Celebrated in more than 192 countries, Earth Day on April 22nd is chance to be thankful for the world in which we live, understand it better, and raise awareness of environmental factors.
Get your children involved with the Earth Day inspired games and activities.
Learning About The Earth's Structure The night before your planned Earth Day activities, make Earth play dough balls. Start with a small red ball, then wrap a layer of orange around it, then yellow, then black, and finally blue. Leave the green play dough off for your children to do the next day. Keep the balls wrapped in a food bag to stop them drying out. The first part of the activity with the children is to decorate the Earth balls with pieces of green land. Have them roll the green dough out, then cut the shapes and place them on the globe. Use photos and 3D models of the Earth to help them position the land correctly. This is great for fine motor skills, and for learning about the Earth's landscape. Then when the children think the game is over and their work is done, ask them to cut their balls in half (not all will want to do this, so you might have to use your own model to demonstrate). You can then talk through the layers that make up the inside of the Earth.
Learning About Recycling Recycling is a tough concept for little children to understand, so help them make sense of it with this craft activity. Take some old newspapers and craft paper scraps, and tear them into tiny pieces, before adding some water. When the mixture is pulpy and well mixed together, and adult needs to blend the mixture with a hand blender to get it really runny. Next the mixture needs to be spread out over a fine mesh to drain the water out, or a sieve will do. Use a cotton tea towel to press the mixture down and squeeze the water out. Then turn the pulp out onto a flat surface and leave to dry into small pieces of paper. The next day these pieces can be cut into shapes or coloured.
Earth Day Bingo Make up bingo cards with sights and sounds you might find locally. Sit at the top of the climbing frame or slide, listen and look very carefully to see how many items you can check off. After 5 or 10 minutes, you might need to climb down and go on a walk to tick of the last remaining items.
Earth Day Scavenger Hunt Like bingo, but you will need to retrieve things too. If you have a big box, or breathable container you can add insects to the list of items you need to track down.
Taking Care Of Mother Nature Think of one thing you can do to help the Earth and its inhabitants, and take a pledge to do it for the rest of the year. Maybe you can commit to feeding your neighbourhood birds, growing a tree, or recycling more of your waste. Give your children some options and talk through their ideas too, before writing an action plan and pledge together.