Earth Day takes place on April 22 each year, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement. It’s a great time to talk with your kids about the importance of caring for our planet. Research shows that climate change becomes a bigger threat to us each day. It is more important than ever to teach our kids how to protect our most precious resources. In honor of this Earth Day I am sharing 10 ways you can celebrate Earth Day with your kids.
Clean up litter in your neighborhood
Put on some gloves, grab a bag, and get cleaning! This activity is best for older kids and can be turned into a game. See who can (safely) gather the most litter in 15 minutes.
Learn about the history of Earth Day
Pick up a couple of books focused on Earth Day (this page has a great list of multicultural kids book options). Then, read together! You can also mention the kids who are working to tackle climate change worldwide like Greta Thunberg, Xiye Bastida, and other inspiring young people.
Turn off the lights
Earth Day is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about where electricity comes from and how it could contribute to climate change. After that, see who can find the most opportunities to conserve energy on Earth Day. The winner gets to pick the next outdoor family activity!
Plant a tree or native plant
Spring is a perfect time to plant new plants in your yard. MSU Extension offers a great resource on the benefits of using native Michigan plants in your yard. Have your kids help pick out some native Michigan wildflower seeds or a native Michigan plant for your own yard. Plant it together on Earth Day and watch it grow all summer!
Go on a nature scavenger hunt
This can be as simple as making a list of things you can find outside and then going for a hike to find them. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, this resource from My Open Country is a fantastic guide for putting together a scavenger hunt (including free printable lists by age group) that your kids will never forget!
Have an earth-friendly picnic
A great way to get outside and into nature is to take lunch outdoors! You can keep it eco-friendly by:
- packing your picnic in reusable containers
- bringing reusable utensils, straws, and water bottles
- bringing cloth napkins
Bonus: Reduce your carbon footprint even more by preparing a vegan meal!
Take a hike
Lansing has TONS of great hiking spots! Pick one you’ve never been to before and spend an hour or two exploring. Looking for hikes in the Lansing area? Head to some our favorite hikes here.
Make recycled arts and crafts
Give some items a second life before tossing them into the recycling bin or trash can. As an example, glue together boxes, plastic containers, and aluminum cans to make sculptures, robots, a DIY Fairy Bridge, and even a marble roller coaster. You can have your kids paint their creations.
Meanwhile, talk about the “reuse” part of “recycle, reduce, reuse”. Have your kids offer other ideas for how to reuse items around the house before throwing them away!
Go for a bike ride
A family bike ride is a great way to get outside and get active. As a bonus, you can explore your community without creating any pollution. Additionally, you can talk with your kids about lower-impact forms of travel like carpooling, biking, and public transportation while you’re at it. Check out our piece on biking the Lansing River Trail too!
Lead by example
Make every day Earth Day! While much of Gen Z is already working harder than any generation before them to slow climate change, the education and action starts at home. So, be sure you’re implementing eco-friendly practices into your home every day and talking about the impact they can have. Instilling a love for our planet and a drive to care for it in our kids ensures we’re creating a better future for everyone.