Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Earth Day-Every Day! Menu

March 27, 2012 20:04 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

 This catagory consists of several  sections...click on the one you'd like!

•Earth Theme: Art, Crafts and Games


Earth Theme: Art, Crafts and Games

July 16, 2009 19:56 by Barbara Shelby

 

ART AND CRAFTS

TRASH COLLAGE OR MURAL
Use thrown away paper, labels, stamps, scraps cut from junk mail, used craft items, etc. Use everything you can find that is typically thrown away; with all this, make a wonderful collage or mural.
(This is a good idea to include in the Earth Week Exhibit described in this category)

_________________

EARTH DAY PROGRAM QUILT
Give children 6” squares and have them draw something in nature that they appreciate. Punch holes in all four corners of each square and tie the squares together with yarn. Hang for all to admire!

_____________

RAIN STICK #1 (Heavy-duty)
1.
Hammer nails into Heavy cardboard mailing tubes 1/8" apart, using the spiral seam of the cardboard.
2. Add several handfuls of assorted filler material (rice, beans, etc)
3. Seal each end of the tube securely with tape.
4. Decorate your stick with raffia, ribbon, adhesive-backed shelf paper, wrapping paper or a jungle print or decorations.

RAIN STICK #2
Materials: Paper Towel Roll, Tape that can be painted, Paint, Glue, Uncooked Rice, Toothpicks...

  • Pre-poke holes into the side of the paper towel rolls.
  • Have children poke toothpicks through the holes and glue each end of the tooth pick.
  • Next- tape one end of the roll closed.
  • Add rice and tape the other end.
  • Children can paint their sticks as they choose.
  • Last, cut off the toothpicks that stick out from the tube.

_______________ 

Idea***Research and make INFORMATIONAL POSTERS on such things as the RAIN FOREST OR ENGANGERED SPECIES and the protection of animals on the brink of extinction. Design an attractive mural with the information...

_______________

 DECORATING YOUR ROOM FOR A PARTY?

Put up decorations made from recycled or reused materials. Instead of using crepe paper, cut strips of used notebook paper or construction paper and glue them together to form colorful chains to hang from the ceiling. Be creative!

 

  _________________

 

LITTER BUG CRAFT

(Good for young children)
Materials -A variety of  Craft Items such as:
Paper towel and tissue paper rolls
Stickers
Markers
Pipe Cleaners, String, Yarn, Buttons, Glue, Scissors, google eyes...
Using craft supplies and imagination create your own Litter Bug. Be sure to make it an ugly little bug. Use this bug to show young children that this is what people look like --when they don’t throw away trash!

__________________

MAKING LITTER BAGS FOR PARENTS' CARS (Easy craft)

  • Give children small lunch bags or white craft bags. Have THEM decorate the bag with pictures of flowers, trees and animals.
  • Open up the bag and bend the top down 1”.
  • Punch two holes on one side at the top.
  • Loop a piece of string, yarn or ribbon through the two holes and tie.
  • Have children hang their litter bags in their parents' cars; remind them that all car litter should go in the litter bag.

_________________

Be sure to check out the "RECYCLED MATERIAL CATEGORY" TO MAKE ART, GAMES AND CRAFTS! Great for Earth Friendly ideas...

_________________

EARTH DAY GROCERIES PROJECT
Four Simple Steps

1. Borrow. Contact a local grocery store that uses large paper grocery bags. See if the manager will let you "borrow" enough bags so that each student in your school can decorate one. Let the manager know about the project and its environmental education message, of course! Grocers usually get these bags in "bundles" of 500.
 
2. Decorate. Have students at school decorate the bags with pictures of the earth, environmental messages, the name of your school, etc. Be creative! DO NOT allow students to write their last names on any bags.
 
3. Deliver. A couple of days before Earth Day you and/or your students return the decorated bags to the grocery store - with many thanks to the manager! The store then distributes these bags (full of groceries) to happy and amazed shoppers on Earth Day.
 
