Innovative Earth Day Activities For Kids
Earth Day is held on April 22nd every year and is a day to celebrate our Earth and promote responsible Earth stewardship. With the significant impact of Climate Change on our world, it is becoming increasingly important that we embrace Earth Day, celebrate it, educate ourselves and make positive change for the whole year. Here are a few Earth Day ideas and activities you can do with the kids.
Fun Earth Day Activities
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Earth Day is such an important day to mark with kids. As our planet faces the effects of climate change, it is more important than ever that we raise kids who understand how to be strong stewards of our planet.
With one memorable activity for Earth Day you could effect change that will last a lifetime.
In 2023 Earth Day will be celebrating its 53rd anniversary. It is going to be a massive, global event that I hope children, and adults, will be celebrating together and making permanent, positive changes for our planet.
Here are some ideas to help your kids pick their first Earth Day project. Whether they are in Elementary, Middle School, or High School, kids of all ages should always be learning more about our planet and Mother Nature.
Greenhouse Effect Science Experiment
This experiment is a brilliant way to demonstrate the heat capturing effects of carbon dioxide gas and global warming. Kids will see for themselves how simply changing the balance of gases in the area leads to great heat capture, and a warmer Earth. Use this experiment as a fantastic jumping off point for more discussions around climate change.
Acid Rain Experiment
The impact of acid rain on our waterways, ecosystems and planet is talked about a lot, and in this experiment we are exploring the impact of acid rain on plant life. It is a simple Acid Rain experiment with a big impact that will have your Earth Warriors gaining a greater understanding of this important issue affecting Earth.
Build a Rain Gauge
In the previous experiment we learned about acid rain, now let’s collect some rain in the backyard and learn the importance of tracking rainfall as part of our studies into climate change and protecting Earth. In this STEM project, kids build a simple rain gauge and learn more about rain and the weather patterns where they live. Use a recycled plastic bottle that you saved from the landfills and talk about the importance of recycling.
Water Cycle Experiment
Keep building knowledge and understanding of natures cycles by doing this simple science experiment in a jar demonstrating how the water cycle works. This is a great project for your preschool, kindergarten, and younger scientists. It also makes a wonderful classroom demonstration. Use this project to explore the importance of water conservation.
Oil Spill Cleanup Experiment
A big threat to our marine environments is pollution and oil spills. In this hands on experiment, students learn about why oil spills happen, how they are cleaned up, then get to try some oil spill cleanup work themselves using skimmers, booms and dispersants. This Oil Spill Cleanup Experiment is a fantastic way to get hands on with environmental science.
What a better way to celebrate Earth Day than to do some water testing in a Water Lab. Select a few sources both inside and outside and test the water using easily accessible materials to see how the quality of the water varies. This is a fantastic classroom project to learn more about water pollution. Why not include testing some of the rain you caught in the rain gauge we suggest building earlier in this article?
Water Pollution Experiment
In the previous experiment we learned a bit about water pollution. In this experiment we see first hand the effect water pollution has on plant life. The results of this experiment blew us away and had a huge impact on the kids and their understanding of how plants drink, and how the quality of the water affects them.
Seed Bombs and Launcher DIY
Earth Day is a perfect time to make Wildflower Seed Bombs and Launchers to help rewild areas, plus provide vital habitats for pollinators and insects. Learn how easy it is to make Seed Bombs, plus kids will LOVE building our seed bomb launchers. Then over the summer watch as your wildflowers blossom and see how it impacts the soil quality and attracts insects and wildlife.
Recycled Craft Paper Seed Paper and Seed Bombs
Take all those scraps of craft paper and turn them into gorgeous seed paper and seed bombs for students to plant this summer!
This recycling project is a wonderful, eco-friendly project, and a great way to use all of that colourful craft paper that is in your scrap bins. You can make recycled seed paper and seed bombs with wildflowers, herbs and even vegetables.
Make a Bird Feeder
These DIY bird feeder projects are the perfect activity for kids to get creative and enjoy the results of their work. Not only will they provide a home to protect native bird life, but it will provide kids with the opportunity to study and learn about the wild birds that live in their area. You can build a simple DIY Peanut Butter Bird Feeder or get creative with a bird feeder STEM challenge.
Make Milk Bioplastics
Making milk plastic is such an easy and fun activity and one of our favourite Earth Day projects. We have done it many times and the kids are always thrilled with the results. Milk plastic is also known as Casein Plastic and is a bioplastic.
Bioplastics Science From the Pantry
We were so excited by how well this project turned out. As much as we love our milk plastic experiments, we really enjoyed making a clear gelatin bio-plastic.
Layers of the Earth Soap DIY
Learn the layers of the Earth making this gorgeous soap and learn how to be a little more environmentally friendly by making your own soaps at home. Not only will you save money, but you will also be doing something good for the planet. This is one Earth Day craft for kids that is actually good for the environment!
Want more Layers of the Earth activities? Check out this article for ideas.
