This year, we will all be celebrating Earth Day at home. Who-hoo! And while this may seem like it can limit your options, that doesn’t have to be the case. Like many others, you may be used to venturing out into the community to celebrate this day – whether you go to Sky High Sports, to the local library, or just out to the park with friends – but this year is different.
Use this as an opportunity to expand your options and get creative. While you may not want to go out to grab supplies or use certain commodities you should be rationing, there are still some fun-filled, family-friendly activities you can do with a few simple things you probably have around the house. So, let’s explore your options!
1. Plant a Vegetable Garden
One of the best things you can do during this time is learn to be sustainable and self-reliant – and planting a vegetable garden will absolutely help you do that. You can buy seeds or starter plants (many greenhouses are offering delivery services). Show your children how to weed, plant seeds, and take care of plants. As a bonus, you will have some delicious, organic vegetables to feast on soon enough.
Bonus Activity: While working on your vegetable garden, you can start putting together a compost pile as well! See, you’re already helping the Earth!
2. Look For 4-Leaf Clovers
Who says this activity needs to disappear when St. Patrick’s Day passes? Spend some time just soaking up the sun and looking for 4-Leaf Clovers.
Bonus Activity: There are plenty of fun myths about clovers out there – find a few online and read them to your kids.
3. Have A Scavenger Hunt
Have a nature-themed scavenger hunt that will get your kids moving around outside. You’ll have to put in some work beforehand to ensure you have the items on your scavenger hunt list (or you can plant them), but it will be worth it. Make your scavenger hunt as easy or as hard as you want – if you have older kids, consider writing up riddles or clues, so they find what you’ve planted.
Bonus Activity: Offer extra points for picking up trash or litter they find as they look around your neighborhood!
4. Have A Picnic
There is nothing better than family time – have a picnic in your backyard where everyone must give up their electronics and just spend time together. Take time to look at your food and thank Mother Earth for what she’s given us.
Bonus Activity: Make sure to explain why you aren’t using plastic cutlery at your picnic!
5. Make Animal Feeders
What do most of us have enough of right now? Toilet paper! There are so many easy ways to make animal feeders using toilet paper rolls, string, and some food you probably have in your home. Pop some popcorn and string it up, or roll that toilet paper roll in peanut butter and cover it in cereal, pretzels, birdseed, or whatever else you have that’s getting old and stale. Simply hang it up for the birds (and other critters) to enjoy!
Bonus Activity: Find an online bird guide and have your children identify birds as they come to feast!
6. Paint Stones
Communities all over the country are hiding painted stones to surprise others and brighten their day. Gather a bunch of stones (of different sizes and shapes), some paint, and get to work. Paint Earth Day friendly messages and reminders. Make sure to seal them!
Bonus Activity: Take a family walk and “hide” the stones where other people will see them.
7. Field Day 2.0
Remember field day? Have your kids spend some time outside and enjoy Earth as we celebrate it by recreating some of your favorite field day activities like tug of war, obstacle courses, the three-legged race, and balloon toss.
Bonus Activity: Have your kids use some of your recyclable materials to make their own trophies and medals.
8. Go Fly A Kite
Have a spare newspaper sitting around? How about some pipe cleaners? Have your kids make kites and try to fly them – they probably won’t win any awards, but they’ll learn about recycling, have some fun outdoors, and get some exercise.
Bonus Activity: Find lightweight materials to have your kids decorate their kites. Don’t forget about the tail!
9. Go for A Bike Ride
Did you know that kids aren’t learning how to ride bikes anymore? Fewer and fewer children learn this skill that is imperative. Not only will it help them to get some exercise, but it will actually help them have an alternative means of transportation that won’t add pollution to the world.
Bonus Activity: Take your scavenger hunt on the go!
10. Have Some Mud Fun
While we are all stuck at home with some extra time on our hands, how about getting a little messy? Make some mud by soaking an area of your yard. Have a bake-off contest, build ramps for toy cars, and just let your kids play in the mud.
