Earth Day Activities For Preschoolers

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year. It’s a great day to celebrate our planet and show our children how they can help Mother Nature. Educators have a responsibility to teach youngsters about the consequences of their actions and to help them understand why it’s critical to protect the Earth. This education should start as early as possible, and as a child care provider or preschool director, you’re in the best position to help our children be an active part of protecting the environment. And here’s the thing:

Earth Day is a really fun holiday to celebrate with children! Here’s why:

  • Kids love animals.
  • Kids love plants.
  • Kids love science.
  • Kids love playing outside.
  • Kids love exploring nature.

They will be dying to learn what they can do to help and will relish in activities that involve planting trees or saving creatures they love. This is a holiday that will ignite their passions and light up their little eyes. The newest generation of children is faced with many challenges in regard to the planet and early childhood educators (and parents, of course!) can capitalize on children’s love for nature to help solve them.

Ideally, when planning for Earth Day, you should try to create at least one day’s worth of lessons centered on the holiday. That immersion in the topic will get the children excited and ensure that they will retain what they have learned. If you want to, you can even make a week of it!

Here is a sample of fun activities to do with kids on Earth Day at your preschool:

Literacy and Reading

During literacy or circle time, bring the children around to read a book about Earth Day. Then, of course, have a discussion, ask questions and explore the topics and themes discussed in the book.

Music/Movement

Music and movement are often kids’ favorite time of day. Teach them a simple song about being eco-friendly. Here is a fun Earth Day song to the tune of “Mary Had the Little Lamb:”

Plant a seed and you will see,
You will see, you will see,
Plant a seed and you will see
What a beautiful world it can be.


Help us to recycle things,
Recycle things, recycle things,
Help us to recycle things,
What a beautiful world it brings.


Put your trash where it belongs,
Where it belongs, where it belongs,
Put your trash where it belongs,
And the world stays beautiful for long.

Cognitive Development/Problem Solving

Use this time to show the children a globe and discuss the attributes of a sphere. Allow them to spin the globe then ask them to find other spheres in the classroom. This would be a great way to make a home-school connection by sending home a “Sphere Hunt” worksheet to do with their parents in their house. There will also be many ways to integrate cognitive skills across the lessons (see “Social Studies” and “Outdoor Play” for examples).

Creative Art

There are literally thousands of fun and easy art projects that the kids can do on Earth Day. However, probably the simplest crafts (that will also drive home your point the best) will be activities that involve recycled materials. Check out these great project examples by Disney for ideas of crafts made from recycled items.

Outdoor Play

During outdoor play, if possible, allow the children to look for litter and to clean up. Your playground may not be littered with garbage but the parking lot might. Of course, be sure to take precautions when taking the kids out of the building and always clear these activities with administration and parents. You can also encourage the children to play with beach balls illustrated with the Earth. Those can be found at many toy stores or even the dollar store. This is a great opportunity to talk, again, about spheres.

Science

Science would be a great time to plant a tree or garden on your child care facilities grounds. This could then become something for the children to look after, and a responsibility that the class takes on. As it grows, they will learn all about the plant life cycle and will also be contributing to the betterment of their planet.

Social Studies

During Social Studies, a lesson on being a responsible citizen of Earth would be in order. This can also be tied in to picking up litter. Moreover, you could prepare a box or bag of items that are often thrown away and sort them into a pile of recyclables and non-recyclables. A sorting activity is also a wonderful cognitive activity that encourages pre-math skills. Integration across the curriculum, as any educator knows, is the best way to teach any topic!

Of course, this is just a sample of how to make Earth Day special. You should fine tune all of your lessons so that they are suitable for your age group and for their skills and interests. The real goal is to get them interested in protecting our environment and you, more than anyone, know what will get your students excited. Make it a fun day so that they will be excited to bring what they have learned into their homes and into the world!

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