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Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home with Your Kids

Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home with Your Kids

Nature-themed puzzles, composting and eco-friendly crafts are just a few things you can do at home to celebrate the Earth


Earth Day is this Friday, and while there are so many events planned throughout the city, kids can also celebrate the holiday at home! Here, we've put together a list of some fun things kids can do at home for Earth Day, which includes reading about cool animals, creating eco-conscious crafts and so much more. 

First, let's take a quick look at how Earth Day got started, and then we’ll dive into the fun! 

About Earth Day

Earth day is always on April 22. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. After a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA, Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin who had long been concerned about the environment, announced an idea for teach-ins on college campuses to be held on April 22, 1970 to help raise public consciousness about air and water pollution—and Earth Day was born!  According to Earthday.org, the holiday has led to the creation of many environmental laws and agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other legislation that has helped protect humans, wildlife and habitat.

The holiday has gained a lot of popularity in recent years as more people—including children—have become more concerned about environmental issues such as pollution, climate change and wildlife habitat loss.

"Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful planet we live on with our young people and raise their awareness of how our actions can have a positive or negative impact," Luis Gonzalez, associate director of environmental education at City Parks Foundation, said. "It's a day to think globally and act locally. It's a day to connect our youth with their local green spaces and empower them to take action to care for our planet by focusing on their community and becoming stewards of their local ecosystems."

And now, here's how kids can celebrate Earth Day at home!

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

Do a Puzzle: Spend some time with your child doing an Earth-themed puzzle together. Mudpuppy offers an array of puzzles, flashcards and books that make learning about the planet fun and interactive for kids of all ages. As an extra bonus, all of these exciting items are enviro-friendly since they're printed with soy-based inks and other Earth-conscious materials. 

Go on a Wildlife Adventure: Every kid loves animals, so take them on a tour of wildlife habitats and learn about species—right from home! These PBS KIDS Explore the Outdoors hubs feed kids’ curiosity about nature, animals and the changes that come with warmer months.  

Craft a Cloth Bag: Parents must check out this really cool craft project from PBS Kids on how to make a cloth bag! Everyone in the family can make one, and they’re perfect for shopping or picking up treasures during your next nature hike!



Discover Composting: Chrissy Word, director of education at City Parks Foundation, suggests creating or purchasing a compost bin to teach your kids how to use it. Whether it be egg shells, fruit and veggie peelings or leftovers gone bad, you likely already have all the makings of compost in your fridge and pantry. Get your kids excited about composting by making it a hands-on adventure throughout the kitchen, and be sure to remind them what can't be added to the bin. You can learn more about composting in NYC here.

A Word About Artificial Light: Word also suggests educating your child about the importance of reducing city light pollution, particularly during bird migration season. Reducing artificial light at night is a quick and easy way to promote safe bird migration, pollinator reproduction and our own physical health. Take time to traverse your own home with your child, looking for ways to reduce nighttime light pollution. Showing them how to turn off exterior flood lights and close curtains and blinds during bird migration season (late April through mid-May) is a great place to start.

Plan Time Outdoors: Sit down with your child and discuss some exciting ways they could have fun outdoors this summer! Not all local parents know that NYC is packed with free programming aimed at getting kids outside during the summer months. For children interested in sports, arts and educational programming, City Parks Foundation is a great place to start. Earth Day marks the perfect day to walk through the program options with your children and get them excited about a summer filled with fresh air and immersion in green spaces. 

Visit a Nearby Play Space: Consider visiting a neighborhood playground or local play space that is walking distance from your home! Union Square Play, for example, is holding Earth Day celebrations all month long. There's also some good news for Upper East Side parents: Union Square Play is expanding and opening a new location at 245 E. 84 St. and will serve as a play lab for kids of all ages—including babies! Doors open in early May, so check out the website for more information. 

Main image: Courtesy Union Square Play


 

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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