4. Report. Fill out the Report Form on the project web site with a count of how many bags your school made. Please, only one report per school. All reports will be posted on the Earth Day Groceries site

You do not need to sign up or register, just have a great time with the project! For more information, check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Another Idea: If you can't use paper bags, you can have students decorate individual fliers, or even bookmarks, which can be handed out to shoppers or inserted in their shopping bags. These will be counted in the project tally, so do send in your report!
This is a great idea, even if you do it on your own!

_________________

 

LIANA VINE DECORATIVE STRING

 

Make a rainforest liana vine to decorate a room. (Also,wonderful for summer!) This simple-to-make string makes a great classroom decoration. It represents a rainforest vine full of leaves, flowers, butterflies, caterpillars, snakes, lizards, and other life. You can drape the colorful string around the classroom, from the ceiling, or over the windows. (Liana is a woody, climbing vine that grows on tree trunks in order to reach sunlight in the rainforest. Rattan, used for making wicker furniture, is made from liana vines.)

Supplies needed:
Construction paper (many colors)
Crayons or markers
Scissors
Glue, tape, or staples
A long piece of green or brown yarn or string
1.  Make some template for the kids to trace...
Example: When you make leaves ---make sure to draw a thick stem on the top (your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over). 2.  Cut out the leaf.
3.  Draw the leaf veins if you wish.
4.  Fold the leaf's stem in half. Attach the leaf to a long string using tape, glue, or staples. Make more leaves and attach them to the string.

  •  Make flowers, butterflies, caterpillars, snakes, and other animals for the vine.
  •  A good way to attach butterflies to the vine is by taping (or stapling) a V-shaped pipe cleaner to the butterfly's head (as its antennae), and then twisting the pipe cleaner to attach it to the vine.
  • Draw details on your flowers and animals, and attach them to the string (using tape, glue, staples or pipe cleaners).
  • Hang your rainforest/summer vine across the room for a colorful decoration.
    Adapted from EnchantedLearning

_________________ 

Earth Week Art and Project Exhibit

This will need to be starts weeks before Earth Day which is April 22Display photography, sculpture, drawings, pastels, etc., as well as crafts, toys, and nature projects made by the children. FOCUS EVERYTING ON THE ENVIRONMENT or OBJECTS MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS.

  • Set up your "Exhibit" and hold a FAMILY EVENT after school. You can also invite school classrooms to walk through and view.
  • Serve refreshments/snacks with an Earth theme...Ideas for snacks are below-click here.
  • Spend time on projects made from Recycled Materials! Click here to visit the Recycled Ideas Category. 

 

 

 

 

 

DOWN IN THE JUNGLE (This would be great during Earth Week or to include in the above Art Exhibit! Some wonderful animal creations using recycled materials, made by children in First Grade. Scraps amd sheets of used paper are saved during the year and then turned into delightful display projects!

Contributed by Bev Evan at Display Photos

  ______________________

GAMES...

RAINFOREST OBSTACLE COURSE
Optional: Take a portable CD player outside and play rainforests sounds of animals, music, nature...
Put together an obstacle course...

1. Use branches for the children to climb over, under or around.
2. Have them climb across the monkey bars, while making monkey sounds...
3. Climb a vine (a hanging rope) 
   This can be done individually or as a team!

______________

LITTER SWEEP RELAY GAME

  • Divide into two teams and give each team a broom and a small pile of dry trash such as soda cans, paper, small plastic bottles, etc.
  • On the signal, the first person on each team sweeps the trash to a certain point and back.
  • The next team member then takes over, and so on until all have run.
  • First team finished wins.
  • If a player loses any trash they must sweep back and pick it up.

______________

ENDANGERED ANIMAL CHARADES

Young children are often surprised to learn that their favorite animals from books and in zoos are not prevalent in the wild. In this activity, children become aware of the diversity of endangered species through a game.

  • Prepare a list of animals that are endangered (with or without pictures) and cut the list apart. Fold the slips of paper and put them into a container for children to draw from. Examples include: Alligator, Whale, Sheep, Elephant, Hummingbird, Shark, eagle, Wolf, Panda, Tiger Rattlesnake, Grasshopper, Fly, Polar Bear, rhino, Gorilla, turtle, Snail, Panther, butterfly, Dolphin, Rabbit, Frog, and Iguana.
  • First-discuss the term "endangered species" and what students know about it… What do they believe causes animals to become extinct? Point out that many kinds of animals they find interesting are in danger of disappearing.

