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Go Green Earth Day Activities PDF Print E-mail
Eco News - Eco Arts Crafts & Activities
Written by editor   
Wednesday, 09 April 2008 08:15

hands-group-320px.jpgHere are some eco-friendly ways you can encourage your EcoKids to go green and celebrate Earth Day April 22. Focusing on becoming a "Green" family working to instil eco-friendly activities into everyday activities.Plus EcoKids websites to explore.

As a unique Earth Day pledge consider a resolution aimed at family unity and collaboration.  

 

Talk to children about birds, plants, gas-guzzling vehicles and energy use. Just asking children to switch off the lights and reuse plastic bags is not enough -- they must understand why we’re doing these things and what impact they have.


Recycle activities even little things -- like using a colorful cloth bag, or tossing potato peels and eggshells into the compost heap -- can help the environment. And if your child develops good habits now, they’ll endure as he grows.

Motivate all your friends to take action now. Organize a neighbourhood beautification program for your community, and you and your friends can take the first shift to set the example.You can also start an email campaign to local, state or federal officials to work toward change in areas like clean-air initiatives and wildlife protection.


Nothing gets people inspired like seeing the real beauty of the earth. Host a viewing party of a nature program like Planet Earth, and show your party guests what we'll be missing if we don’t start living smarter.


Don't forget to teach the youngsters the importance of preserving our resources. Help them with arts-and-crafts projects, such as making new paper out of old shredded paper. Making candles by melting down old bees wax crayons, and re-using paper bags as canvases for artwork.


Ocean Adventure + Clean Up the Beach
Live near the coast? Take the children to the ocean and explain about the ocean life and tides. Go on a "pollution patrol" scavenger hunt to look for different types of pollution and signs of potential pollution. Fill up sacks  / bags with any trash scattered on the beach.

S.O.S. Save Our Seas
Compile an action list of things to do to help the oceans. Get children to work in small groups. Each group can choose one of the ideas on the list to illustrate in a poster. Provide large poster board, coloured pencils, crayons, coloured paper, scissors, and glue. Have Eco Kids share their posters and talk about what steps they can take to help ocean life. You might arrange to exhibit the posters at a local eco business. (

Earth Day Birthday Celebration  - Make a Service Project the Main Party Attraction.

Plant native trees. Give each child a seedling or a packet of seeds and a small shovel. Let the children plant the trees in a park or other public area (with permission, of course). Consider asking a park ranger to take the children on a nature walk.

Make cards for critically-ill children. Set up a table with bright colored recycled paper, crayons, and found items from around the home and nature. Turn on the party music and let the children make personalized cards for hospitalized children.

Assemble supply kits for the needy. Purchase or collect supplies for people and animals in need. Help Eco Kids assemble kits... e.g baby supply kits / food hampers / animal shelter kits.

Create teddy bears for children in need. Older Eco Kids can learn how to knit or crochet teddy bears, (the project may need to be completed at home). Younger children can stuff pre-sewn teddy bears. Donate the completed bears to hospitals, or charity organizations.


There are dozens of other volunteer ideas that can be completed at your Earth Day celebration. Whatever volunteerism project you choose, be sure to make it fun. Compliment the children for their hard work and let them know that they are making a big difference.

Earth Day ...  Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Re-Purpose

Connect with nature in a whole new way by making all-natural and recycled crafts!


Like all great naturalists, John James Audubon was famous for his nature journals. Keep his spirit alive by creating your own out of recycled materials, then take your journal out on a nature walk.

Make posters or fun books by reusing items from around the home - cut out pictures in magazines etc or draw pictures that show the following. (You can probably think of many more to add). Turn off the water when brushing teeth, collect bath water, sink water and even rainwater and use the water to irrigate lawns and water flowers. Walk, ride a bike or take the bus instead of traveling by car. Take faster showers or baths in just a small amount of water. Help hang clothes on the line instead of putting them in the dryer. Explain to children that lights, computers, televisions and furnaces use energy, and that energy is in short supply. Encourage even small children to always flip off the light when leaving a room.

There are dozens of small things your Eco Kids can do every day to recycle, reduce reuse and re-purpose, by making a special picture book they can keep and see -  taking small steps to keep the world cleaner and greener.

Earth Day Birthday Food

Buy local (organic) when it comes to celebration eats. Supporting local farmers cuts down on the energy needed to ship food as well as the waste that comes from packaging.

Finger foods are always great for parties and reduce the need for plates or dishes. Serve fruits and veggies that are fresh from the organic farmers' market or from your organic veggie patch and fruit trees! 

