Earth Day is an awesome day to get into your craft closet. You know all those egg cartons and paper towel rolls you have been saving? This is the perfect time to explain recycling to your children and help them create crafts that represent the theme of the day.
If you haven’t been stashing away recyclables in your craft closet, dive into your recycle bin. This is an easy and frugal activity day, so make the most about teaching your children to take care of our environment.
Why is Earth Day Important?
Teaching our children to take care of the earth and their environment is a vital lesson that shouldn’t just be restricted to one day. Earth Day helps us to understand the necessary lifestyle changes that will help to make a positive impact throughout the year.
Our planet is known as the Blue Planet because of the immense amount of water that it holds. Because of this, the Earth boasts a vibrant and complex ecosystem where organisms can interact with each other and their environment. It’s important to teach children to take care of what is really a fragile place.
As information becomes more readily available, we have been learning how not taking care of the environment is affecting the earth. Children can learn that even the little things they are capable of can make a big difference in preserving the earth and its resources.
Earth Day Facts
- Once cover 14% of the earth's land surface with experts predicting that the remaining rainforest will disappear in les than 40 years.
- Every day, according to experts, we lose 137 animal, insect and plant species.
- Tons of pollution, including toxic chemicals is released into the air, water and land every year,
- It is important to celebrate Earth Day and to educate everyone about taking care of what we have as well as teach people what we are losing by acting in non-environmentally friendly and energy inefficient ways.
What is Earth Day?
Annually celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated all over the world with various events that demonstrate people’s support for protecting the environment. It was first celebrated in 1970 and today it is celebrated in over 193 countries and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.
Many places all over the earth celebrate Earth Week with a week full of activities centered on the world’s environmental issues. March for Science is happening in 2017 on Earth Day which will be followed by People’s Climate Mobilization on April 29.
Earth Day Accomplishments
Here are a few landmark accomplishments that may not have ever happened without Earth Day:
- The Environmental Protection Agency is established in 1970
- The Clean Air Act of 1970
- The Clean Water Act of 1972
- The Endangered Species Act of 1973
- The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
- The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act that is aimed at " in-plant pollution"
What Has Happened Since Then?
Succeeding Earth Days have helped to make people more aware of the importance of sustaining life in our fragile world and why it is important to actively protect our environment.
- Almost non-existent 40 years ago, many people now practice recycling
- We have now developed energy efficient forms of energy like CFL light bulbs
- Catalytic convertors became mandatory in 1975 for all cars in the U.S., plus new hybrid and electric cars have been developed
- Levels of acid rain have dropped in the U.S. by 65% since 1976 and SO2 emissions have been lowered by 40%
- We now have control of the depletion of the ozone layer
Getting Kids Involved and Excited about Earth Day
Children are learning new ideas every day, and they will be very influential in how the earth is treated in the future. They also want to help and please others, so they will be all about helping out the earth. This is a great teaching moment that we can pass on to our children and they can pass on to theirs.
One of the great things about Earth Day is that you can make changes for more than just that day. When you start to educate your family about Earth Day, you learn about activities that can be done all year long. You can learn great ways to conserve that can help reduce your energy bills and teach your children responsibility and how to implement change along the way.
It is easy to teach your children about turning off the light and using less water in an effort to conserve your resources and reduce fuel emissions. Turning off the faucet while they brush and taking walks or riding bikes instead of driving are easy lessons that the kids will remember.
Make a game out of looking for things around the house that you can reuse or use for craft projects. Also, accepting secondhand clothing and buying used household items can teach kids a valuable lesson on reusing things. Donating your still working items to organizations in need will also make an impact on how they view throwing things away.
You should already have a designated waste bin for recycling, if not, you need to get one. It is an easy concept to start with small children by creating small waste bins with magazine pictures of the recyclable items that go in them on the sides. This is a visual lesson that is easy for a young child to grasp and they will enjoy separating items like plastic and paper if you show them how.
Are you planning on celebrating Earth Day with your kids this year? If so, here are a few craft ideas that will help you plan a fun-filled celebration with your kids that will also help to teach them what the day is all about.
Earth Day is all about taking care of the earth. This watering can craft is made easily from an old milk jug that teaches kids about repurposing household items to become a useful pot for new plants, flowers, or even trees.
This fun-filled activity does require a template that the children are encouraged to paint with watercolors, so that you can still see the writing through the paint. It also encourages kids to think about different ways they can help the environment including recycling, composting, and planting trees.
Here is a simple and creative craft to use on Earth Day. Google eyes and small green and blue crepe paper squares are glued to a paper plate while arms and legs are attached to the sides. A cutout heart is placed on the crossed arms creating a delightful earth craft that is filled with love.
This Earth Day craft uses colored salt dough to create an awesome photo keepsake. Your child simply presses down with a handprint of a rolled out circle and a heart shaped cookie cutter to press out a hole in the center. Once it is baked, you have a thoughtful photo keepsake.
The Earth Day Tree craft is a good use of several recycled materials including cardboard. This craft not only allows children to explore their creativity, but also helps them learn about different trees as they decide on what tree to make.
Looking for a cute Earth Day craft that will also capture the size of their hands? This craft includes both of your child’s traced hands holding medium sized hearts that are painted blue and green. The cutout fingers are bent to look like they are holding the hearts and keeping them safe.
This is an easy paper plate craft that requires a little paint and some glue. Simply paint the plate blue and glue small pieces of green tissue paper for the continents, trace your child’s hand onto brown cardstock, and cut out a simple red heart to glue into the center.
This very easy and super inexpensive craft uses only coffee filters and markers. Children are encouraged to color the coffee filters with a blue marker and then lightly spray the filter with water to create a water effect. Green markers are used after the filter is dry to show the continents on earth.