trees for the Earth
2016 starts the five-year countdown to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The international Earth Day coalition has set a goal to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020. You can do your part this Earth Day and plant a tree in your family’s backyard. Take photos of your family with the new tree this year and then commemorate each Earth Day with a photo by the tree to see how your tree and family have grown.