GAME: Children will pretend to be an endangered species and have their classmates try to guess what these animals are. As in the formal game of charades, students are not permitted to talk, but they may pantomime the behaviors of the animals.

If the group is large, form two teams and have individual students pantomime as their team members guess. If they cannot guess the name of the animal, the other team may try.

After the game, talk about the animals they acted out and why some of them are endangered. What animals on the endangered list surprised the students?

___________________

GARBAGE BALL If you’re having an Earth theme this game would work!

  • Use whatever you have that can be thrown and not hurt anyone… Balls, wads of paper, sock balls, rubber chickens, koosh balls, etc.
  • Have two equal teams with a center line.
  • Each team starts with the same amount of items.
  • At the signal each team throws whatever it can get their hands on—from their side of the line to the other side.
  • Players continue to throw until the signal to stop (or if music is used when you play—and the music stops)
  • The winning team is the side with the least amount of garbage on it’s side.
    To play more rounds—divide the garbage evenly again and continue. Keep score of whoever has the most wins.

You can add interest by having the “losing team” pick up all “garbage” or have both teams pick up garbage but the losing team has to do what the winning teams directs---such as accomplish a certain amount of push-ups- sit-ups, etc.

Return to top of page

Be sure to visit the Trash to Treasures Category (Making things from Recycled Materials)

__________________________

Earth and Green Theme Menu


Earth Theme Variety and Snacks

July 16, 2009 19:55 by Barbara Shelby

 

 CANCEL SALES CATALOGS!


Read about a school that started "The Catalog Canceling Challenge" in 2007 and since then other schools and scouts have joined the fun. So far 5,000 kids in fifteen states have canceled almost 40,000 unwanted sales catalogs! It saves trees, water, energy, and our climate. In fact, these kids have saved over 600 trees so far!

It's a pretty straightforward idea that kids enjoy. Click here if your program would like more information. (Also, please see comment box at page bottom from the Catelog Cancelling Challenge.)

_____________

 

ANIMAL SAFETY

This is good reminder to include in a newsletter or at an Earth Club meeting...

Sometimes plastic ring-type holders found on six-packs of aluminum cans can end up in the water... fish and other animals that live there can get caught in them. Help your child make these holders less hazardous by using scissors to cut through each ring in the holder before throwing it away.

I was in Traverse City one summer; at the Hotel's water edge was a duck with plastic ring wrapped around his beak. I was told that it was there for at least a day. The duck was frantic and trying to remove it. Several hours later...someone was finally able to get it off...(Photo is of duck with six-pack rings caught on head)

___________

OLD SHOES...

For information visit their website. To keep recycling equipment running smoothly, there are guidelines:
• Athletic shoes only (any brand)
• No shoes containing metal
• No cleats or dress shoes
• No wet or damp shoes

Put out notices and containers—and start collecting!!!
Ever thrown out a pair of worn-out athletic shoes? Did you know that IT TAKES ABOUT 1,000 YEARS for those sneakers to biodegrade? Wondering what to do with the ones you've already got? RECYCLE THEM.
 
Every year, millions of pairs of athletic shoes are thrown away, not only wasting landfill space, but wasting tons of reusable material. Since 1993 Nike has been running a program called Reuse-a-Shoe. So far they've used 24 million pairs of athletic shoes to create sports surfaces. It’s part of the "Let Me Play" campaign, one of Nike’s longest-running environmental and community programs, where worn-out athletic shoes of any brand are collected, processed and recycled into material USED IN SPORT SURFACES like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.

_____________________

 BE SURE TO READ THE LORAX BY DR. SEUSS!

It's MUCH more than a children's book!!! It's a GREAT LESSON for all ages! (Beside the movie, there is also a 25 minute video!!!)
The Lorax appears and speaks for the trees, since they have no voice of their own. The Lorax warns of the dangers of raping the land for the Truffula Trees, but the Once-ler is so greedy, he pays him no heed. As you can guess, the land soon dies, and all that is left is destruction and pollution. The Lorax sadly flies off, never to be seen there again. But, as it should be, the story ends with hope. He entrusts to you a seed, the very last seed, to start again for the Truffula Trees.
 