Bonus Activity: Allow the mud pies to dry, and keep them around the yard for future fun!
11. Watch A Documentary
One way to celebrate Earth Day at home is to teach your kids why we need to value and care for our planet. There are so many different documentaries out there that can stress the importance of taking care, using reusable containers, avoiding straws, and more. Some are scary, some are informative, and some are more laid-back. You have plenty of options to watch when you are settling down after a day of activities.
Bonus Activity: Have kids that won’t sit for a whole documentary? There are plenty of short clips on YouTube that you can watch – even Mr. Rogers has an episode about pollution!
12. Make A Rain Barrel
Water is one of the most frequently wasted resources – so why not do something about that to celebrate Earth Day? You can make your own rain barrel, or you can purchase one. Then, have your children decorate it.
Bonus Activity: Teach your children about the different phases of water.
13. Build A Fairy Garden
This one might take some pre-planning, but it will be worth it. Get some supplies to help your kids make their own fairy gardens. Allow them to be as creative as they want – use small plants, stones, figurines, water features, or whatever else you want to make it truly special.
Bonus Activity: Have your kids create a story about their fairy garden worlds.
14. Press Flowers
Have some beautiful spring blooms in your yard? Grab a few of them, the heaviest book you can find, and have your children press flowers. This one is quick and easy, but you will have a great keepsake that you can save for later.
Bonus Activity: Already have pressed flowers? Make them into paper!
15. Chalk Time
Chalk drawing is another great activity that your children can do any day – but on Earth Day, have them write messages or draw pictures about recycling, protecting our Earth, and spending time outside. There are plenty of fun options involving chalk, so don’t be afraid of using stencils, sprays, and “chalk bombs” that are on the market.
Bonus Activity: Communities all over the country are making stained glass drawings for others to enjoy. So, grab your masking tape!
16. Make A Bug Hotel
Have some broken yard decorations? Extra wood? Some dirt? Food scraps? Make a bug hotel! You can just throw everything you have into the bug hotel, and see what happens. You might want to keep this one away from your home.
Bonus Activity: Talk to your kids about the importance of honeybees!
17. Make Mosaics
Have your children gather materials from your yard and make Earth Day themed mosaics. You can set the parameters and determine whether they can use inorganic materials. You can even set boundaries and guidelines, so the kids can’t copy each other.
Bonus Activity: Set those mosaics in cement, so you can keep them!
18. Teach Kids How to Survive in The Wild
When we were younger, we learned a lot about how to read moss, how to determine what berries were safe to eat, and how to decide if water was clean enough to drink. So, why not put together a crash course that will teach your children how they could survive, if they needed to?
Bonus Activity: Start reading a book like “Hatchet,” where someone has to survive on their own.
19. Make Squirrel Soup
Have a few younger kids at home? Or even teenagers? Turn yourself into a Shark (from the hit show “Shark Tank”) and have them pitch a new product to you: “Squirrel Soup.” Give them each a bucket and a time limit to run around your yard and pick up the ingredients to make the perfect Squirrel Soup. Then they must explain why they have the best recipe.
Bonus Activity: Try to replicate the soup with real ingredients that you have for a taste test.
20. Take an Earth Day Pledge
At the end of the day, have your children take an Earth Day pledge about what they will do to support Mother Earth for 2020. You can include things like recycling, composting, or simply getting outside more often. Make sure to share your pledges – and stick to them! You can even create a family pledge!
Bonus Activity: Have your children write down their pledges, and post them somewhere they will see them.
Earth Day may feel different this year with social distancing in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate. Instead, you will just need to find ways to celebrate your own little slice of Earth with the people you love. And remember, FaceTime is a still a great option – so challenge another family to join you virtually from their backyard for one of these fun activities!
At Sky High Sports, we are “seizing the day” and spending this time reconnecting with our families and our planet. So, we hope you’ll join us, and do the same!