I am rounding up some fun earth day activities for the classroom in this blog post. Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22nd around the world in over 190 countries. It’s a great day to inject some fun projects into your lessons but also a way to raise awareness with your students about the importance of caring for our earth.
Make Seed Bombs
One of my favorite Earth Day activities for the classroom is to have students create seed bombs. HGTV has a great video tutorial you can watch. This is a simple and easy project using just paper and wildflower seeds. Students can then take the seed balls to their homes and plant them.
Check out this video for details on how to make them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBU3Xpponw0
Teach About Saving the Polar Bear
The second Earth Day activity is one I’ll definitely be using in my classroom and comes from Molly of Firstieland. Molly has her students brainstorm how to save the polar bears. I love the focus of making Earth Day more relatable for students by aligning the lessons with things they can do. This cause and effect method is sure to make an impact on your animal lovers in the class!
Molly then takes it a step forward by conducting a science experiment showing how the ice is melting and polar bears are losing their home. Read all about Molly’s Earth Day Activities for First Grade Kids on her blog.
Recycled Earth Day Art Project
Next up is a recycled magazine Earth picture. Not only is this super adorable but it’s earth friendly! Mme Marissa explains how to do this simple craft that your students and families will adore. Grab the directions here: Recycled Earth Day Art Project.
Earth Day Pledge
A post about Earth Day activities in the classroom wouldn’t be complete without bringing up having students make an Earth Day pledge. Asking students to brainstorm and then write about something they will do to help the earth would be a great addition to the recycled Earth craft above.
The Core Coaches has a great writing paper you can use for this activity and best of all it’s free! Click here to grab it.
Effects of Ocean Pollution
Teaching why Earth Day is so important is also a helpful classroom activity. Sam from Simple Everyday Mom has a powerful activity that is sure to get students thinking about the effects pollution has on our oceans.
Sam’s ocean activity needs to be done in several different steps making it a great center for several days. First students will play with the animals in clean water. Next, some “pollution” will be introduced in the form of coffee and oil. Then more pollution comes from coffee grounds and shredded plastic.
Students will then attempt to remove the oil with cotton balls. Afterwards students will scrub the animals with a small amount of dish soap. Last, students will attempt to filter out the water. I recommend pairing this activity with images of the Great Garbage Patch such as these from the WWF.
Learning About Our Carbon Footprint
When I first heard about this activity I was excited because I haven’t seen it before as a classroom Earth Day idea. Even as an adult I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t paid much attention to my own carbon footprint.
Jen from Kitchen Counter Chronicles came up with the idea of helping her daughter create a poster about how she can reduce her carbon footprint. This classroom activity will need a little background as you explain that a carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide we produce in our daily lives.
I would then do a class brainstorm of all the things that use fossil fuels. Using this list students can then create a list of what can be done as an alternative. For example, the class might have buying imported food on the list. The alternative would be to shop local foods or grow our own.
Did you know there are over 12 vegetables you can regrow from their off-cuts? Some fruits can also be regrown this way as well. What better classroom activity to do for Earth Day than teaching students a sustainable way to regrow their own food?
To get started I recommend picking a few of the faster growing vegetables. Green onions, carrots, beets, basil, and cilantro are easy to grow and students will see results quickly. Split students into small groups and each group can grow a different vegetable.
As a class you can compare the growth process but also learn how to grow a variety of vegetables which can then be shared with their families. The Farmers’ Almanac has all the directions on their website. Click to here to get the tips for best results.
Making Recycled Paper
My last of the Earth Day activities for the classroom is to teach your students how to make paper from scraps. I love the simple directions from the Craftaholic Witch that you can view here.
To create new paper students will first tear up old newspapers, magazines, or worksheets into small scraps. Next, soak the scraps in a large bowl of water for a few hours to a day or more. This will form a nice pulp. If you are impatient you can blend the scraps with water in a blender and skip the wait.
Once the pulp is ready students will scoop some up and place it onto a plastic net. I have found plastic canvas sheets to work nicely and can be purchased at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Place the pulp face down onto a non-sticky surface. Then, using the Earth Day theme use a piece of clothing or old towel to blot dry the pulp through the net backing. Peel off the net and allow to dry. Reuse the net for the next student.
If you’d like a video tutorial the Craftaholic Witch has you covered.
I hope you found a few new Earth Day activities for the classroom in these 8 easy projects.