Explore How Pollution Spreads
Recently we were doing our Magic Milk experiment. One of the things we tried was to create a Magic Milk Earth. Then just to see what happened, about 2 minutes after the reaction started, we added one drop of pink to our blue-green Earth. The results were fascinating and showed how that one drop moved and spread all over. Check out this video to see how it all happened. If you can’t see this video, watch it on the STEAM Powered Family YouTube Channel.
Build a Windmill
Exploring sustainable energy sources so we can decrease our reliance on fossil fuels is important. This activity is tied into a fantastic book, and kids get to build a windmill that actually works.
Earthquake Experiment and STEM Challenge
Shake it up with a fun, hands on STEM lesson about Earthquakes. In this challenge students learn about Earthquakes and how earthquakes happen. Then they build a Shake Table, Seismograph and do an engineering design challenge to build earthquake resistant structures out of Lego and recycled cardboard.
Earth Day Stop Motion Animation STEM Project
Put that love of technology to use making PSAs and animations celebrating our planet and Earth Day. This Earth Day Stop Motion Animation STEM Project is fantastic for students from Elementary to High School. For more advanced students, they can make animations to help demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key Earth Day and Climate Change issues.
Make Homemade Paper
Take all those paper scraps from your classroom and crafting projects and use them to make parchment paper that is perfect for crafting, gift tags, cards and so much more. You can even use the paper as a really cool back drop for your Stop Motion projects. This is a great way to reuse and reduce for Earth Day.
Solar Heat Experiment
Next to wind power, another important energy source to explore is solar power. In this activity we explore solar heat. This is another great project for the classroom! Have all the kids bring in cans from home, and see how big you can build your Solar Chimney.
Build a Natural Battery
Harness the natural energy around us by building a battery from potatoes. Research is currently on going to try and make this a sustainable energy source in places where electrical power is hard to access.
Potatoes aren’t the only thing you can build batteries from, you can also build batteries with Lemons and even Pumpkins! We built our Harvest Fruit battery with pumpkins and squash we grew in our own garden.
Chromatography Earth Day Craft
This easy coffee filter Earth experiment is perfect for creating some stunning Earth Day crafts. From Earth Day posters and models of the Earth, to flowers and butterfly crafts, this project is an easy experiment and art project that is perfect for decorating the home or classroom for Earth Day.
Eco-Friendly Ocean Sensory Bin
Young kids will love playing in this environmentally friendly sensory bin with a sea turtle and ocean theme! Made with water beads, this sensory bin is an amazing sensory experience. Plus, after you are done playing, the water beads will help keep your plants hydrated. It also is a great lesson in polymers for older kids, who will also enjoy playing!
One way to connect with nature is to learn more about the lifecycles of plants, animals and insects. By learning more about nature and its natural cycles, we can raise a generation that will work to protect vulnerable species and respect these natural rhythms.
You can also make a wonderful model of the lifecycles of butterflies.
Or the lifecycle of lady bugs!
Earth Day Printable
If you are looking for some printable worksheets to do with the kids for Earth Day, check out our Earth Day Fun with Words Challenge.
Or learn more about Renewable Resources.
Ever wonder how Wind Turbines work? Learn more about this ecofriendly energy source in our Wind Turbine printable pack.
Studying Biomes is a fantastic addition to an Earth Day lesson plan.
Head off the mainland and explore the oceans this Earth Day with our Oceanography lesson pack.
Free Layers of the Earth Printable
Members of the STEAM Powered Family mailing list can access this Layers of the Earth printable lap book activity.
More Earth Day Activities
Community Clean up
Around here this time of year is always so gross. We haven’t seen the ground under all the snow since last October. Over 6 months the build up of garbage is crazy. And now all that snow has melted, we see all that filth. Get the kids out helping to clean up that trash! All you need is some garbage bags and some gloves then head out on a nature walk and start cleaning! The school yard or a local park is a great place to start.
Recycle or Composting Plant Tours
Do you know what happens to all that stuff you drop off a eco-stations or place in the recycling bins? Often you can arrange tours of the local recycling center. Learning how items are recycled, what they are recycled into, and how the whole system works, will help arm kids with the right information to recycle effectively.
Plant Trees or Flowers or a Vegetable Garden
We know the power of trees to help clean our air, so plant a few trees for Earth Day and make it an annual tradition. Another great idea is to start a little flower garden or even better, a vegetable garden. Growing your own vegetables helps kids understand where their food comes from and how to be sustainable by growing their own or buying locally grown goods. Plus, we always love making seed bombs and rewilding the edges of our yards and areas that have become barren.
Consume Less Energy
Challenge kids to use less energy. Can they walk or bike or bus to school? What about all those lights in the classroom or their bedrooms, can you turn some off? Maybe by simply opening the curtains you can let in enough light you don’t need artificial lighting. How can you reduce the amount of energy you are consuming on a daily basis? Challenge kids to come up with some solutions.
Earth Day Library
Here are a few of our favourite titles to have our on school bookshelf for Earth Day.