Earth Day is right around the corner. Every year on April 22, earth-conscious people around the world celebrate the planet we live on through special events and actions. During these events, many others are made aware of their impact on the Earth, and make vows to do better in the coming year.
Earth Day….every day
Even if we are completely aware of our environmental impact and make conscious decisions to tread lightly on Mother Earth, we need to do our part by passing on our wisdom. One way we can do this is by teaching children about the environment and how they can do their part to protect it.
Since my daughters were tiny, I have made it a high priority to educate them about our planet and their duty to protect it. I have seen the fruits of my labor come to fruition as I see them educate their friends – and even other adults – about making eco-conscious decisions.
Children are like little sponges and soak up information. Now is the time to teach them. Now is the time to share your knowledge. Now is the time to make a difference.
You need to know how to relate this information to them on a level they can understand though. There are many activities for celebrating Earth Day that kids will enjoy learning from. Crafting is one of those key activities. Kids learn through play, and crafting is a wonderful act of experiential play they can learn quickly from.
Since it’s Earth Day we’re talking about, I’ve put together a list of 5 simple Earth Crafts that you can do with your children. I suggest participating and making your own. Crafting side by side with your children is a great bonding tool, and they’re more likely to hear your message if you’re actively participating in the activity with them. While you’re doing the crafts, make sure you talk about why you’re focusing on Earth crafts and pass on your lessons of being a good steward to the Earth.
Paper Plate Earth Day Craft
Paper plate Earths make for a great Earth Day craft. All you need is some paper plates, blue and green construction paper, scissors and glue. If you’re like us, you always have materials like these on hand. You can either print out a picture of Earth or look at one online together. Then challenge your kids to recreate what they see in the picture with their crafting supplies. They’ll need to cut out shapes that look like land masses and water. I always love to see the unique character of each child’s creation.
Tissue paper “stained glass” Earth Day craft
If you like the idea of the paper plate Earth craft, but want something with a bit more depth to it, try this tissue paper “stained glass” Earth craft. You’ll need blue and green tissue paper, clear contact paper (or wax paper and glue). You’ll also need a picture of Earth for your kids to emulate. Start by tearing the tissue paper into small pieces. Cut out a circle shape from the contact paper (or cut the wax paper and coat it with glue). Then have your child arrange the tissue paper pieces to look like the water and land masses on the Earth image. Once they’re done with the tissue paper, seal it with another piece of contact paper (or glue-coated wax paper). You can punch a hole in the top and hang it with ribbon or tape it to a window.
Paper mache Earth Day craft
When I was a kid, one of my favorite crafts we did in class was paper mache. It’s the perfect way to create a fun Earth Day craft for kids. You’ll need a round balloon, plastic wrap, newspaper strips (torn into pieces 1-2” wide), paper mache paste and tempera or acrylic paint. Start by blowing up the balloon and tying a knot in it so it stays inflated. Wrap the balloon in plastic wrap (to prevent the newspaper from sticking to it). Next, dip the newspaper strips in the paper mache paste and adhere them to the plastic wrap-coated balloon. You may need to do one side at a time. Allow the layer to dry completely (it may take up to 24 hours), then repeat with 3-4 more layers. Once you have done as many layers as you’d like, hand your kids the paint and some paint brushes. You may need to have an actual globe or multiple pictures of Earth for them to see the full view of the planet.
Coffee filter Earth Day craft
It is amazing how many fun crafts for kids can be made with coffee filters! You’ll want to supervise your kids with this one or you may find your home newly colored with blue and green food coloring. All you’ll need for this simple craft is a picture of Earth, a coffee filter and blue and green food coloring. You’ll also want to do this craft on a non-porous surface so you don’t leave stains. Have your child take a look at the picture of Earth, then have them squeeze a couple drops of food coloring onto the coffee filter at a time. As the color spreads across the filter, they’ll get to see their creation come to life. Have them continue squeezing drops of food coloring onto the coffee filter until they’re happy with the outcome.
Mosaic Earth Day craft
This Earth craft is another fun one for kids of all ages. Start by cutting a circle out of an old cardboard box. Then cut out small squares of construction paper (blue, green, brown and white give a good color variety). You can do the cutting for younger children, or you can allow older children to do the cutting. Bigger squares will be easier for younger children and smaller squares will provide more detail for older children. Once you have all of the squares you need, let your child try to recreate Earth on the cardboard circle using the construction paper squares and glue.
Any one of these 5 Earth Crafts will make a great Earth Day celebration for your kids. Which one is your favorite?
Feature image credit: witittorn onkhaw / Shutterstock