On April 22nd, more than a billion people around the world - and millions of children - celebrated Earth Day. It's a day to think about the pressing questions that affect our planet, such as water quality and conservation, recycling, food safety and availability, and how we can each work to reduce our carbon footprint.
How can you make this day meaningful to your children? Taking on a topic like "the earth" can be pretty intimidating, so we at Little Pim have come up with our favorite ways to bring Earth Day into your home. Here are the top ten things you can do to teach the values of Earth Day in an easy and fun way, and learning a few new words in one of the earth's many different languages! Check out or Springtime video to learn important earth-related words in Spanish, French and Chinese.
10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day With Your Kids
1. Plant seeds with your kids, and help them take care of their growing plant. The act of watering and caring for something alive - even if it's just a plant growing in an egg carton - is a great way to help children understand why nature is so valuable. If you have an herb plant, your child can also pick from the plant and help you cook with it, and learn the valuable link between nature and food.
2. Take your child to the local dump! Stay a while (bring wooden pegs for your noses if needed) and talk about what a landfill is. Few children really understand where garbage goes once it leaves the trash can, or that it takes up SO MUCH ROOM.
3. Do a recycling art project. There are so many fun things you can make from tissue boxes, egg cartons and cereal boxes. Try this piggy bank from a tissue box, this cardboard house, or these cute little bugs
4. Get your old globe out of the attic, or buy one. Preferably a child-friendly globe like this one, with fun pictures and bright colors.You can point out parts of the planet where resources are scarce, explaining water-shortages in Saharan Africa, or countries where kids farm the land from an early age, like certain places in South America. Where possible, connect the lesson to the experiences of real kids. I love the United Nations book A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World. You can also teach your kids how to say words like "tree", "flower" or "water" using Little Pim!
5. Bake something using as many whole and non-processed ingredients as possible, and use the experience as an opportunity to explain that food can still come straight from the land! Explain the difference between processed and whole food using real examples, such as boxed mac and cheese vs making it from scratch.
6. Visit a farmer's market together and learn about which fruit and vegetables are available in which season, and what is means to grow food locally. You can also explain that buying local food helps the planet, because it doesn't have to be transported very far.
7. Go to an Earth Day event in your city. The Natural Conservancy is hosting Picnic for the Planet events all around the world!
9. Go online and read about how kids are celebrating Earth Day around the world, then share some of those stories with your kids.
10. Help your child make an Earth Day drawing or story, and post it on your fridge or elsewhere in the home. You can teach them about endangered animals (pandas like Little Pim are endangered!) and print out coloring pages like this one (click to download).
And finally, happy Earth Day everyone!