51 Environmental Activities Kids Can Do for Earth Day

This Earth Day your family can commemorate the occasion with fun ways to learn about the planet and how to protect it.

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Megan Severson
State Director, Wisconsin Environment

Author: Megan Severson

State Director, Wisconsin Environment

(608) 385-9946

Started on staff: 2005
B.A., cum laude, Lawrence University

Megan is the state director for Wisconsin Environment. She has recruited and trained dozens of organizers and worked for years to implement the field strategy that helped to win carbon emissions regulations on coal-fired power plants. Megan lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and spends much of her free time at her family's farm along the Mississippi River, where she enjoys hiking, hunting and skiing.

April 22, 2021, is a big day. It marks Earth Day’s 51st anniversary. And whether your children are attending school virtually, in person or a combination of both, there are a number of fun ways your family can commemorate the occasion by learning about the planet and how to protect it.  

Building on our list from last year’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day, staff at Environment America put together 51 activities families can do at home to celebrate Earth Day and connect with the natural world around us.

Enjoy! 

Learn about solutions to climate change 

  1. Become energy waste detectives by using our citizen’s guide to reducing energy waste

  1. Make a challenge to keep unused lights off in your house.

  1. Make your own at-home wind turbine and learn about the power of offshore wind.

  1. Make your own solar oven from a pizza box and find out how using solar power could make your community healthier and cleaner.

  1. Calculate your family’s carbon footprint.

  1. Make videos in support of moving our country to 100 percent renewable energy. Post the video and tag your elected officials on social media.

  1. Learn about the impact of transportation on our climate. Make a plan for how to incorporate more walking and biking into your family’s daily life -- and more public transit once we get past the need for social distancing.

Learn about ways to reduce waste 

  1. Watch The Story of Stuff and clean out your junk drawer and look for treasures.

  1. Measure your weekly trash output. Make a plan to reduce your family’s waste by 25 percent by the end of the school year. 

  1. Make a pledge to reduce your plastic use and create an online challenge with your friends.

  1. Reduce food waste by reorganizing your fridge.

  1. Build a compost bin for your kitchen.

  1. Create your own reusable bag from old t-shirts.

  1. Construct your own produce bag for fruits and vegetables.

  1. Craft reusable food wraps from beeswax.

  1. Try to repair something. Whether it be a toy, gadget or a picture frame, there are instructions to fix anything on YouTube. Discuss how repair cuts waste while you fix your item. 

  1. Fashion art out of your trash and then have an art show at home.

  1. Make crafts out of plastic bottles.

  1. Upcycle polystyrene foam with these craft ideas.

  1. On April 16, join the United States against plastic event, a virtual tour of our fight against plastic pollution, featuring advocates and elected leaders from across the country. 

Learn about plants

  1. Discover more about the Earth, trees and plants.

  1. Learn about the rainforest and then make a terrarium

  1. Make leaf rubbings on paper.

  1. Create a self portrait out of leaves, sticks and other foraged materials.

  1. Get your spring garden kit at the Environment America campaign store and make your garden pollinator friendly.

  1. Or start an indoor container garden.

  1. Make plantable seed paper from old paper scraps.

  1. Assemble seed bombs to help bees and other pollinators

  1. Play a game about where your food comes from. 

Learn about waterways, parks and conservation 

  1. Research waterways in your community and draw a map of local rivers, lakes and streams. 

  1. Learn about water pollution through these activities.

  1. Play Earth Day BINGO.

  1. Spend 5 minutes observing nature in your neighborhood. Share what you observe with us on social media using #natureintheneighborhood.

  1. Find out more about glaciers and write a story or draw a picture about them.

  1. Learn about healthy soils

  1. Write a poem about your favorite place in nature. Share your poem with us on social media.

Learn about and protect birds, bees and other wildlife 

  1. Learn about how animals camouflage themselves. Play hide and seek inside based on what you learn!

  1. Look for birds in your neighborhood or local park. Use our birding for beginners guide with tips for how to get started. 

  1. Erect a bird feeder out of an apple, peanut butter and birdseed. 

  1. Turn a milk or juice carton into a bird feeder.

  1. Build an insect hotel.

  1. Read the book Myrtle the Turtle and discuss the impacts of plastic waste on our planet

  1. Make a mason bee home

  1. Delve into a book about nature. For inspiration check out the list of Environment America staff picks or our nature themed children’s book recommendations.

  1. Draw pictures of your favorite animals that need greater protections, such as bees, sea turtles and orcas. Post the pictures to social media and tag your elected officials.

Create a healthier home and community

  1. April 8th: Join a special Earth Day Conservation Conversations.

  1. Put together an environmental scavenger hunt. Adapt it to your own home or backyard.

  1. Write a letter to your school district asking them to adopt electric school buses.

  1. Go for a hike and teach your children about park trail stewardship.

  1. Download the Wow in the World kids podcast and discuss the topics after each episode.

  1. Organize a family litter patrol. Get gloves and/or pick-up tools and pick up trash if you go on walks at a nearby park.

We could all use more nature in our lives, but the wild places we love and need are under siege from oil drilling, overfishing and other threats. That's why we want to set a national target of protecting 30 percent of our land and 30 percent of our ocean by 2030.

Header photo: Pexels from Pixabay

Megan Severson
State Director, Wisconsin Environment

Author: Megan Severson

State Director, Wisconsin Environment

(608) 385-9946

Started on staff: 2005
B.A., cum laude, Lawrence University

Megan is the state director for Wisconsin Environment. She has recruited and trained dozens of organizers and worked for years to implement the field strategy that helped to win carbon emissions regulations on coal-fired power plants. Megan lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and spends much of her free time at her family's farm along the Mississippi River, where she enjoys hiking, hunting and skiing.