As stewards of the planet, it’s essential to instill a love and appreciation for the environment in the next generation. Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beauty of our planet and teach our children the importance of conservation, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. From hands-on activities to educational projects, there are countless ways to engage your kids in Earth Day festivities while fostering a deeper connection with nature. 

Earth Day lands on April 22nd each year. The official theme for 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics.” 

Let’s explore a variety of creative and eco-friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kids!

Plant a Garden

There’s no better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting your hands dirty and planting a garden with your kids. Whether you have a spacious backyard or just a small balcony, gardening is a fun and educational activity that allows children to connect with nature and learn about the life cycle of plants. Depending on the seeds you pick, its usually best to plant after the last frost. But you can always start inside! Involve your kids in every step of the process, from preparing the soil and planting the seeds to watering, weeding, and harvesting the fruits of their labor. Not only will they develop valuable gardening skills, but they’ll also gain a greater appreciation for the natural world and the importance of sustainable food sources.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Take your kids on a nature scavenger hunt to explore the wonders of the great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of plant and animal life in your area. Create a list of items for your scavenger hunt, such as different types of leaves, flowers, rocks, insects, and wildlife. Encourage your kids to use their senses to observe, listen, touch, and smell their surroundings as they search for each item on the list. You can also add eco-friendly challenges, such as picking up litter or identifying native plants, to promote environmental awareness and conservation. Make sure to bring along a camera or smartphone to capture photos of the treasures you find along the way.

If you live in the Sioux Falls Area, you can go to the Outdoor Campus where they have a scavenger hunt sheet for prepared for you! 

Upcycled Crafts

Get creative with your kids and transform everyday household items into fun and eco-friendly works of art through upcycled crafts. Gather materials such as cardboard boxes, empty jars, paper towel rolls, and old magazines, and let your imagination run wild. From making bird feeders and insect hotels to creating recycled paper and DIY planters, there are endless possibilities for upcycled crafts that teach kids about the importance of reducing waste and reusing materials. Encourage your kids to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to repurpose items in innovative ways, fostering a sense of resourcefulness and environmental responsibility.

Outdoor Clean-Up Challenge

Make a positive impact on your local environment by organizing an outdoor clean-up challenge with your kids. Choose a park, beach, trail, or neighborhood area that could benefit from a little TLC, and gather your supplies, including gloves, trash bags, and recycling bins. Encourage your kids to take pride in their community and work together to collect litter, debris, and recyclables while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. You can turn the clean-up into a friendly competition by keeping track of how much trash and recycling you collect and rewarding the team with the most impressive haul. Not only will you be helping to protect the environment, but you’ll also be teaching your kids the importance of taking action and making a difference in their community.

Outdoor Adventure

Spend quality time with your kids in nature by embarking on an outdoor adventure that allows you to explore and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Whether it’s hiking through a scenic trail or picnicking in a local park, there are countless opportunities for outdoor recreation that promote physical activity, mental well-being, and environmental appreciation. Encourage your kids to unplug from screens and connect with the sights, sounds, and sensations of the great outdoors. Use this time to teach them about the delicate balance of ecosystems, the importance of conservation, and the wonders of biodiversity.

Check out our post on the importance of getting unplugged and outside here

Happy Earth Day, ‘hood Family!