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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

7 Playful and Active Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Photo by woodleywonderworks (Flickr)

As parents, caregivers, and teachers, we must teach our kids to value, respect, and preserve our planet. Earth Day, held annually on April 22, offers an excellent opportunity to have fun and become more eco-friendly. Here's a list of seven playful ways we can celebrate Earth Day this year.

Walk in Nature

Appreciating nature is one of my family's favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day. Not only do we enjoy all of the beautiful sights of nature during our walk, but we also appreciate the opportunity to reconnect with the planet. We pick a local trail to explore, pack a picnic lunch, and plan a fun game. In past years, we've completed scavenger hunts, counted squirrels, and looked for objects in every color of the rainbow. This year, my girls want to illustrate our walk in their nature journal.

Park the Car

One of our neighbors challenged us to park the car for Earth Day this year. He suggested we ride the bus or carpool unless we can bike, skate, or walk where we want to go. My girls are excited about this idea because it's an active, fun, and eco-friendly way to reduce pollution and protect our planet.

Plant Something

Last year, my girls and I participated in a local tree-planting ceremony. This year, my girls decided to stick closer to home with their planting efforts and plan to fill our patio container garden with herbs and vegetables. My girls and I anticipate a tasty harvest and appreciate that the environmental benefits of growing food include reducing our carbon footprint.

Declutter the House

As part of our annual Earth Day celebration, my girls and I make an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We evaluate our purchases over the past year and brainstorm ways to buy less stuff. We also look for ways to repurpose items we already own. For example, scarves can double as belts, and mugs can store pencils, makeup brushes, or silverware. Finally, we donate gently used, unwanted clothing, toys, and household items to charity. Each of these three actions benefits the environment and equips my girls with positive habits that support future conservation.

Complete Recycled Craft Projects

Every April, my girls collect unusual items we might otherwise throw away, such as boxes, string, bread bag ties, and empty cans. They use these items to create unique works of art on Earth Day. This fun project exercises my girls' creativity and reduces the amount of trash we throw away.

Pick Up Litter

Even though our city officials prioritize trash removal, we always find litter on the ground as we walk around town. That's why we grab trash bags, put on gloves, and pick up trash on Earth Day. Our efforts spruce up our neighborhood and remove harmful litter that endangers wildlife, contaminates groundwater, and spreads disease.

Attend a Local Earth Day Event

Many communities, including ours, host Earth Day events that raise awareness for our beautiful environment. In recent years, we've participated in a local wildflower planting ceremony, e-waste recycling demo, and park cleanup project. We enjoy attending these events where we learn new ways to protect our plant and celebrate Earth Day with our neighbors and community.

Earth Day provides parents, caregivers, and teachers with a unique opportunity to teach our kids to appreciate our planet and to establish eco-friendly habits. This year, consider participating in one of these seven activities. What other playful Earth Day activities do you recommend?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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