Earth Day has always been one of my most anticipated classroom holidays. My favorite children’s book is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, and I look forward to sharing it with my students all year – which is clear as they often ask me why we don’t read all of our books like that all the time.
The week is also filled with nature walks, art projects and investigating ways we can recycle better in our classroom. There are so many activities that I never had a chance to do in the classroom due to time or cost. These are a few of my favorite Earth Day ideas plus ones that parents have shared with me as favorites in their home.
Activity for Recycling: Crayons Melting In the Sun
1. Take all those half used crayons that are sitting in the bottom of your child’s art box and peel of all the paper. Great job for your child to do, it builds fine motor strength.
2. Chop up the crayons and add the them to a muffin tin, silicone does work best. Note: line your muffin tin with foil cups if you don’t want to ruin your muffin tin. I recommend mixing up your crayon colors for a kaleidoscope effect.
3. If it is a warm day, put the muffin tin outside in a sunny spot and wait for the crayons to melt.
4. For faster results: Set your oven to 250 degrees and bake till melted (you might need to give the wax a stir).
5. Let cool completely and pop your new crayons right on out!
If you are feeling really ambitious use this link to learn how to make recycled paper to color on with your recycled crayons!
Activity for Snacking: Dirt Snack
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ dirt in a cup with a worm on top! One of the easiest treats to make with your kids.
Here is my quick and easy recipe (remember I make this treat with 22 five year olds!): Crush 2 graham crackers and stir into a chocolate pudding cup. Stick in a gummy worm. Enjoy!
Now if you want to do some real cooking check out this recipe from Kraft.
Activity for a Long Term Project: Plant a Pizza Garden
I mentioned this activity last week but love the idea so much that I had to share it again. The idea is to start planting with kids by motivating them with a favorite food, pizza.
1. Brainstorm with your child what plants are part of their pizza. Take the time to discuss what animals our toppings come from. Make a list and sort the plants from the animals.
2. With your list of plants head over to your local Home Depot, Lowes or corner hardware store to look for plants and seeds. Herbs are going to be the easiest to grow but tomatoes and peppers are always fun. If you have the space in your backyard or window sill pick up a few “pizza” plants to grow.
3. In a prepared garden space plant your new plants. Make a little list for the fridge of what you will need to do to take care of the plants, with watering and weeding being the two most important things.
4. Enjoy caring for and tending to the garden together as a family.
Read more details here
A great book to go along with this project is Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.
Activity for Homeschool Parents and Teachers:
Amazing STEM lesson plan on “too much trash” from Little Kinder Warriors