Check out the updated Earth Day Family Theme Day on the
New website: www.familythemedays.com!
April 22nd is Earth Day! The prefect time to review what your family can do for Mother Earth! This Theme day is a great way to introduce “Living green” to your family whether before, during, or after Earth Day. Really, any time of year is a good time to try to do things to help our planet.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
The song “The 3 Rs” by Jack Johnson from the Curious George Movie Soundtrack is the perfect song for Earth Day with good advice to share.
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Earth Day Coloring pages “or print out my Earth Day Colouring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in the family notebook or on a piece of paper to glue in your family scrapbook: What are ways we can look after the earth? What does your family do to look after the earth? Why do we need to look after the earth? What does it meant to recycle? What does it mean to conserve energy/ how can we do that? What will you do on Earth Day?
Choose the level of your child:
Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about Earth Day.
Print out my Earth Day Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about Earth Day or looking after the earth.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about Earth day or recycling.
Go to the library on your own to find books about Earth Day, conservation or recycling to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (Search for “recycle” or “Earth Day” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try some of these nonfiction/learning titles if you can find them:
Earth Day, by Molly Aloian, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2009 – Part of the Celebrations in My World series, this is a great introduction to Earth Day as it has large text, simple explanations and photographs.
Now We Know About...Recycling, by Dr. Mike Goldsmith, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2009 – For a small book this one is really thorough. It is bright and full of photographs and teaches all the basics about recycling.
Recycle: A Handbook for Kids, by Gail Gibbons, Little, Brown and Company, 1992 – this is a good book to explain the process of recycling with enough detail to teach and illustrated pictures.
Recycle, by Kay Barnham, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2008 – this is a thorough and succinct review of recycling with photographs. There are three other books in this Environment Action series that deal with other aspects of Earth Day all by the same author: Protect Nature, Save Energy, and Save Water.
What If We Do Nothing? – Earth’s Garbage Crisis, by Christiane Dorion, World Almanac Library, 2007 – This would be a better book for older kids as it has a lot of text and of course a lot of detail.
Where Does the Garbage Go?, by Paul Showers and illustrated by Randy Chewning, Harper Collins Publishers, 1994 – this picture book is a good review of landfills and recycling as it follows what a class is learning about garbage in school.
Why Should I Recycle Garbage?, by MJ Knight, Smart Apple Media, 2009 – With photographs and illustrations this book thoroughly answers the title question with more detail than some other titles but not an overwhelming amount of text. There are other books in the “One Small Step” series that deal with other questions appropriate for Earth Day all by the same author: Shy Should I Care About Nature?, Why Shouldn’t I Drop Litter?, Why Should I Switch off the Lights?, Why Should I Turn off the Tap?, and Why Should I Walk More Often?
Try these picture books perfect for Earth Day:
Earth Day Birthday, by Pattie Schnetzler and illustrated by Chad Wallace, Dawn Publications, 2003 – Written in the form of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (On the first Earth Day Birthday the wide world gave to me...”) this book reminds us that we share the earth with animals.
Earth Day – Hooray!, by Stuart J. Murphy and illustrated by Renée Andriani, Harper Collins Publishers, 2004 – A Mathstart Level 3 book that teaches place value, this book is also the story of three kids trying to earn enough money to buy flowers for their local park for Earth Day.
The Lorax, by Dr. Suess, Random house 1971 – This rhyming book provides an environmental message through the tale of the Once-ler who pollutes the area and cuts down every last Truffula Tree refusing to heed the warnings of the Lorax.
Recycle Every Day, written and illustrated by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Marshall Cavendish, 2003 – Not only is this a cute story about a bunny who wants to design a recycling poster for school that will be chosen for a calendar but the illustrations themselves are made of recycled materials as they are collages.
Stuff, by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Steve Cox, Marshall Cavendish Children, 2009 – Pinch the packrat is reluctant to contribute to the neighbourhood tag sale but he soon learns that recycling is a good thing.
There are many different craft books that involve recycling and using household objects. See what is available at your local library or craft store for more ideas.
Give your child some basic craft items like paint, glue, and scissors and then some empty plastic containers, toilet paper rolls, empty cardboard boxes, etc. and see what your child can create on his/her own.
Try some of these crafts that involve recycling materials.
CEREAL BOX BOOK HOLDER:
NOTE: This is a great craft to help organize your child’s room and make clean up easier.
Materials: Empty cereal boxes, scrap pieces of coloured paper or wrapping paper, child safe scissors, ruler and pen, white glue, waxed paper or plastic to cover the table, damp cloth to wash sticky fingers.
Step 1: Remove the lid and flaps from the top of the cereal box.
Step 2: Use the ruler and pen or pencil to draw a diagonal line from the top corner to a point about ¾ up the side of the box and cut along the lines.
Step 3: If you do not have scrap pieces of coloured paper then take different coloured sheets of paper and cut them into various sized squares and rectangles.
Step 4: Drip white glue on a spot on the cereal box to fit a piece of coloured paper and glue the paper on (HINT: folding pieces around corners makes for a neater look and a stronger box.)
Step 5: Glue paper all over the box.
Step 6: Let the covered cereal box dry.
Step 7: Use this craft to organize your child’s books or magazines.
Materials: Old magazines that can be cut up, construction paper, white glue, child safe scissors.
