April 22nd is Earth Day – an international day for everyone to focus on the environment and caring for our planet.
And even if your children are still very young, remember it is never too early to start teaching them the importance of looking after our beautiful planet. Conversations and activities based around the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle can be done with children of all ages and even made age-appropriate even for toddlers.
Ways to celebrate Earth Day:
1. Plant something
Get your hands dirty by planting some seeds and plants. Want to grow food together? How about planting some tomato, cucumber, or pepper seeds – or herbs such as basil, coriander, or rosemary? Another option is to plant lots of wildflowers around your garden – and help the bees in the process. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you plant, as long as you are all doing it together as a family activity.
Bonus? Getting kids to eat more greens is a lot easier when they have also helped plant, grow and prepare their own food!
2. Make a bird feeder
Get a clean, empty juice- or cereal carton, and tape it all up apart from a hole on top. Fill it with birdseed, make a little hole where the birds can get seeds out, and hang it on a tree. Now all you have to do is wait for the birds to show up!
3. Make a reusable shopping bag
Ditch the plastic for good by using a reusable cotton or canvas shopper whenever you go to get groceries. Even better? Make it personal by getting the kids to help you decorate it with paint pens, fabric paint, iron-on patches, stickers, rubber stamps, or stencils.
4. Pick up plastic and rubbish in your neighbourhood
Make a community effort by donning plastic gloves and head out in your neighbourhood with bin bags to pick up and safely dispose of any plastic rubbish you see lying around. Kids learn far better by seeing than by hearing, so seeing their parents out there, picking rubbish to make the Earth (and their community) cleaner, is sure to inspire them.
5. Make an Earth Day scavenger hunt
Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? The good news is that it could not be easier to make one that is all about the outdoors, nature and the earth.
Write (or put up pictures for young kids) over the items (rocks, sticks, pinecones, flowers etc.) they have to find outside, be it in your local park or just the back garden, then set them free to look for these.
If you really want to make it exciting, especially for older kids, you can’t go wrong with having a prize on hand for the person who first completes the scavenger hunt.