10 Earth Day Activity Ideas For Meaningful & Engaging Play!
As I am sure you're already aware, being eco-friendly is very close to my heart and so we love to celebrate Earth Day each year. Of course, we try to do our bit all year round (I truly believe that if everyone made small, manageable changes it would have a huge collective impact!) but Earth Day is particularly special as we get to focus our play entirely on our wonderful planet!
So, with that in mind, this weeks blog is full of 10 Earth Day activity ideas to help you mark the occasion!
1) Create a home made puzzle!
A few minutes spent with a glue gun can create a wonderful activity that will last long after Earth Day has finished!
I created the one shown in the picture for Earth Day last year and it was pretty simple! I drew around some of our favourite Tenderleaf animals (focusing on ones that are endangered or have been impacted by global warming and climate change) and cut the shapes out. I then drew around a plate and cut that out too. Now, stick this piece of cardboard onto another and you will have an instant 3D puzzle! Finally, add some strips of cardboard to create a fillable Earth and you are ready to go!
All in all, the whole puzzle took about 20 minutes to create and kept Arlo engaged for hours!
You can view a video of how I made it here.
2) Make some Aquafaba!
If you eat tinned chickpeas, you can create an outstanding sensory experience with the part you'd normally throw away - the water!
Simply drain your chickpeas and keep the water to one side. Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar for every tin of chickpeas you are using. Whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks are formed. Add food colouring if using (why not make a batch of green and a batch of blue to create your very own sensory Earth!) and mix until combined.
This is a perfect resource and the best part is it uses something we would ordinarily throw away. What could be better for Earth day play?
3) Homemade bird feeders.
The best bit of this one is your little ones can get involved with the entire process!
Spread some peanut butter onto a pinecone (or, if you don't have any, you can cut a piece of cardboard and spread the peanut butter onto that). Afterwards, coat with bird seed by pressing the seed into the peanut butter. Hang in a tree for your garden birds to enjoy!
4) Plant some seeds!
Spend a few minutes on Earth day planting some seeds. Not only will they brighten up your home or garden, they'll teach your child the importance of caring for living things and why plants are necessary to life on Earth!
You could plant some sunflowers or for more instant results, cress!
5) Make Earth day crayons!
No one likes waste and Earth day is the perfect time to try a new form of recycling!
Simply grab some old crayons, remove any paper packaging and break into small chunks. Place them into a silicone mould and bake for 15-20 minutes at 250 degrees.
Once cooled you will have a set of brand new crayons, perfectly ready for some Earth Day art work!
6) Make an Earth Day piece of jewellery or ornament.
Make some salt dough (Mix 1 cupful of plain flour and half a cupful of table salt. Add half a cup of water and mix until a dough is formed).
Turn your salt dough into whatever you'd like! Flatten small pieces to make an Earth necklace (don't forget to poke a hole for the string before baking), create a 3D model of the Earth or whatever takes your fancy!
Once you've finished your design, bake on the lowest setting for about an hour. You may need to bake for longer if you have created thicker pieces (or place in the sun or under a radiator to save energy!)
Once cooled, decorate!
7) To recycle , or not to recycle, that is the question!
This is a great practical activity to help children understand the concept of waste!
Grab three boxes or baskets to act as bins and some household items. Sort the items into the correct bin by discussing if it is recyclable, household or garden waste. For older children, you could throw in some curve balls like batteries! Catkin Club members - you have a ready made version of this inside your Earth day pack!
8) Head outside and create some nature art!
Create some art work using items you've gathered around the garden or on a walk. It could be leaves, twigs, grass cuttings, pinecones or acorns... whatever you can get your hands on!
You can create your art work outside by drawing in the dirt with a stick and decorating or head back inside and create your masterpiece on paper!
9) Sort animals into land and sea. Or, you could sort by endangered and not.
For this activity, I gathered up some of our animal figures and created two sensory bins. One to represent land and one to represent sea.
The idea is to select an animal and decide where it belongs!
Depending on the age of your child, you could sort by so many different things - number of legs, location, plant or animal, zoo vs farm... the possibilities are endless!
Finally.... 10) Create your very own fairy garden!
Fairy gardens are an absolute delight. Not only do they bring a little magic into your garden, they are the perfect outdoor small world play. If you need to get some weeding done (or just want to enjoy a few minutes of peaceful sunshine) a fairy garden is a must have place to play!
Grab whatever you have in the garden and turn it into your very own fairy garden! You could use stones, sticks, wood... anything!
For your fairies, why not use peg dolls, toilet roll inners or even sticks!
I hope you found something to make your Earth Day extra special!
If you use one of our ideas, don't forget to tag us using @CatkinToys or #CatkinPlay! We love seeing your amazing play ideas!