Step 1: Have your child pick either one large picture in a magazine or many small ones and cut them out of the magazine.
Step 2: Apply white glue on a piece of coloured paper and cut the magazine picture or pictures to it.
Step 3: Let the glue dry.
Step 4: Let your child cut the picture into pieces (or for younger kids do it yourself or draw the lines for him/her to cut) to create puzzle pieces.
Step 5: Exchange puzzles and try to assemble them.
STUFFED SNAKE FOR DRAFTY DOORS:
This craft also helps to conserve energy as you place the finished product along the bottom of any door leading outside to keep the cold air out.
Materials: An old pair of nylons or tights, old mittens or socks without matches or with holes in them (we have a huge collection of these things for some reason), red yarn, googly eyes, white glue or fabric glue.
Step 1: Cut a leg off the old nylons to be used as the snakes body.
Step 2: Stuff the nylon with the old mismatched socks and mittens.
Step 3: Tie the end up using red yarn as the snakes tongue.
Step 4: Glue on googly eyes.
Step 5: Let dry and then place on the floor near a drafty door.
COFFEE FILTER EARTH:
Materials: paper coffee filters (the circular kind not the cone), blue and green markers (must be washable or else this craft will not work), spray bottle full of water.
Step 1: Flatten the coffee filter with your hand so it is a circle.
Step 2: Let your child colour the circle with blue and green markers. It doesn’t matter if there are white spots…in fact that works better.
Step 3: Lay the completed colored circle onto wax paper and then let your child spray water on it. Watch as the colours spread.
Step 4: Let it dry.
Step 5: Display! We liked to tape ours to the window so that they looked like sun catchers.
PAINTED ROCK EARTH:
Materials: Rocks, blue and green paint, art smock or cold clothes, newspaper or plastic to cover the table.
Step 1: Let your child paint the rock with blue and green to create his/her own version of the earth.
Step 2: Let it dry.
Step 3: Use it as a paperweight or decoration.
Some Earth Day friendly tips for when you are eating:
Visit a farmers market to buy locally grown and produced foods.
Avoid packaged foods.
Store foods in re-usable containers rather than plastic wrap and plastic bags you would throw away.
Buy your groceries using re-usable bags.
Veggies and Dip:
Eat from the earth’s bounty and enjoy some fresh veggies.
Swirling Earth Yogurt Dip:
Ingredients: Plain or vanilla yogurt, blue and green food colouring, (Optional) fresh sliced fruit like apples, bananas, strawberries.
Step 1: Put the yogurt in a bowl and squirt some food colouring in it.
Step 2: Have your child swirl the colours using a toothpick.
Step 3: When your child is finished he/she can eat it just like that or can dip some fresh fruit into it for a different treat.
Earth Cookies 2 Ways:
Sugar Cookies: Make regular sugar cookies from your favourite recipe and then “paint” them with green and blue icing.
Chocolate Cookies: Make your favourite chocolate cookies and then ice them with green and blue icing swirled together or with coloured sugar sprinkles.
Earth Day Cup Cakes:
Make your favourite vanilla cupcakes (you could even use a package for white cake…I won’t tell) and then separate the batter into two bowls. Add blue food colouring to one and green to the other and then mix to colour the batter completely. Spray the muffin tin or cupcake liners with oil and then spoon the two different colours into each one. When they bake they will have two different colours in them!
Print out my Earth Day Brainstorm worksheet and as a family discuss the things you do as a family to help the earth and ways in which your family can improve.
Have your child/children make a reminder poster to stick on your fridge about one or more things your family can do to help the earth.
Try this site with lots of info for kids to explore: http://www.planetpals.com/earthday.html
These two sites are more for parents:
Thanks to Diana from Wisconsin for suggesting this article on kids and energy conservation: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Home-Energy-Conservation-for-Kids.17356.html
Q: What do you call a bike that has been passed down from a big brother to a little brother?
A: A Re-Cycle.
Q: What has rings but no fingers?
A” A tree.
Water you doing?
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand) to find your child’s favourite shows about looking after the earth or conservation etc.
Try to find these non-fiction titles at your local library:
- Where the Garbage Goes, Fred Levine Productions, 1993
- All About Garbage and Recycling, GT Media, 2008
Here’s a good one for preschoolers:
- Sesame Street, Being green, Sesame Workshop, 2009
Here are some movies that fit our Earth Day Theme:
- Free willy
- March of the penguins
- Happy feet
- Fern Gully the Last Rainforest
Don’t use the car today, use public transportation or walk.
Walk somewhere like to the park for a family outing.
During your family walk carry gloves and a garbage bags to collect garbage in one bag and things that can be recycled in another.
Plant some seeds, whether flowers or veggies. Start in some paper cups with good soil and then when the weather improves transfer your plants outside.
Take your bottles to the bottle depot and buy ice-cream cones with the refund money.
The Earth Day Flag!
Earth Day Colour Page
Journaling for Earth Day
Upcycled Cereal Box: A Book Holder
Earth Day Inspired Treats
Upcycle Old Magazines into Puzzles
Block Drafty Doors with this Craft
Coffee Filter Earth
Painted Rock Earth because Earth Rocks!
Earth Day Printables
Make a poster for Earth Day!