Earth Day Activities for Kids

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Earth Day Activities for Kids

April 16, 2024

Happy Earth Day!

At Melissa & Doug, we take our commitment to sustainability seriously. 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 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.

BONUS: Check out our Made to Re-Love printables with gift tags to inspire you and your child to re-gift toys you've loved! 

For more toy-related goodness from Melissa & Doug, follow the links below:

Shop All Melissa & Doug Arts & Crafts

Shop Melissa & Doug

Explore Melissa & Doug’s Living Playfully Blog

Use the Melissa & Doug Gift Finder