Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity for environmental education – and fun! Launched in 1970 by a Wisconsin senator and a group of dedicated environmentalists, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. This year, take some time to show your kids how they can impact the world with a few simple activities. These ideas are great for teachers too, and many can be facilitated virtually.
An oldie, but a goodie! Earth Day is the perfect time to plant a tree. Not only do trees produce oxygen, but they also capture carbon, help with soil and water retention, improve air quality, and support wildlife. Planting a tree is a hands-on activity for kids and a good lesson in environmental investments; they’ll be able to watch as the tree grows incrementally. Check out local greenhouses and nurseries to determine which species of tree would be best for your soil type and location – and involve the kiddos in the decision-making process. When it comes time to plant, be sure everyone is prepared for outdoor weather with kids' sweatshirts or jackets.
When planting a tree isn’t a possibility, have no fear – plenty of smaller, potted plants will do the trick. Houseplants can provide similar air purifying qualities in your home environment and help bring a bit of nature indoors. Again, look to your local greenhouses for suitable indoor plants, or visit farmers' markets or roadside nurseries if available. One of our favorites is aloe; it's hardy, resilient, and quick to populate, so kids should have an easy time caring for aloe and will be able to watch “babies” sprout up through the soil.
Herbs can be planted in pots and kept indoors until the weather is consistently warm. Varieties like basil and mint offer a nice, leafy green look and can be easily added to summer foods and drinks. Vegetables like cherry tomatoes and lettuce grow well in pots or large containers too – just make sure you have an outdoor spot ready. With herbs and veggies, your kids can have fun incorporating the fruits of their labor into their dinner.
Combining a nature walk with arts and crafts? Yes, please! Before heading out the door, hand your kids a canvas tote bag and tell them to collect little pieces of nature as you walk: fallen leaves, pinecones, small pebbles, sticks, bird feathers, and so on. Once you’re back home, use poster board and glue to create one-of-a-kind collages. Or have them bring a sketchbook and drawing supplies with you on your walk for some in-person nature sketching – ask your kids to draw what they see and connect to their local outdoor environment.
Outdoor scavenger hunts are another simple way to forge some natural connection and exploration. Create a list of things for your kids to find, like specific tree species, birds or other animals, flowers, cloud formations – you name it! Make sure they’re ready for unpredictable April weather with rain boots and rain jackets.
A classic kindergarten activity for decades, the peanut butter bird feeder is a surefire way to get your kids excited about Earth Day.
This activity can get messy, so we recommend covering your workstation with a beach towel or recycled newspapers for easy cleanup.
Plant the seed of sustainability with reusable water bottles and boys' and girls’ lunch boxes. One-time use plastic bottles and plastic packaging contribute tons of landfill waste every year. Let your kids personalize bottles and lunch bags with paint and stickers to encourage the use of reusable products – and healthy eating habits!
Picking up stray litter is a wonderful lifelong habit to instill in your youngsters. On Earth Day, organize a neighborhood cleanup day to get the ball rolling. Give every participant a pair of gloves (latex or dishwashing-style gloves are best) and a trash bag, and divide up the area among the groups. Not only will your kids be doing a good thing for the environment, but they’ll also have a chance to hang out with neighborhood friends and enjoy the outdoors.
Lands’ End is committed to a more sustainable future, and we continue to update our production methods to support those efforts. From implementing water-saving finishing processes to using recyclable fibers and sustainable packaging, we are approaching every step with fresh ideas. Whether you’re planning an Earth Day shopping spree or simply need to refresh your kids’ seasonal outfits, check out landsend.com for kids' clothing you can feel good about.