Earth Day is a day to celebrate all the Earth has to offer. It’s also a day to remember that we need to protect her and teach our children how to do that for their future and for future generations. Of course, these are lessons that you should teach on a daily basis, but this is the one day of the year that we get to celebrate all our world gives us and the beauty within it.
Here are 10 Earth Day activities you can do to show your kids the beauty of nature around us:
We are lucky enough to live near one of the most beautiful national parks in our country, which happens to have great hiking trails. There are also local parks that have great trails to walk and explore. You can see a list of them at FloridaHikes. Just remember to bring your bug spray. Nature is great, except when you come home with a ton of bug bites.
3. Turn Earth Day into a weekend celebration and go camping.
April is not the best time of year to go camping in the Everglades because of the heat and bugs. But you can try to make a go of it by preparing with enough bug spray to keep the bugs away. My favorite place to camp is at Bear Island Campground at Big Cypress because it is a primitive campsite and you get to really be a part of nature. You hear things like wild turkeys and have critters like rabbits and armadillos that come and visit your campsite. I usually go when it is cold though because of the mosquitos.
4. Go for a bike ride.
Instead of driving short distances for your daily commute to school, work, or to run errands, consider riding your bike. There is no greener method of transportation than your bike. Plus, if you have a trailer for your kids or a way for them to join you on the ride, they can enjoy being able to take the world in from a different perspective.
5. Go to the beach.
How lucky are we that we live near several beaches! Earth Day is a great day to visit a local beach. Let the kids play in the sand and splash in the water. Talk to them about the animals that make shells their home. Or you can just go fly a kite!
6. Work on your garden or start a garden with your kids for Earth Day.
Make sure to give them a space to call their own where you can teach them about planting seeds and how to maintain their plants. If you don’t have a lot of space, give them a pot they can place by the window or even a paper cup. Any kind of container will do, so long as they get to grow a plant of their own.
7. While you’re out, go on a nature-inspired scavenger hunt or play I Spy with your kids.
Get them involved in what you see around you and try to see things through their eyes as well.
8. Volunteer to help clean up your community.
There are plenty of clean up opportunities you can partake in around town during Earth Day. Baynanza took place on April 13th, but you can also visit Hands On Miami for ongoing volunteer opportunities.
9. Visit your local library.
The library is always a great source of information with their various story times around town for kids of all ages. They also usually have crafts catered around upcoming events. Check out their Calendar of Events and see what events will take place near you.
10. Visit the Zoo.
I did this with my kids last year and they had a lot of opportunities to see animals they’d never heard of before. They also learned about animal conservation and why we need to protect certain species. The zoo gave out trees for Earth Day to plant at your home and had an enclosed butterfly garden that you could walk through and interact with.
Whatever you decide to do with your kids this Earth Day, be sure to also bring the lesson home. Talk to your kids about the importance of taking care of their community. This can start in small ways around the house and will then branch out into bigger things as they grow. They will one day inherit this world from us. We need to leave them with the knowledge they need to care for it when we are no longer around.
And be sure to share about the fun activities you did with your family in the comments below!