Spring is the season of growth and sustainability. And Earth Day is a day to teach our children about the importance of recycling, conserving water, and how to “go green.” After all, our children are the future, so why show them how to take care of this beautiful world we live in? To help, here are some great family friendly Earth Day activities.
Earth Day Activities for the Family
Reduce, reuse and recycle is the standard Earth Day motto. In addition to the typical Earth Day activities, such as planting trees and picking up parks, there are other ways to make a difference.
Make Bird Feeders
You’ve probably done this at camp when you were young. It is a go-to nature activity, but one that is great for Earth Day! It can be as easy as a toilet paper roll covered in peanut butter and bird seed to something as complex as carving a small log into a feeder.
Making a bird feeder is a great way to spend some quality time with your kids and to teach them how to reuse items in the home that may not get used much anymore. Whatever you choose to do your kids will enjoy the lasting benefits of watching the birds come flocking to their feeders!
There are so many ways to inspire others and learn from others. For example, many children’s books discuss conservation, such as how to care for animals, the impact of nature and why recycling matters.
Make Earth Day the day that you and your children read one of those books (or a few!) and do an activity that will help connect the book and its content to real life.
Just a couple of examples are Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber. This is a great book to read to your kids right now since the honey bees are suffering a massive drop in their population. Read this book and then take your children on a scavenger hunt to raise their awareness of how important these creatures are to our planet.
Homemade Wrapping Paper
Spring seems to be the season of birthday parties, and let’s face it, wrapping paper is extremely wasteful (and expensive). You spend at least five to ten dollars, if not more, on pretty paper that you might only use a quarter of, and then the gift receiver rips it off without even admiring how shiny it is, and tosses it away like it was nothing. Why spend all that time picking out the paper and spending money it, after you’ve already bought a gift?
The solution? Wrap gifts in homemade and recycled wrapping paper.
There are so many different ways you can do this, and many of them are great for kids. Start with a brown paper bag. If you don’t have brown paper bags, use old newspaper. No newspaper? Use old clothing. Anything can be turned into wrapping paper. Next decorate the wrapping paper. A wonderful way to decorate is to attach foam animals to a rolling pin, dip in paint, and let your child do the rest! You can also do something similar by giving your kids stamps to decorate the paper with. Your kids will love adding their own flair to the wrapping, and the environment will love your resourcefulness!
Earth Day Activities for the Future
Many Earth Day activities teach us (and our kids) about making a difference in the future. Planting trees will not mature until decades in the future, so we learn that our actions today impact our children (or grandchildren) tomorrow. As homeowners, there are other ways we can make a difference in the future as well.
Home Energy Conservation
It’s never too early to start learning about how to conserve energy in the home and learning how to be more energy efficient. For example, teach your kids the importance of saving power in the home.
Things like using fans instead of the air conditioning on days that may not be as hot, is a good way to save energy. Another way to teach them to save energy is to talk about electricity.
Teaching them to turn off the lights when they don’t need them, or unplugging appliances when they’re finished with them, or closing the fridge after they’ve raided it will help considerably with saving energy.
The absolute best way to teach a child anything, is to lead by example. If you want your child to learn how to conserve energy, then you need to be doing it as well. If you tell your kids not to waste water, and then you take an hour long shower, you aren’t really setting a good example.
Be sure to keep your home in great shape by scheduling an appointment with a home energy contractor today!
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Use Less Paper and Plastic
While there are certain paper items you may not be able to replace (toilet paper) there are some others in the house that you and your children might be using a little too much of. Namely, paper towels and napkins.
It may seem convenient to simply tear a chunk of paper off the roll and wipe up a spill, but it is a very wasteful way to take care of a mess. This is especially true for kids who tend to use a lot more than they need.
While you will need to wash these towels and use water, you can use these towels a few times before having to toss them in the wash, whereas your paper versions need to be thrown in the garbage after one use.
As for plastic, just stop using it or try to cut back because it doesn’t break down. Although there may be some plastic that cannot be avoided like piping in the home, but things like plastic straws, cups, utensils, bags, etc. are unnecessary and harmful to the planet. If there is anything you can do for your kids this Earth Day it is to teach them not to use plastic.
Have a fresh and sunny Earth Day!