Earth Day is a great time to break out the science and craft supplies to create up-cycled and engaging activities for the classroom. From reusing plastic bags to turning students into mini-environmental activists, these teacher-tested activities are sure to please. Plan your Earth Day activities now!
Earth Day Activities for Kids
Recycle Plastic Bags
by Gina, a 4/5th Grade Teacher, in Milwaukee, WI
One of the largest problems today is our dependency and overuse of plastic bags. These bags take eons to disintegrate and are clogging many of our waterways. The bags become caught in trees and electrical wires and cause harm to wildlife.
In order to help keep plastic bags out of our landfills and oceans, I show my students how they may iron the bags and turn them into usable items to keep and share. (I do the ironing in my classroom and send a note to parents instructing them to supervise this activity at home.) After cutting the handles and turning the plastic inside out, I fold the bags into layers, cover the layers with parchment paper and iron them so they fuse together. You can experiment with ironing different types of plastic bags together. We use the ironed bag material to craft lots of items such as wallets, wristbands and even messenger bags!
Fishy Earth Day Craft
by Ashley, a 1st Grade Teacher, in Canfield, OH
To help students listen and follow directions, I plan a special Earth Day craft: a fish made out of used CDs, glue, string, and scrap paper. For the project, each student needs two CDs; a glue stick; a length of string; two fins, fish lips and a fish tail (all made out of scrap paper).
The CD serves as the body of the fish. As students watch and listen, I demonstrate how to glue one fin on the top of the CD and one to the bottom. Then I show how to glue on the lips to the “front” of the fish and the tail to the “back” of the fish. Then I show how to put glue all over the label side of the CD and put the other CD on top like a sandwich. (Tip: Sometimes we glue string inside the two CDs to make an ornament.) This step-by-step process reinforces listening skills and helps kids follow directions as they reuse items to make something new and decorative.