15 Earth Day Activities for Kids

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15 Earth Day Activities for Kids

April 18, 2023

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Happy Earth Day! 

Happy Earth Day from Melissa & Doug

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15 Playful Ideas for the Planet

Want to do your part at home to help protect the planet? Here are some eco-friendly activities you can take on as a family — for Earth Day and beyond.

Earth Day Play Tip #1: Develop an appreciation for nature
  • Go for a nature walk. Take a walk in a green space and discuss the birds, flowers, and other natural wonders you see. Visit a national or state forest, take a hike, and climb trees together. (If you don’t live near a National Park to visit, they offer virtual tours online.) Spending time outdoors is the perfect way for kids to build appreciation for it.
  • Plant something. Plant flowers (perennials), trees, plants, or a vegetable garden at home. You can always start with a play garden first that just lets kids explore and get their hands dirty!
  • Get educated. Read books about nature such as the Melissa & Doug Natural Play trio of books, “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, “Alba and The Ocean Cleanup” by Lara Hawthorne, and “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World” by Melanie Walsh.
  • Watch something sprout. Plant wheat or chia seeds in a jar to show kids what happens when they sprout!
Earth Day Play Tip #2: Reduce and conserve at home 
  • Layer up. Feeling a little chilly? Try putting on a sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat.
  • Lights off. Ask kids to help turn off lights around the house when not in use.
  • Get kids recycling. Sort and recycle materials as your local municipality offers; make it a game to get kids to help!
  • Save water. Remind kids to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Better yet, have kids make a sign to hang up near the faucet as a reminder. At bath time, use less water; older kids, take shorter showers. And ALL kiddos, use cooler water.
  • Start composting. Create a DIY/homemade compost bin for your garden and plants; it reduces and reuses food waste, and transforms other biomatter into natural food and fertilizer. You can start with this preschooler-friendly composting activity that uses a recycled soda bottle as the composter!
Earth Day Play Tip #3: Repurpose old items to give them new life
  • Spring clean the toy box… Do a toy box audit with your kids—recycle the broken and unwanted items, upcycle what you can (check out these inspiring ideas for giving longer life to Melissa & Doug wooden trays), and donate or pass along playthings they’ve outgrown.

  • …And the closet, too. Turn old T-shirts into tote bags, quilts, dog toys, woven rugs, and more.Transform old socks into hand puppets.

  • Get creative with cardboard. Take a cardboard box and magically create a city, castle, car, or rocket ship.

  • Repurpose the plushies. Use outgrown or unwanted stuffed plush toys as filler for bean bag seating.

  • Collect their crayons. Collect all their old and/or broken crayons, put them in silicon molds that go in the oven and voila—custom-made, multi-color crayons you can re-use or gift.

Earth Day Printable Activities for Kids

    Let's Get Organized

    Directions: Color the items and draw lines from each item to the bin that it belongs to! Be sure to recycle this piece of paper when done!

    Melissa & Doug Let's Get Organized Printable
    Get this printable

    Earthly Activities

    Directions: Color the picture and complete the word search! When you're done playing, be sure to put it in the recycle bin!

    Melissa & Doug Earthly Activities Printable

    Get this printable

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