Each year on April 22, people around the world observe Earth Day. Earth Day is a celebration of our incredible planet and an annual reminder that it’s our duty to protect it. As adults, it’s critical that we teach our youngest citizens the meaning behind Earth Day to inspire them to appreciate and be good stewards of the Earth for generations to come.
Instilling an appreciation for our planet doesn’t have to be hard. You can even start in your own backyard. Explore five activities you and your little ones can try this year to celebrate Earth Day.
Make Recyclable Arts and Crafts
Sometimes your recycling has the best materials for arts and crafts. During arts and crafts time, make sure to talk with your children about the importance of recycling in protecting our limited resources, preventing trash buildup, and ground pollution.
Grow Something Together
Find a patch of open soil in your yard and grow something. When picking your plants, it’s important that you seek out species that are native to Maryland. Native plants help promote biodiversity—the number and variety of species living in a certain area. By adding native plants to your garden, you can provide shelter and food for wildlife and help pollinators.
Don’t have a green thumb? Come volunteer at Civic Works to support our team’s farming efforts. At Civic Works, we invite families out to our urban farm to help us grow healthy and sustainable food for Baltimore’s communities.
Go on an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is always a fun and interactive way to get the little ones outside and exploring.
Some things you might include in your Earth Day scavenger hunt:
After the hunt, use your walk back to discuss why it’s so important for us to continue to care for and nourish planet Earth.
Plant a Tree
It’s estimated that 15 billion trees are cut down every year. While this might seem like an obvious one for Earth Day, it’s a tremendously important act that will make a lasting impact. Teaching your child to care for a single tree will hopefully inspire them to extend that care to the greater environment. Each year following your planting, track the tree’s growth and take pictures as the tree changes with the seasons.
Start an Energy Challenge
You can find more ways to care for the earth than simply planting trees. Encourage your kids to go green with an energy challenge. Make it a game and award points to your children every time they do a simple task to reduce energy. These tasks can include:
- Walking or biking to close destinations.
- Turning off lights in unoccupied rooms.
- Unplugging unused devices.
While you can find many fun activities to do on Earth Day, arguably the most important lesson for kids is how to establish these practices in their everyday routines to help make the planet a better, cleaner place for years to come.
Becka Lee is the volunteer and conservation programs coordinator at Civic Works, a Baltimore nonprofit dedicated to strengthening Baltimore’s communities through education, skills development and community service.