Every year Earth Day is celebrated in April and is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids about our earth and caring for our environment with fun projects and activities stretching over the entire week. Prior to Earth Day week you might want to implement a recycling drive to secure all the necessary supplies for future crafts while securing volunteer parent-helpers to turn this into a community project.
Check with your local parks and recreation, police and fire departments to join any community-sponsored park clean-up events. You will be able to significantly impact your area while teaching your preschoolers the importance of environmental restoration through creative recycling and planting projects, computer activities and resources, along with wildlife field trips and excursions.
Earth Day Animal Discoveries
A local zoo, nature center or natural-history museum is the best way to introduce your preschoolers to animals from all over the world. The narratives and descriptive placards allow you to teach as you go. In the following weeks your kids will be quick to share their newly acquired animal play-acting (and sounding) skills, no props necessary!
Earth Day Computer Resources
Refer to the article “Top Educational Software Programs for Preschoolers” on my news page at AssociatedContent.com/cmajors for fun Earth Day appropriate art, animal and world-exploration educational games. A kid-friendly website Holidays.net online has free Earth Day coloring pages, activities, history and traditions with optional advance email alerts for up-coming holidays. And for fun Earth Day sing-along lyrics set to standard-song tunes, visit PreschoolEducation.com.
Earth Day Plant Projects
Incorporate planting and creative projects from the articles “Painting with Nature’s Paintbrushes: Reinforcing Nature Lessons” and “Spring to Summer Preschool Planting Projects” on my news page listed above. Have children water and care for their seedlings, paint their nature pictures and they’ll soon have edible plants and artwork to take home.
Earth Day Solar Panels
In several varied sizes of shallow recycled plastic containers and shoe boxes, lined with foil or black trash bags, fill with water, cover with plastic wrap and set in direct sunlight. Test throughout the day for warm water in each of the containers, hypothesizing which method works best. Retest and chart the results over several days.
Earth Day Recyclable Crafting Projects
Invent crafts that use clean plastic trash items and recyclables mixed with nature items such as seed pods, twigs and pine-cone sculptures. Additional necessary recyclables include newspapers, cardboard rolls, egg cartons, pie tins, and shipping boxes. For the following crafts you will also need paper plates, balloons, white craft glue, duct tape and poster paints.
Earth Day Paper-Mache World Globe
Each child gets an inflated balloon and after playing with them they will be turned into paper-mache world globes. Simply rip newspapers into strips, which your kids will dip into watered-down craft glue and apply smoothly all around the balloon, until covered with several layers. Allow to dry overnight and when stiff, pop the balloon inside and discard.
Once hardened, have the children paint their globes with blue oceans and brown continents using poster paints. Allow to dry over night and the next day have an Earth Day parade where the children get to show-off their hand-made globes.
Earth Day Robot Team Project
Help your kids build a life-size robot out of recycles such as boxes, chunks of Styrofoam, egg cartons, plastic jugs, and cardboard rolls. Use duct tape to secure all components together, taping as you build. Your robot doesn’t need to be perfect, your kids will be impressed by its large size and the fact they created it together as a team (painting optional).
Earth Day Emissions-Free Car Creations
Have each child make a car using large recycled boxes, painting the outer sides with poster paints, then allow to dry overnight. Draw doors on two sides then glue four paper plates (or pie tins) onto the same two sides for wheels, strategically attaching an additional plate for the steering wheel.
Below the steering wheel add recycled tap lights to the front of the car for headlights and an old screen or silver duct tape to represent a car grill between the lights. Children will be able to play-drive their cars which can also be arranged in a large circle, creating an Earth Day story-time train.
A full week of Earth Day activities, projects and excursions will have your preschool children demonstrating creative ways to save our planet, reduce spending and have fun problem-solving. Earth Day reminds us all to reduce, reuse and recycle, to protect our environment. No one said we couldn’t have fun while we do it.