Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays! But really, who doesn’t love a day dedicated to the environment? It’s a great chance to teach the younguns to respect the planet on which they live as well as ways to take care of the Earth, the animals, and all of the miracles we take for granted the other 365 days a year. (It is a leap year.)
How are you planning to celebrate this year?
Read on for some ideas…
If the weather is good, the first thing you should do is simple get outside! There are so many fun outdoor activities you can do as a family. Go biking or hiking!
Work in the garden together, plant some veggies, or plant a tree. I would love a mini fruit tree for our balcony! This year April 22nd is a Friday so you could go camping or even just camp out in the backyard (if it’s warm enough where you are.)
Take a Day Trip
If a day outing is what you’re in the mood for go to a farmer’s market or a pick-your-own farm to check out some fresh fruits and veggies. You can use this website to find farm stands, farmer’s markets, or pick-your-owns near you.
There are tons of public gardens. From the formal Versailles-style to children’s gardens or an arboretum.
Have you ever been to an animal sanctuary? We went on an amazing tour one year and met some horses that had been part of scientific experiments, a 22 year old cow, many ducks and chickens that were given up by their owners when they were no longer cute, fuzzy little chicks, and a goat who totally thought he was a dog! It was such an amazing experience.
Don’t forget to celebrate Earth Hour. (Thank you to my daughter for explaining this to me.) Earth hour is an hour that you dedicate to not using any electronics or electricity. You can discuss the different ways electricity can be generated and why they can be bad for the environment.
You could also use this time to work on a craft made from recycled material.
These green rockets we got from Amazon are so cool. They can be made with a couple empty water bottles. And although it comes with a couple pieces of paper, future rockets are encouraged to be made from magazine pages and recycled paper.
You can also make paper bag kites, owls out of paper towel rolls, or papier mache with an old newspaper. There are tons of egg carton crafts you can find on pinterest if you buy eggs like the good old fashion caterpillars or ladybugs.
There are lots of great books with environmental themes out there.
My son loves non-fiction books about wolves and sharks. Face to Face with Wolves by Jim Brandenburg is great because he talks about their beauty, their lives and instincts, but also address why people are scared of them, their endangered species status, and why they are important members of the animal population. Amazing Sharks is a favorite of ours about sharks. It touches on different types and cool facts and so, in a not too preachy way, explains why they are endangered and why they are important. After reading this book the first 4 times (when he was about 4), my son decided he was going to become a marine biologist and save the shark populations.
Little Green Monster books are also fun for little ones. We have a couple, but I Can Save the Ocean! seems to be more favored in this house.
Since Earth Day is a Friday, it could be a fun family movie nights. So if you plan on staying up to watch a movie with the littles choose one with an Earth Day theme. Of course there is The Lorax. Who doesn’t love The Lorax? But if you’ve already seen it a million times and want to try something different on Netflix, you could watch Return to Nim’s Island with Bindi the Jungle Girl (I loved this movie), Animals United, or even Arthur and the Invisibles.
Disneynature movies are always amazing. These aren’t on Netflix, but they are SO good. We still love Bears probably the best (because we insist it’s the bear version of our family), but we haven’t seen Oceans or Wings of Life which are supposed to be amazing too. We might choose one of them to watch on Instant Video.For the Adults
Earth Day is not just for kids. There are things we can do as adults to celebrate as well. Some ideas would be to plan a Meatless Monday, plant an herb garden or grow vegetables, you could learn a skill that would help to eliminate waste (like I just taught myself to darn socks – eliminate waste, lessen pollution generated by machines, and hopefully save a finger or two of a sweatshop worker – Have I ever mentioned I can be dramatic?).
Also there are plenty of cool books and documentaries aimed toward adults.
There are great documentaries. I’ve been dying to watch Vanishing of the Bees.
Do you do anything for Earth Day? What are you planning for you or your children?
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