Teaching kids to care about the earth is an essential lesson in many different regards. From compassion to awareness, to forward-thinking, and learning how to respect mother nature are all integral elements of developing children who will be engaged in society and a part of sustaining humanity. Dealing with climate change will be at the forefront of every day for future generations. In that vein, strive to look at EVERY Day as Earth Day. As parents, and teachers we can always make a positive impact on children by instilling a love for the planet through fun projects that are educational at the same time. The ideas here for easy eco friendly projects for kids take the commonplace everyday easy-to-access items that might have been slated to the trash and turns them into repurposed teaching tools and creative learning experiences.
To start off your sessions you might want to have some discussion time with kids, exploring the “bigger questions” about environmental issues. These have been outlined by the Nasa Kids website.
- What does global climate change mean?
- What is the big deal with carbon?
- What is the greenhouse effect?
- How do we know the climate is changing?
- What is happening to the oceans?
- What else do we need to find out?
Additional categories to explore:
Weather & Climate Atmosphere
Plants & Animals
Easy Eco-Friendly Projects
A terrarium is like an aquarium, but for plants instead of fish. It is designed to look like a miniature garden or forest enclosed in its own little world.
The benefits of this easy eco friendly project for kids include allowing them to easily observe how plants grow, and how the water cycle works in an enclosed environment, and they gain the responsibility that comes with tending to their own plants. Terrariums put plants front and center, giving kids the chance to view plant growth up close and personal.
- Clear glass container such as an aquarium of any size, goldfish bowl, cookie jar, pickle jar, vase with a broad bottom, or even a shallow dish with a glass bowl turned upside-down over it.
- You can use an open container or a closed container.
- An open container is best for succulents and cacti. They like lots of air.
- A closed container (with a lid) might be best for ferns, ivies, and begonias. They like it humid. But if you see a lot of water condensing on the lid, remove it for a while, then replace it.
- Activated charcoal to filter the water and help prevent the growth of fungi.
- Potting soil.
- Small plants of different colors, shapes, and textures. Try to get miniature plants that aren’t going to grow too big for the container.
- Succulents need very little water. Pick different shapes, colors, and sizes.
- You want all the plants to thrive in the same kind of environment.
- For example, you could plant all succulents (including cactus), because they need very little water.
- Or you could plant all ferns because they like it moist.
- You could put moss with the ferns because moss likes it moist too. If you put a fern with a cactus, one or the other might not do well (the fern if it gets too dry, the cactus if it gets too wet).
- Decorative rocks or pebbles, about marble sized, depending on the size of the container.
- Fun décor, like tiny pine cones, shells, ceramic animals, or a garden gnome.
- Start with a layer of rocks, about one inch or so, at the bottom of your container. These will help the soil drainage, so the roots of your plants won’t get water-logged.
- Add a 1/2-inch-thick layer of charcoal.
- Fill the container up to half-full with potting soil.
- Add plants. Leave some space for them to breathe and grow. Pat down the soil so they don’t get uprooted easily.
- Add decorative pebbles, rocks, pine cones, or whatever to make your terrarium look like a little garden world.
- Water the plants, but not too much.
- Place in indirect light.
Recycled Magazine Art Project
This eco-friendly art project for kids can actually be for grown-ups too! You can make any design in any color scheme to fit in with the decor of a certain room. For example, making a cityscape in red and black tones for your home office.
The benefits of making art with recycled materials teach kids, one about recycling, and two, how paper is made by cutting down trees and how recycling magazines can turn old paper into new paper for reuse. Plus, colorful paper like used magazines can be made into beautiful art pieces like this wall decoration project.
- Old magazines with lots of images.
- Piece of cardboard for the background. Challenge kids to find a cereal box, a shipping box, or cardboard from anything that has been recycled.
- Skim through a few magazines and tear out pages with bright, large graphics.
- Cut up the pages into strips.
- Brush the cardboard background with a thin layer of glue.
- Attach the magazine strips, laying them like bricks on a building.
- Or if you’ve chosen a design shape at the onset (such as the dog and fish example below) glue it onto that shape.
- You can also cut a shape out of a rectangle page after you’ve glued your strips of paper.
- Add the silhouette. Cut a silhouette out of scrap paper like the tree example below.
The ABCs of Going Green
This is an easy eco-friendly project for kids of younger ages as you are using the ABCs to learn about different environmental and sustainable actions. You can download the ABC graphic here: ABC List.
The benefits of this easy learning activity get kids immediately involved in examining their daily habits and what’s going on around them.
- The ABC graphic image list.
- Go through the list with participants to see what they are doing as individuals, at home as a family, or at school as a community.
- Be proud of what they are already doing.
- Make note of what additions or changes they can make from here on out to expand their coverage of the entire list.
Sprout Your Own Nutritional Food
This is an easy eco-friendly project for kids that requires no sun, no soil, no packaging, no shipping, and leaves no carbon footprint for a nutritious food source.
The benefits of this easy growing eco friendly project for kids allow you to teach kids about the dangers of processed food, about the value of eating live green plants, and about bringing basically free nutritious produce to food insecure families and communities. Sprouting is a simple and inexpensive practice that yields organic, fresh, nutrient-rich fuel at very little cost. This simple practice has the power to change people’s diets and improve their health and happiness. Shared and inspired by Jeff Kasno at OneCommune.
- Glass jars (sterilized).
- Rinse 2 tablespoons of seeds: alfalfa, mung beans, radish, lentils, mustard, soybeans, beets, peas, broccoli, sunflower, and wheat berries, to name just a few. The important thing here is that you purchase seeds that are specifically for sprouting; they will be labeled.
- Place your seeds in a sterile jar.
- Fill your jar halfway with cool water and allow it to soak overnight.
- Drain, rinse and then cover the jar with the cheesecloth and secure it with an elastic.
- Once you have completely finished draining, place your jar in a draining position (photo below), away from any direct sunshine.
- Twice a day, fill the jar with water, swirl gently and drain. The cheesecloth prevents the small seeds from being poured down the drain.
- Rinse and drain twice a day (morning and evening) for 3-5 consecutive days.
- Then harvest and enjoy!
Easy Eco-Friendly Efforts To Help The Environment- HERE
10 Environmental Stewardship Activities For Kids – HERE
Easy Eco-Friendly Efforts to Help the Environment – HERE
Community Activities To Do In Your Neighborhood To Help The Environment – HERE
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