Planet-friendly party food can and should be a delight to look at and to eat, as well as being nutritious, the main thing to keep in mind  when preparing parties for eco kids is to keep the food ... organic, simple and easy to eat. Decorate a round cake to look like the earth. Party food ideas

Bring out the real china and linen tablecloths for Earth Day Teddy Bear picnics or for Fairy Tea Parties.

More Earth Day Activities

Recycle
Aimed at encouraging children to practice eco-friendly activities, begin with simple recycling of household goods. Place a recycle bin in close proximity to the kitchen trash area and label the recycle bin with colorful pictures of items the children normally use that can be recycled. Things like juice boxes, bottles and even cereal boxes can be easily drawn into colorful drawings to encourage children to recycle.

In terms of family activities, plant an eco friendly garden with your children, to celebrate Earth Day.Visit a local re-sale store and purchase a push mower which will provide children with a lesson in conserving gasoline, reducing pollution and provide for some physical exercise while creating a beautiful lawn.

Take your recycling materials to a local school or library with a recycling bin. Schools and libraries are paid for the material they recycle. The money they earn goes to providing better services at these facilities (more books, renovations, student trips, etc.). If you don’t have curbside recycling.


Plant a Tree

At a nursery, purchase a tree native to your area that will provide habitat for a range of animals. Ask for planting instructions. Plant the tree in your yard or arrange with the park district to plant the tree in a local park.

How Their Garden Grows 

Provide seeds, pots and soil, and have children plant their own flowers, herbs or veggies. For treats, make fruit flowers and healthy “dirt pots” (deep bowls or pots filled with layers of yoghurt, fruit and organic cookie crumbs).

Make a Grocery Bag

Replace all bags with re-usable - library, school lunch etc. (Just imagine if every child at  school replaced their families bags with re-usable alternatives).

Help make fun bags. Plastic shopping bas are a big garbage problem -- it takes 1,000 years for a bag to break down!


Have Eco Kids help choose some heavy fabric and sew into simple rectangular bags with handles. Or, buy some canvas bags at a thrift, craft or environmentally friendly fair-trade shop. Then use fabric pens to draw pictures on them. Take the bags out with you every time you shop, keep some in your car and bike carrier.


Mystical Garden

Puppet Show

Make a Talking Earth Puppet

From: Heavy paper plate, or 3 thin ones glued together (or use found items from around the home)
White, brown and black construction paper (or use found items from around the home)
Paper towel tube
Large Rubber Band
Blue Yarn
2 paper fasteners (the metal kind like in binders)
Blue eco-friendly paint
Eco-friendly Glue, scissors  

Paint the bottom of the plate blue and let it dry.
Cut "landforms" from the brown paper and glue them on to make the Earth. Cut eyes from the white and black paper and glue them in place.
Poke the fasteners through the bottom of the plate, far enough apart so that the rubber band will hook over each fastener to form the mouth of the puppet.
Tie a long piece of blue yarn to the bottom of the rubber band. Cut two slits in the top of the paper towel tube and slide the bottom of the Earth puppet into the slits so that you have a holder for the puppet.
Drop the mouth string through the tube so that it hangs out the other end. To move the puppet's mouth pull gently on the end of the yarn.
Let your puppet tell others how to love and care for our Earth. Here are some tunes to sing along to:

Litter is Garbage (To the tune of The Wheels on the Bus)

Litter is garbage that wasn't put away,
Wasn't put away,
Wasn't put away,
Litter is garbage that wasn't put away,
In the garbage can.

I put my garbage in the garbage can,
The garbage can,The garbage can,
I put my garbage in the garbage can,
I'm not a litterbug.


Let Me Help (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star )

Reduce, recycle and reuse,
Be careful with the things you choose.
Don't leave lights and water on,
Pick up litter when you're done.
Keep the air and water clean, Help our earth stay strong and green!


Litter Free Picnic (To the tune of Skip to my Lou)
We're not litterbugs, no siree
We're not litterbugs, no siree
We're not litterbugs, no siree
We pick up our trash, you see.

Take a Hike

Go for a hike in the woods at a forest preserve or park. Find out in advance about trails and choose one appropriate for children. Provide children with a park service list of flora and fauna to look for and have them check off species as they go. Explain that good hikers walk quietly, never disturb wildlife, and leave nothing behind.

Out in the Field

Take a tour of an organic farm, a dairy farm or an orchard.

Make a Compost 

If you don't already have a compost and worm farm, Earth Day is the perfect time to start them.

