Earth Day is right around the corner, this Saturday, April 22. If you're a parent, your child has likely already come home from school full of science projects and stories about the environment and world around them. Luckily, the learning doesn't have to stop at school.
Unlike other holidays which have a specific focus on how you spend time together as a family, Earth Day is one of the most fun days you can get creative and do what really interests the kids. For example, if the kids feel too restless to sit at a fancy dinner, you can easily take the science experiments outside into the yard. If they're craving some quiet time, the local museum is the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
We already know that NASA is allowing people to adopt part of the planet in honor of Earth Day, but the fun and learning don't have to stop there. In fact, there are plenty of awesome ways you can spend time with your family and take care of the planet. Check out the following seven suggestions for Earth Day activities, and remember: The sky is the limit! Even just spending time in nature can be enough to get kids away from their screens and remind them how important the world around them is.
1. Make Earth Day desserts at home.
These delicious treats are easy to make and super customizable depending on your family's dietary needs, whether you're gluten-free, vegan, or have specific allergies. A simple variation on this recipe is to get together and make Earth Day cupcakes, as well!
2. Teach them how to compost in a bottle.
Composting at home is super easy to do on a regular basis, but if you haven't started yet, a great way to make sure your kids keep up with the change is getting them involved from the start. And as shown in the video above, courtesy of FullTimeKid, we see how simple it is to get started.
3. Make your own paper for cards and drawings.
Making your own paper is surprisingly easy, but it's one of those activities that is really exciting if you have small children in your life. The process is super simple, as are the materials you'll need: Waste paper (avoid glossies, like magazines), water, an old picture frame, a mesh or screen, felt, cloth, or sponge, a blender or food processor, and whatever decorations you'd like, such as confetti, seeds, or dried flowers. You'll also need a bin or pan to hold the water. The steps are also simple, which you can view above, courtesy of Storm the Castle.
4. Spend time in your local botanical garden.
Depending on where you live, you likely have access to a botanical garden. These little gems are part-museum, part-park, and part-public garden where you can often find a huge variety of trees, flowers, and plants. Specific rules vary on location, but you can often bring in a picnic, take pictures, and spend the day exploring.
5. Sort and donate your old clothes.
While sorting and donating used clothing won't be the most exciting option for children, it's definitely something you can do with your teenagers. The fashion world is slowly becoming more eco-friendly, but as of right now, clothes contribute to landfills in ways they simply don't have to. By sorting and donating your gently used clothes, you not only free up room in your closet, but you also help those in need in your community. You can also find plenty of Earth Day clothing swaps in your area, where you trade your used clothes with other participants.
6. Cook a meal sourced from the local farmer's market.
Especially if you're already in the kitchen to make some Earth-themed desserts, you might as well spend the evening cooking a meal together. Going to your local farmer's market or co-op is a great way to get your kids familiar with their immediate community, and to expose them to fruits and vegetables they might not consider trying otherwise.
More from Green Matters
More From Green Matters
This School Cafeteria Is the 'Greenest Restaurant in the World,' So We Interviewed Co-Founder Rebecca Amis
Kristen Bell loves thrift shopping just as much as you do.
Here are five ways to make a difference by going green at the grocery store.
Parents want their kids to be informed.