Here's a great collection of Earth Day projects for kids. Pick one or pick 'em all. Just make sure you do something with your kids this Earth Day. Check out these six ideas:
1) Plant a vegetable garden in an old tire. Before you begin, you can lay down some landscaping cover or mulch in the area where you plan to put your tire on the ground. It will help prevent weeds from growing into the tire.
Now, take your tire and clean it out to make sure there’s no oil or other gunk inside. After a thorough rinse, put the tire where you want to grow the garden.
Fill the tire with dirt, topsoil and, optionally, some plant food. Let the children pick out seeds to plant and help them dig holes in the dirt. Tomatoes and peppers are always good choices.
After planting the seeds, teach kids about watering the plants and let them tend to the plants throughout the growing season.
2) Make crayon leaves. Take two pieces of wax paper, place one on top of the other and cut out a leaf shape. You should end up with two identical wax paper leaves.
Shave yellow and green crayons using a plastic knife or pencil sharpener. Place the crayon shavings onto one of the pieces of wax paper.
Take the second piece of wax paper and place it on top of the crayon shavings, making sure the bottom and top leaves match each other like a sandwich.
Press a warm iron onto the top piece of wax paper to melt the crayon shavings. Naturally, an adult should handle the iron.
Hang your new creation near a window and watch it sparkle in the sunlight.
3) Make a pinecone bird feeder. This is one of the easiest and most popular Earth Day projects for kids.
First, tie a piece of yarn around the small end of a pinecone.
Next, spread peanut butter around the edge of the pinecone and then roll the cone in birdseed.
Lastly, hang the cones in a tree and watch the birds come.
4) Play ‘trash detectives.’ Here’s a great educational activity to learn about how much waste we create in our homes.
Begin in the morning by taking four paper grocery bags and labeling them plastic, paper, glass and metal. Grab a plastic grocery bag and label it food.
Keep track of the trash throughout the day by placing every piece of trash your family produces into the appropriate bag.
At the end of the day, count the items in each bag and then talk about how the family could make less trash in the future.
5) Make napkin rings from toilet paper rolls. This is a great exercise to learn about re-using household items.
First, cut the toilet paper rolls into smaller pieces, about an inch wide.
Next, paint the rolls or cover them with wall paper.
Lastly, use glue to attach shells, dried beans, macaroni or buttons onto the front of each roll.
6) Grow alfalfa sprouts. You can find alfalfa sprouts in any health food store and they grow pretty quickly indoors. The kids can see the ‘vegetables’ of their labors within a week.
For this project, you will need alfalfa sprout seeds, a plastic soda bottle with the top cut off, water and a dish towel or similar fabric.
Place two tablespoons of seeds into the soda bottle. Cover with water and let it soak overnight.
In the morning, drain the water and then cover the top of the bottle with the dish towel. Leave the bottle in a warm, dark place overnight.
Rinse the seeds once every 24 hours by pouring water into the bottle, swirling the seeds and then draining through the dish towel.
After three to five days, the sprouts should be ready to eat.
More kids' Earth Day resources
Here are a few books that are popular Earth-Day-for-kids titles:
You can also check out these Mother Nature Network stories: