It’s never too early to start teaching children the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, is a wonderful opportunity to talk with kindergarteners (and even preschoolers) about ways to protect the environment and our natural resources. Celebrate Earth Day with your kindergartener with these easy activities that promote creative problem solving skills and an appreciation for the planet.
1. Plant a Garden
As a family, design and plant a garden in your backyard or in a community space. (Try this step-by-step gardening activity for kids from Creativity Catapult.) Gardening teaches kids how to care for and nurture plants, and creates an opportunity to get messy. Researchers have found that messy play encourages risk taking, exploration, and flexible thinking. Plus, designing, planting, and making a plan to keep a garden growing helps children work collaboratively and think creatively over the longer term.
2. Make a Nature Wristband
Take your little artist outdoors on a nature walk to collect natural materials for an art project called Nature Wristbands. During your walk collect fallen materials like leaves, flower petals, sand, and blades of grass, then press the materials into tape to create a one-of-a-kind wristband. (Click here for step-by-step instructions for Nature Wristbands.) Research shows that kids who spend time outdoors demonstrate more creative and imaginative play, and also have lower stress and an appreciation for the environment.
3. Create Instruments from Trash
Challenge your child to make musical instruments from trash. Find empty plastic bottles and fill them with various materials like beans to create different sounds. (Try this step-by-step recycled instrument activity from Creativity Catapult.) Reusing trash for a fun game is a great opportunity to talk your child about reducing, reusing, and recycling waste. Every year, Americans create 258 million tons of trash with 169 million tons of it ending up in landfills and incinerators, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. By thinking about what we’re using and how to reduce the waste we produce (both children and adults), we can help create a cleaner, healthier environment.
More Activities for Kids
Visit CreativityCatapult.org, the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s online collection of free activities that promote creativity development in children ages 2 to 14. The free resource features 80 activities that can be filtered by age, topic, number of participants, level of difficulty, duration of time, and skill.