Looking for some Earth Day activities for your kids? Did you know we have been celebrating Earth Day for 51 years? The very first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. I’ve included some of our favorite Earth Day books, activities to help explain reduce, reuse, and recycle, and easy ways to celebrate Earth Day with kids.

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10 Easy Earth Day Activities for Kids:

  1. Go on a walk and talk about your favorite parts of nature
  2. Pick up litter in your neighborhood
  3. Go on a nature scavenger hunt
  4. Use a reusable water bottle and talk about the harm to the environment of using plastic bottles
  5. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
  6. Don’t use straws for the day
  7. Reduce, reuse, recycle activities (see below)
  8. Read Earth Day books (see below)
  9. Write a poem about the Earth
  10. Do an Earth Day Word Search
Click the image above to print your copy!

Explaining Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to Kids

There is a great song by Jack Johnson about reduce, reuse, and recycle. Your kids can also learn some of the 3s math facts (multiplication) if you listen to this Reduce, Reuse, Recycle song.

Earth Day Activities for Kids & Ideas to Reduce:

From my teaching experience, this is a hard concept for kids to understand.

  • Using both sides of the paper. (We are working on this in our house!)
  • Using reusable water bottles reduces the number of plastic water bottles we waste each day. It’s also a good example of what it means to reuse!
  • Using a towel to dry off your hands reduces the number or paper towels we use and waste each day.
  • By just drinking from your cup and not using a plastic straw, you are reducing the number of plastic straws that are in the landfills.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Ask your child to come up with their own ideas to reduce!

Earth Day Activities for Kids Ideas to Reuse:

This is a little easier for kids to understand.

  • Reuse your clothes- hand them down to a younger sibling or donate them to other kids who can wear them again.
  • Use that reusable water bottle each day!
  • Wear your pajamas a few nights before washing them.
  • Reuse books! Again, donate, or head to your local library.
  • Reuse boxes from all of that online shopping {wink!}.
  • Reuse those egg cartons for holding paint or other art projects.

Earth Day Activities for Kids Ideas to Recycle:

Most kids understand recycling. To celebrate Earth Day, we are going to do a recycling sort. I plan to keep whatever we recycle for a few days in an Amazon box (I should reuse something from all of my purchases!) and then have my little interns sort the recycling into:

  • paper
  • plastic
  • metal
  • glass

Put out different boxes around your yard and have your kids run to the different boxes with different items. Junk mail goes in the paper box next to the garage, that soda can goes in the metal box near the mailbox, etc.

Most places do not require you to separate your recyclables. This is just a way to get active and have your kids realize the different items that can be recycled.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this week? Download your Earth Day Word Search and let us know how your family is celebrating!

Earth Day Books

These books are appropriate for ALL readers. Some are simpler than others, but even older kids enjoy picture books. If you want a list of books for YOUR reader type, click here to take my “What Type of Reader Do You Have?” quiz. You’ll get a list of books and strategies for your reader delivered straight to your inbox!

The Earth Book by Todd Parr

Todd Parr has a very noticeable style of books. I heard him speak at the Virginia State Literacy Association’s Conference this year. While his books seem simple, they all send great messages. This is the perfect book to read any time of year, but especially for Earth Day!

10 Things I Can Do To Help My World by Melanie Walsh

This book is an amazing resource to help explain to your kids there are so many EASY ways we can be kinder to the earth each day. The pictures are perfect to help illustrate these simple ideas that they can do without anyone’s help!

I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan

This is a funny book about the role of garbage trucks. It’s a great story and one your kids will love. You can have a lot of discussion about how important these trucks and truck drivers are to our environment!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This sweet story illustrates how just one person (Liam) can make a difference in the world! This little boy changes his city in a very positive way by dreaming big and doing a lot of research and trial and error. I just love the moral that anyone can make a difference in the world!

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

The trees are mysteriously losing their limbs and branches in the forest. After a thorough animal investigation, they realize a bear has been stealing the branches to make paper airplanes! This is a sweet story illustrating how to reduce! You can always take some old papers and make paper airplanes to go along with this story everyone is sure to love!

Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson

This is a great book for toddlers and those Beginning Reader Bens because it is very interactive! If you’re not sure what type of reader you have, click here to take the quiz!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This is one of my FAVORITE books (I know I say this often!). It is such a sweet story about how the boy’s needs change as he grows older and how the tree will give whatever he needs. You could have so many discussions about this book with your kids since the message is unclear. The boy takes and takes and takes but the tree is always giving and giving. I think the ending, “And the tree was happy” just gives such a positive outlook and can lead to great conversations. The Giving Tree is perfect for Earth Day or any day of the year!

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

It wouldn’t be an Earth Day roundup of books without this gem! One of my favorite memories from last school year was sitting with two first-grade students and reading this story aloud. This is also a great book to read and then watch the movie to compare. These books vs. movies discussions are great for those Reluctant Reader Rosies. Not sure what type of reader you have? Click here to take the quiz!

More Activities in Learn to Love to Read

If you enjoyed these Earth Day activities, you’ll LOVE my Learn to Love to Read Activity Pack! This activity pack is perfect for whichever reader type you have at home. Click here to read more.

Take the quiz and then flip to the section of the activity pack designated to your reader type! Lots of book suggestions and activities to help your specific reader!

Don’t forget to download your Earth Day word search! Let me know in the comments. How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Kim Creigh, M.Ed