I love Earth day! Caring for the planet is something that I think is so important- and seriously so easy to do. All of us can shut off the lights when we leave a room, turn off the TV if nobody is watching, not run the water while brushing our teeth, and sort recycling from trash- these activities only take a second and all of them cost you nothing (some will even save you money!) Reducing plastic use by purchasing reusable or plastic free items is super easy too (check out my preschool post “Be Green” for some specific ideas and links!) When we make these choices daily, we are teaching our children to care for the planet by example, which will hopefully lead to a cleaner, more beautiful planet for generations to come!
–Lorax craft with handprint mustache: First we read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, then made this Lorax craft. First I traced my littles’ hands on yellow paper- my preschooler cut his out by himself, and I cut my toddler’s out for him. Then I drew Lorax bodies on orange paper- again, my preschooler cut his own out, I cut out my toddler’s. Since my preschooler’s hands are so much larger than my toddlers, he just made the Lorax’s head, whereas my toddler made a whole Lorax. After everything was cut out, I had my littles glue on their Lorax mustaches (the handprints), googly eyes, and a pink pom pom nose! Totally cute!
–Truffula trees: This is another activity that goes with the book “The Lorax”. If your child is older, they can draw their own tree trunks and grass, but I did my littles’ for them. Then I had them glue on large pom poms for the truffula tufts!
–Handprint world map: We used handprints on a sheet of blue paper to make a world map! Most continents were made by using palm prints but we did Antarctica by using a “karate chop” print (the side of their hand) and Australia by using a fist print (have them make a fist and paint the side of their hand opposite their thumb). When it was dry, I labeled the continents and showed them to my littles.
–Coffee filter Earth process art: This isn’t necessarily a piece you’ll want to save, but it’s fun for the littles to explore with droppers and the property of absorption! The instructions from Play to Learn Preschool said to use a coffee filter for dripping color onto, but I found the colors clung more beautifully to the paper towel we’d placed under our filters to catch any extra drops of water. If I were to do this again, I’d do a paper towel cut in a circle instead of a coffee filter. So to do the activity, fill two small containers with water and add several drops of green and blue food coloring or water based paint (one color per container) and mix well. Then give your littles a coffee filter (or piece of round paper towel) and a pipette and have them drip colors onto the towel and watch the colors absorb and mix making a pretty blue and green Earth!
–Earth shaving cream sensory play: This is a 3 second set up and my littles had a blast with it! You just squirt some shaving cream on their high chair tray (or on a sheet pan), add some water based blue and green paint and let them squish and swirl their own planet Earth! You can also do this in a Ziplock baggie, but as we’re trying to steer clear of single use plastic, I figured it was more Earth friendly do just do it on the tray and wash it clean!
–Building with recyclables: My little LOVES to build, so when I saw this activity on Busy Toddler I knew it was something we had to do for Earth day! You just save a bunch of recyclables (food boxes work great but we mixed it up!) and then let your little build and design with them! He loved exploring all of his choices for building materials and made houses, ramps, and a shaker!
–E is for Earth: I found this E is for Earth dot page on Teachers Pay Teachers and had my little make capital and lowercase E’s by using dot stickers.
- the book “The Lorax”
- pom poms
- coffee filter
- food coloring
- 2 small containers
- various recyclables