What fun Earth Day activities do you use with kids in the classroom to celebrate the holiday? I think Earth Day can be celebrated not only on the holiday, but also throughout the school year. The Internet is filled with activities and ideas that could last the whole school year. I’d like to share some fun ways that my school and our first grade team have celebrated the holiday in the past.
🌎 Earth Day Books
First, I recommend starting with Earth Day books for kids. After reading the books aloud to the class, place a basket at your library center with the Earth Day and ecology books you’ve read, so your students can peruse, read, and reference them. So all your students have access to the texts, you’ll want to include books with a variety of reading levels.
I’ve used these informational books in the past:
Have you seen this book? It’s great to use as an introduction to an Earth Day unit. Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard is a short chapter/picture book. Trina, the main character, tells all about how Earthlings can take care of the earth all year long.
I Am Earth by Rebecca and James McDonald is another useful book to use as an introduction to Earth Day. It explains why it is important to take care of the earth and gives suggestions for activities for kids.
Books about taking care of the earth by Cecilia Minden, PhD are perfect resources to keep in your classroom library. I think your students will enjoy the large, colorful photographs. The print is large and at a reading level appropriate for most of the students in my first grade classes.
Here’s a list of more Cecilia Minden books for your classroom library:
- Kids Can Use Less
- Kids Can Clean Up Trash
- Kids Can Keep Air Clean
- Kids Can Reuse
- Kids Can Keep Water Clean
After reading informational books, you can supplement your study with Earth Day Writing Activities. It’s a NO PREP and FREE resource filled with writing activities for first and second graders.
Get free lessons!
🌎 Earth Day Project Activities for Kids
Our first grade team worked together to create a Recycled Craft Project for all of our first grade students.
First, we sent a letter to our parents explaining the projects. We assigned the activity as a homework project. Then, the students created a craft or something useful from a recyclable. This is an example of the letter:
After, we sent home this form for the students to complete. Specifically, students named their project and wrote about the materials they used, as well as, explained the use of their recyclable craft.
In addition, to help students and parents with project examples and ideas, we sent home a list of websites to visit:
The recycled craft project printables are ready for you to use. Simply view the example letter, add text to the letter template, and print it along with the student form.
Lastly, we set up all the first grade projects in our multipurpose room and invited the classes and parents to view the projects. Then, students used their project forms to help explain their projects to visitors. Overall, it was fun and exciting to see all the clever and creative ideas! Subsequently, these were a few of the submitted projects:
Craft Project Examples
- Panda Bank – Ears are the bottoms of cups and the eyes are made from the lids.
- Flower Bouquet – Flower petals are made from cardboard egg cartons and the grass and stems are made from plastic Easter grass and straws.
- Bottle Game – Watch the marbles travel thru this one – a BIG HIT with the kids!
- Aluminum Can Dog – Your very own pet made out of recycled aluminum cans!
- Aluminum Can Train – How clever is this? You can even see the people and animals peering thru the windows of the train.
- Binoculars – How practical! All the kids had to look thru these!
🌎 Schoolwide Earth Day Activity
In the past, our Parent Teacher Organization has recruited people from the community that are associated with earth-friendly organizations to set up displays and presentations at school for a schoolwide Earth Day.
- Beekeeper: We had a beekeeper come wearing a bee suit and hood. She explained the importance of bees to the environment.
- Nature Center: Volunteers from the local nature reserve set up a booth to educate the children about the wildlife that live in the neighborhood.
- School Garden: Volunteers from the school garden had students plant seeds and spoke to them about the plants growing in the garden.
In addition, the Parent Teacher Organization enlisted volunteers who wrote Earth Day sayings on the sidewalks throughout the school with colored chalk. Classroom teachers had their students create “Save the Earth” posters. Because we wanted everyone to see and enjoy the posters, we displayed them on the walls of the school buildings.
As a result of holding the Earth Day activities after school on our early dismissal day, parents were able to experience the activities with their children. Summing up, it was an especially great way to involve the community and parents!
🌎 Earth Day Activities for Kids Resource
Also, you can add to the Earth Day activities for kids with a resource called Earth Day Activities and Craft. Then, pick and choose the printables to use for a week of Earth Day activities!
In addition, the resource includes an Earth Day writing craft that’s perfect for an Earth Day bulletin board display.
To conclude, I hope these ideas and resources add to the Earth Day activities that you do with your students, so you can promote an understanding of the importance of taking care of the earth.