Earth Day is perfect for getting your kids excited about science. In fact, it provides plenty of opportunities to explore school subjects across the board such as math, science, reading, and art.
Here is a short list of fun (and educational!) things to do with your kids this coming weekend to celebrate the holiday.
Science (& Math)
To put it simply, science is merely the application of math. So I like to give my kids toys, kits, or activities that put this concept into practice. For example, my daughter received a 6 in 1 Educational Solar Kit for her birthday. This week, we’ll be breaking it out for some serious engineering fun. (I can’t wait to make the solar dog!)
If you have older kids, why not take them to see Disneynature’s newest release, “Chimpanzee,” which premiers this Friday? It is the fourth film released by the Disney-branded film label, all of which have been released on Earth Day and have been highly successful. If you have younger kids, you might be interested in printing up this Activity Pack that features some fun “Chimp-themed” worksheets. For older, more serious, students in 2nd through 6th grade, take a look at this Educator’s Guide. It has 135 pages of lesson plans and activities that correlate to National Science, Social Studies, Music, and Arts Standards, as well as Common Core English/Language Arts and Math Standards.
Visit the Cool Science for Kids website, where children can explore biology in an easy and creative way. This interactive site teaches kids about different biology concepts such as the classification system, and gives directions for making some easy crafts to help reinforce the concepts the kids learn on the site.
Looking for a good book? The Great Kapok Tree is a beautifully illustrated book that tells a magical tale of the Amazon rainforest with a conservation message embedded in the story.
There are a variety of free printables that parents or teachers can find online, like this Earth Day Report Card by Runde’s Room. Best suited for children in 3rd through 10th grade, it is a great activity for students to evaluate how “green” their school, classroom, and/or home. Younger children in Pre-K through 1st grade may enjoy this free Earth Day mini-book from ABC Schoolhouse that allows them to color, read, and practice their writing skills.
If your children prefer a more hands-on craft, the Lesson Plan Diva offers this free Earth Day “Craftivity” for kids to put together.No Time for Flash Cards also has a great collection of 20 Earth Day crafts and activities for kids, and The Crafty Crow has a list of 12 crafts using recycled materials. Young animal lovers may prefer to make these bird-friendly pine cone feeders from Full Circle.
Happy Earth Day!
Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and the founder and publisher of MommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.