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

Earth Theme: Art, Crafts and Games

July 16, 2009 19:56 by Barbara Shelby



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)


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)
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.

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...



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!





(Good for young children)
Materials -A variety of  Craft Items such as:
Paper towel and tissue paper rolls
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!



  • 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...


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!





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
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



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!



  • 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.



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.

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


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