BUILD A THEME AROUND THE LORAX
SOME Activities to supplement "THE LORAX" for a Theme...

1. Discuss the IMPORTANCE OF TREES for people and animals.
With the children...list all the ways the forest is helpful.

  • The trees hold the water in the soil with their roots.
  • The forest keeps the surrounding area cool with its shade.
  • The forest provides homes for many animals.
  • Forests clean and enrich the air we breathe. Their leaves and needles take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen through the tree's bark.   

2. MAKE A MURAL with trees, etc.
 
3. PLANT a small tree.
 
4. Make ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAGES
Have children cut out magazine pictures of trees, flowers, birds, sun, clouds, etc. They then glue them on sheets of construction paper to make a collage about their environment. Post collages on wall... talk about the world they live in... And how we can help take care of the trees and birds.
 
5. DO TREE RUBBINGS
Give children a piece of paper and a large crayon with the paper off. Show them how to use the crayon sideways to make a rubbing.

6. MAKE A TREE: Give each child a cardboard toilet tissue tube for a tree trunk. Help each child make several hand shapes out of green construction paper for palm fronds (leaves) have children tape the leaves to the inside of the top of their tree trunks. Before they glue the leaves on--they can color or paint the tubes.
 
 7.  MAKE PLAY DOUGH and make it different colors of the earth! The children can make trees, worms, and flower shapes. (There are more than 40 recipes in the Goop, Gak Category and 40 in the Play Dough Category...even one for fossils and dough that looks like mud!)

8. NATURE/FOREST SCAVENGET HUNT (With Pictures for those that can't read) Normal otherwise...

  • Make a scavenger hunt list with pictures you have drawn on a sheet of paper.
  • Some ideas: a feather, small stone, acorn, various leaves in your area, small twig or stick, dead bug (draw him with legs up, pine cone, flower (only if they can pick one), worm, pieces of grass, clover leaf …and any other ideas you can come up with.
  • Make sure that you go over the list with the children just in case your not the world’s best artist.

9.  PARACHUTE WITH LEAVES FALLING
Place pre-cut leaves (lots of them on a parachute. Put on some music and play games with letting the leaves gently fall. 

10. HELP THE BIRDS! See Bird Theme for other ideas for Birds!

     Lend a helping hand to the birds by supplying them with simple nesting materials.

  • All you need to do is fill a mesh bag (like the kind onions are packaged in ) or a berry basket; use dried grass, short lengths of yarn and string, stuffing from old furniture or a feather pillow---also hair from brushes.
  • Loop the strands outside of the mesh or basket so birds can grab them.
  • Hang the bag in a location that the birds can safely access; watch the birds collect--hunt to see if you can find one of "your" nests!

______________

YOU CAN ALSO...

• If the weather is nice -- READ OUTSIDE under a tree! Have a picnic or a snack there! 

Get a "Sounds of the Rain forest" or woodsy and animal-sounds CD to play .... It will be soothing for the kids (and you) as well as enriching.

Do a COMMUNITY SERVICE project. Litter spoils the woods and can hurt the animals and visitors. As a special project, have the students pick up litter in your area (with plastic gloves on)--and then dispose of it properly. Make a list of the things that were found. Contact the media to do a story on the children's concern for their environment.

SNACKS: See below...

_________________

SNACKS FOR EARTH THEME...

 TASTE THE RAINFOREST

Buy food found in the Rainforest: Bananas, star fruit, coconut, chocolate, papaya, bananas, mangoes, etc.
Have children try all the different flavors. You can add dimension by adding a graphing of who liked what best.
When you do things like this, be sure to indicate the treat on your snack and daily activities calendar –
Example: Snack Today: We’re tasting the Rainforest!

____________

EARTH COOKIES:

Make or purchase round cookies. To resemble the Earth, have children spread cookies with green and blue frosting. (Put green, blue and a bit of yellow frosting on cookes in horizontal lines. With a tooth pick-swirl the colors together.)

