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Environmental Activities For Your Children
The annual celebration of Earth’s natural environment is coming. April 22nd is Earth Day, celebrated around the world in an effort to increase awareness and appreciation for our planet.
Earth Day was first celebrated in San Francisco on March 21, 1970 and was sanctioned by the United Nations. In an attempt to gain support for the movement, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson held an environmental “teach-in” on April 22, 1970 and eventually that date was officially adopted as the date for worldwide celebration.
From humble beginnings the Earth Day movement has grown considerably with official Earth Day celebrations being held in 175 nations. Individuals have pledged over 959 million acts of green this year alone and the number is growing with each minute.
If you are a parent this is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids about the environment. Listed below are some suggestions of activities and pledges your children could do for this year’s Earth Day.
PLANT A TREE
If you have younger children this is a great teaching activity. Teach them why trees are so vital for the environment; take them to the nursery and let them pick out their favorite tree and then have an Earth Day planting at home. You could even make a plaque to put in the ground with the date of the planting and a favorite quote to commemorate the activity. This will empower your children and let them know that they can make a difference in this world by their actions.
HOLD A NEIGHBORHOOD PICNIC
What a great way to spend some time with your neighbors, spread the word about the environment and give your children ownership in an activity. Have your children draw Earth Day pictures which they could give to all of your neighbors. Buy only natural, local products for the picnic and the kids can make an Earth Day poster that would hang above the picnic area.
PLANT A GARDEN
Size is not the important criteria for your Earth Day garden. Teach your children how growing plants helps the environment. Have them put a sign in the garden declaring it an Earth Day pledge garden and get them interested in growing their own food. Make the care of the garden their responsibility and when those seedlings start popping out of the ground have a camera ready to record their smiles. They could also plant a butterfly garden, the gift that keeps on giving each year when the butterflies return.
My tribute to Mount Rainier
- National Park: My Love Affair With Mt. Rainier
A love affair with the mountain that has lasted my lifetime.
CONSTRUCT AN EARTH DAY BOOTH
Help your kids construct a booth and set it up on your street corner. Prior to Earth Day teach them lessons about the environment and have them produce their own Earth Day brochure which they can hand out when visitors come to their booth. Encourage them to discuss the environment with visitors. They will love showing how much they have learned and sharing it with others. They could even have a puppet show that has an Earth Day theme.
TAKE A NATURE WALK AS A FAMILY
What a great way to get kids interested in the environment! Along the walk they can identify plants and trees with the help of one of many books available in your area that describe local flora and fauna. Take bags with you to deposit litter in along the walk, adding to the sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that every little bit helps. When the walk is finished you can return home and discuss what you have seen, possibly draw pictures of the discoveries and strengthen a bond built on the love of nature.
ORGANIZE A “CLEAN THE PARK” TRIP
Have your kids call all of their friends and have them meet at a local park to help clean it up. This is a fun activity that gets the kids outside with their friends, all working towards a common purpose.
ORGANIZE A SCHOOL ACTIVITY
Help your children plan an Earth Day proposal for their teacher that can be done at school. Maybe they could meet with the principal and suggest a school-wide activity or student body assembly with Earth Day as the theme. Imagine the sense of accomplishment when your children realize that their suggestions have been taken seriously and acted upon by an entire school.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT CONSERVATION AND BEGIN AT HOME
How much water is used daily at your home? How many paper products are used and what is the effect on the environment because of that use? How can your family pitch in to use less water and less paper products?
Are you planning an act of green for Earth Day?
And my tribute to Yellowstone National Park
- National Park: Yellowstone National Park... A Lust Affair
Yellowstone National Park was, is and will be a special place for this author and millions of citizens who want a glimpse of the past.
Every Little Bit Helps!
Children are great imitators and the most influential people in their lives are their parents. An appreciation for the environment begins with good modeling by you, the parents. There are so many ways to teach awareness of this planet and if presented with enthusiasm kids will get excited and take ownership in the activities.
For more information about Earth Day and other suggestions for green pledges go to http://www.earthday.org/. Begin a family tradition that will last a lifetime. Mother Earth is counting on all of us!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
- Earth Day 2012 | Earth Day Network
You can make a difference! Help Earth Day Network – that works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries - broaden and mobilize the environmental movement.