It’s easy to collect your own organic  food scraps and garden waste and turn it into healthy compost in your own yard. Children can help buy a composter (they’re sold at home reno stores and sometimes through municipalities), and fill it with kitchen scraps and garden waste on a daily basis and even help stir it to get things breaking down.Better still re-purpose/ build a compost with recycle products. And, in a few months when you’ve got compost, they can take part in spreading it over the garden and seeing how “garbage” can become rich dark dirt to make a garden grow.


Make Like a Tree

Together create a forest ecosystem skit. Each child can play a different member of the forest (tree, bird,fern,and so on). Have children act out what happens when a tree is cut down, when there is a fire or drought, and when new trees are planted.

Trail Upkeep / Ivy Pull

Organize a trail upkeep with your local park service or park district. Alternatively, host an ivy pull. Provide children with tools and together work on a section of forest. Make sure Eco Kids understand what effects their work will have. When they're done have a picnic in one of the park's picnic areas.

Eco-Adventure

Create a rainforest scene, have everyone dress up as their favorite African animal (you can even make masks at the party) and watch Tarzan. Adopt an animal from the National Zoo (about $50) and look through the adoption photos and materials with the children.

Support the Community

Call your local fire or police station and ask for a tour. Perhaps, the families could donate money or may be they have a wish-list for supplies for the station. Visit the local animal shelters and help, deliver parcels collected from your neighborhood, check the animal centres wish-lists.

Adopt a beach, a park, or a street and help clean it up.

Picnic Power

Take children on a picnic. Have them make their own organic sandwiches / treats and help pack the picnic basket. Take a few blankets and spread them out in your backyard or at a park. Talk about nature, go on a pollution scavenger patrol hunt. Tell or read stories about the earth and sing Earth Day songs.
Suggested Books
"The Great Trash Bash" by Loreen Leedy
"The Earth And I" by Frank Asch
"The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
"Dinosaurs to The Rescue" by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Begin the pollution patrol scavenger hunt by asking Eco Kids what kind of things come to mind when they think of pollution.
List their ideas on a chart.
Briefly explain pollution.
Don't forget to add water, air, and noise pollution as well as land pollution!
After explaining pollution, ask children if they want to add anything or delete anything from their list.
Tell the group that they will be going outside to look for some of the types of pollution that you talked about.
Show Eco Kids some examples of pollution "evidence" they might find on their hunt.
Such as an empty beverage can, some litter from a fast-food restaurant, an empty container of household cleaner and other trash.
You could also show pictures of cars, smokestacks and so on.
Explain to Eco Kids that they should rely on their senses to help locate and identify pollution. For example, they might smell exhaust, see oil spots on the road or hear a noisy plane.

You could have the children work in teams, with each team focusing on just one form of pollution. Different teams could search for pollution they can see, hear, or smell. Or they could look for pollution on land, in water, or in the air. Each time someone comes across some pollution, discuss where it came from and what effects it might have on wildlife and the environment. Explain to Eco Kids that every bottle and can they use is waste that just sits in a big pile at the local dump if we don’t recycle. Get them involved by making it their job to sort recyclables and take them out for pickup. (Remind them to watch out for broken glass and ask for help if this happens).

Turn Trash To Treasure

Reusing recyclable materials has never been as much fun as now, because its true - one person's trash is another person's treasure! Collect a variety of items such as egg cartons, plastic containers, styrofoam packing pieces, six-pack rings, etc. Now get some of your standard eco / recycled craft materials, like glue, scissors, yarn, paint, wool, found items from nature. See how many "treasures" you can create out of "trash!" Use your imagination and have fun!

Spring clean your home, donate your unwanted, but still good items, to a resale shop, a church, the Salvation Army or other charity. Your home, your conscious and the earth will be cleaner for it. Work as a family team, don't forget to work to music.

Have a garage / yard sale. You will be surprised at what people will buy at garage sales. You’ll earn a few dollars; clean out your home and help your old items find new homes. Donate the money to your favorite green cause.


Organize an Earth Day Share & Swap - clothing, books, toys, furniture, baby items any non-perishable consumer item.
Clothing production leaves a large ecological footprint. For every new T-shirt created, roughly 150 grams of pesticides and fertilisers have been used. And the amount of water used in the production and transport of clothes bought by an average family each year is 150,000 litres.
A 2005 Australian Institute report revealed that clothing consumption is the second most wasterful practise for young consumers and the third most wasteful practise for older consumers.
Everyone brings buttons for the amount of clothing etc to swap. Have fun and get rid of clothes etc that are not being used and gain a new wardrobe. Keep the buttons and share with those who organize the next swap.Waste is not just rubbish - it's also items that are unused or remain inactive. The idea of sharing with friends, it makes people feel good and best of all, it's an inherently sustainable practise.