_____________

NATURES BOUNTY

Have children snack on a variety of foods that come directly from nature: Apple slices, orange segments, fresh berries, and sunflower seeds.
Remember to write ...
SNACK TODAY FROM NATURE'S BOUNTY!
____________

 
TRASH SNACK
Ingredients:
Flat bottom ice cream cones, Cheerios, miniature marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and peanuts.

  • Take 4 lunch bags and put a different food item in each one.
  • Write “old tires” on the bag of Cheerios
  • “Styrofoam” on marshmallows bag
  • “Sticks” on the bag with pretzel sticks
  • “Stones” on the bag with peanuts
  • Serve the “trash” in trash cans (Ice cream cones)

When serving the snack the kids can take a scoop from each bag or they can combine and mix the ingredients in a large bowl.
Nice that there is NO trash when the children have finished eating!
Idea adapted from practicalkindergarten in answersyahoo...
This idea would be nice combined with a project related to litter and trash!

______________

  Two recipes for DIRT CUPS. One mixes cookies into the pudding and one doesn't.
#1 version

Canned or Pre-made Chocolate Pudding Mix
Milk (If making pudding)
Oreo Cookies
Gummy Worms
Cool Whip
Cups, Spoons,  Zip Lock Bags
   • Place Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag; have children break them up by banging the bag. Cover the bottom of cups with crumbled Oreos.
Use canned pudding or Combine pudding mix and milk to make your own pudding, pour into the cups--leaving 1/2 an inch of space at the top. Refrigerate pudding until set. Add crumbled Oreos to the top of each cup and garnish with a gummy worm.

 #2 DIRT CUP version
2 cups of cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) JELL-O Instant Pudding (chocolate flavor)
3-1/2 cups (8 ounce container) COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed
1 package (16 ounces) chocolate sandwich cookies (like OREOS) (crush them into tiny pieces in a plastic bag)
Gummy worms or insects
Measuring cup
Medium mixing bowl
Wire whisk
Rubber scraper or large spoon
Measuring spoons
8-10 paper or plastic cups (8 ounce size)

  • Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and add the pudding mix. Beat with the wire whisk until well blended (about two minutes).
  • Let pudding stand for five minutes.
  • Stir whipped topping and 1/2 of the crushed cookies into the pudding (very gently) with rubber scraper until mixture is all the same color.
  • Place about 1 tablespoon of the remaining crushed cookies into the bottom of each cup.
  • Fill cups about 3/4 full with pudding mixture.
  • Top each cup with the rest of the crushed cookies. Add gummy worms and insects to decorate.
  • Put cups into the refrigerator for about one hour to chill them-- and enjoy!

_____________

FOUR 'BIRD SNACKS' FOR HUMANS

#1 PIDGEON POOP SNACK

4 cups peanut butter crunch cereal
3 cups rice krispies
2 cups pretzel sticks broken in 1/2
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 bags white chocolate chips
Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and melt white chocolate chips in microwave and cover and mix, then lay on wax paper until cooled. Break into pieces.

___________ 

#2 BIRD'S NEST SNACK
1/3 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup chowmein noodles
Candy bird eggs (jelly beans)

  • Melt butterscotch morsels in a medium microwave safe bowl.
  • Add chow mein noodles to melted morsels and mix.
  • Shape into a circle on wax paper.
  • Use a large spoon to make indention in center.
  • Let nests harden. Add jelly beans or chocolate eggs.

____________

#3 CHOCOLATE BIRD NESTS

Make the above version, but instead of butterscotch chips, use chocolate chips! (Image by KidActivities.net)

___________

#4 BIRD'S NEST SNACK 

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan.
Add 1 cup of brown sugar. Boil and stir for one minute.
Add a 3 oz. can of chow mein noodles.
Put the mixture in 12 paper baking cups in a muffin tin. Use your thumb to press noodles into the nest while still warm. DO NOT BAKE.
Give children jelly bean eggs to put in their nests.
*You can also put MELON BALLS in the nests...

Return to top of page

Other Earth Themed Pages

 ____________________________________