One of the holidays that most lends itself to fun activities is Earth Day. Students love hearing The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, taking nature walks, engaging in art projects, and investigating ways recycling can be done within a classroom or home. The variety of activities exceeds what can be done in a single day or even week of celebration, but here are a few that have been shared as favorites among classroom teachers.
Activity for Recycling: Crayons Melting In the Sun
1. Take all those half-used crayons that are sitting in the bottom of your child’s art box and peel off the paper. Great job for the student to do because it builds fine motor strength.
2. Chop up the crayons and add them to a muffin tin— silicone works best. Note: line your muffin tin with foil cups if you don’t want to ruin your tin. Try mixing up your crayon colors for a kaleidoscope effect.
3. If it is a warm day, put the muffin tin outside in a sunny spot and wait for the crayons to melt. For faster results, set your oven to 250 degrees and bake till melted (you might need to give the wax a stir).
5. Let cool completely and pop your new crayons out!
If you are feeling really ambitious, use this link to learn how to make recycled paper to color on with your recycled crayons.
Activity for Snacking: Dirt Snack
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ cup of dirt with a worm on top! One of the easiest treats to make with your kids.
A quick and easy recipe (especially helpful when serving to an entire classroom): Crush two graham crackers and stir into a chocolate pudding cup. Stick in a gummy worm. Enjoy!
For a more in-depth version, check out this recipe from Kraft.
Activity for a Long-Term Project: Plant a Pizza Garden
To get your students excited about gardening, try motivating them with a favorite food—pizza.
1. Brainstorm with them what types of toppings they enjoy on their pizza. Then explore where those toppings come; make a list separating the plants from the animals.
2. Take your list to your local hardware store or gardening center to look for plants and seeds. Herbs are going to be the easiest to grow, but tomatoes and peppers are always fun. Pick up a few of your favorite “pizza” plants to grow in your backyard or windowsill.
3. In a prepared garden space, plant your new plants. Make a little list of what you will need to do to take care of the plants, with watering and weeding being the two most important things.
4. Enjoy caring for and tending to the garden together as a class or family. Read more details here.
A great book to go along with this project is Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.
Activity for Homeschool Parents and Teachers:
Little Kinder Warriors put together an amazing STEM lesson plan on “too much trash” for little learners. Click here for instructions.