Write a letter

Many years ago a young girl saw an article on pollution and wrote a letter to the president to do something about it. She suggested he “get on TV and put up big signs” to make people aware of the problem. She also founded Kids FACE an environmental organization for young people. Your children can write letters to government leaders and corporations about pollution and other environmental issues, and you can give them a hand in looking up addresses and help them decide what they’re going to write. Talk about how you live in a democracy and every voice counts, no matter how small.

Email to your favorite green companies thanking them for doing their part for the environment.

Be creative and come up with an innovative way to live green.


Happy Earth Day!

Web Sites to visit:

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I've come here to celebrate Earth Day, so please
Come join me and help spread the message I bring.
Be a friend to the trees and to each living thing.

Starfall
The best interactive site to help teach children to read. Our 3 1/2 year old Treasure just loves to guide himself all around the stories etc, his favourite is Earth Day - where he helps clean up the rubbish.

Learn how to tag and track Bengal tigers in Asia or print out a Cap Buffalo cutout on this companion Web site to the popular "Adventures of Riley" books that follow 9-year-old Riley, Uncle Max, Aunt Martha and Cousin Alice as they travel around the world learning about animal conservation. For a one-time fee of $3, children can join "Riley's World" and receive a membership kit complete with "passport," stickers and a quarterly newsletter.

Meet the Treetures

Aimed at young children, nine small creatures are the "guardians and spirit of the tree." There's "Twigs," a grandfatherly character with an acorn-topped branch for a walking stick who instructs how to plant a tree, and "Mama Greenleaf," in a purple gingham dress who knows everything there is to know about leaves. Through the America the Beautiful Fund, the site offers free vegetable and flower seeds for community planting projects, though shipping and handling costs must be paid.

Global Warming for Kids

This portal for kids and teachers alike features an "energy action" kids corner with games, photos and downloads in four languages. The game "Climate Challenge" allows older kids to imagine themselves president of the European Nations as they attempt to persuade competing regional blocs to reduce carbon emissions. Elsewhere there is video, including Blue Man Group's head-bopping "Earth to America" skit warning of the dangers of global warming.  

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

From profiles on "Xtreme Veg Athletes" like BMX rider Taj Mihelich to tips on becoming a vegetarian, the animal rights group targets kids of all ages. For $1, you can buy 60 anti-dissection "Respect All Life" stickers or play "Lobster Liberation" for free.

Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Planet Slayer

Follow the animated Adventures of Greena, a funky young girl eco-warrior with a cut-off peace sign T-shirt and bright orange hair as she whispers whales, takes on evil-doing loggers and frees farmed chickens in short video adventures.

A new offering from the folks at Scholastic, this site has free reminder printables for kids to paste up on faucets, bicycles and their parents' bathroom mirror. It also offers 100 days to "act green," including a craft project to turn old holiday and gift cards into usable gift tags. There are "green alerts" with fun facts such as the town of Midland, Texas, stretching Arbor Day into Arbor Month this April with community tree plantings and cleanup projects.

Welcome to recyclezone, the site for schools, children and ... Although this site is called recyclezone, recycling is only one of the things we can do

Sustainability resource for kids providing fun and entertaining ways to learn how to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink in the areas of waste, water, ...

Find out what happens to garbage and why recycling is important. Includes a game and other activities.

US Environmental Protection Agency's site for kids. Lots of fun and interesting things to read and do to learn about the environment.

Kids Recycle! is a project of the GrassRoots Recycling Network.

This interactive Web site is designed to teach children about the importance of recycling and solid waste management (or how we take care of our garbage!).

Welcome to The Earth Day Groceries Project, one of the oldest and largest educational activities on the Internet. Earth Day is on April 22....every year.


Encouraging young people to take personal action to nurture and protect a healthy environment on which all life depends. Action for nature... Click here

Welcome to the Illinois EPA's Envirofun web site. Captain Earthworm, Captain Redbird and Captain Bluegill will show you how you can protect earth's air, land and water. 

There are more fun games, recycling facts and educational activities inside.It is FREE to join ROSCOE's Recycle Room.

Air, You & Your Environment, Clubhouse, Art Room, Science Room, Game Room, Trophy Case, Water, Plants & Animals, Garbage & Recycling.

Puffy the Puffer's Fun Facts Activity Book - Coral Reefs - The Whale Kohola - Marine Debris - Fascinating facts about fish.

RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK: KIDS' CORNER

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2009 15:36
 

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