It’s never too early to start talking with children about how they can help take care of our planet. With the nice weather and Earth Day approaching on April 22nd, now is the perfect time to take your little ones out and enjoy nature! Earth Day can include picking up litter in our neighbourhoods, and while it is important, trying to get your child to do it can be like pulling teeth. We have made a list of fun, child friendly Earth Day activities that will make both you and your children want to spend time outside and be more eco-friendly.
1. Wildflower Seed Bombs
Making this super simple recipe for wildflower seed bombs is the perfect way to beautify your outdoor space and encourage those little green thumbs. Simply soak some torn blue and green construction paper in water, add some seeds, press it into a ball, let it dry, and voilà! You have tiny little earths you can plant and will turn into beautiful flowers. This creative and colourful activity is guaranteed to be more fun than planting flowers the normal way.
2. Chalk Paint
When you live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), concrete is everywhere. What better way to beautify your front steps, driveway, or sidewalk than to make chalk art? Unfortunately, when chalk breaks or is used too much we can be left with these little ends that are hard to use, but with this activity you can turn broken pieces into a beautiful set of watercolour chalk paints. If you don’t have any leftover chalk you can still make your own set of chalk paints using cornstarch, water and food coloring – a sustainable and an exciting science experiment, too!
3. Decorate Your Own Grocery Bags
Over 1 billion disposable plastic bags being handed out in Canada each year, and these bags are detrimental to our environment. Reusable grocery bags have become a sustainable alternative, but are hardly exciting for children. A better way to teach your children about the importance of living a low-waste lifestyle is to decorate canvas bags together. There are many ways to go about this craft, including using fabric paints or scrap fabric pieces and Mod Podge, so get creative! Once you are done decorating your canvas bags, consider taking your children to a local farmer’s market to showcase the artwork, learn more about where their food comes from, and purchase sustainable locally grown food.
4. Superhero Cuffs
When you live with a family, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls are something you constantly recycle. Instead of tossing them in the recycling bin, consider making this easy craft that instantly turns your children into superheroes! Whether they imagine themselves to be a comic book hero or create their own protect-the-earth superhero, it’s a straightforward activity with some recycled toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls and construction paper. Although you don’t need to go outside to make this craft, it can definitely encourage your child to be a recycling hero we all need, and who knows, maybe it will lead to a clean-up mission?
5. Visit the Toronto Botanical Garden
If you are looking for something fun to do with your family on Saturday, April 27, why not head over to the Toronto Botanical Garden for their annual Earth Day Family Celebration? They will facilitate participation in nature related crafts, planting seeds and even riding a blender bike. Admission to this event is free but registration through their Eventbrite page is strongly recommended.
With these five easy Earth Day activities, both you and your child can get excited about taking care of our precious planet. Whatever you choose to do, try to get outside, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and use this time to nurture a love for the Earth in our future leaders.
If you’re looking for more information and activities, Earth Day Canada has an EcoKids section full of fantastic resources. Do you have any Earth Day traditions? Feel free to share your environmentally friendly activity ideas with us in the comments!