We have compiled a bunch of Earth-themed activities to celebrate this incredible planet we call home. Please feel free to look through past blog posts for more nature-based activities like the Nature Scavenger Hunt, fort building, Listening Walks and many others. Remember that revisiting past activities is developmentally appropriate and actually helps your child learn more deeply.
THE EARTH AND I BY FRANK ASCH
READ BY HEIDI
A SELF-GUIDED VIRTUAL NATURE WALK
I have recently rediscovered the Burlington Parks during this stay at home order. Fern and I had been missing woods and fields. So many parks offer these aspects of natural beauty with the added plus of several views of the lake. I wanted to offer you a self-guided virtual walk similar to the walks I took with my daughter, Emma when she was a toddler, preschooler and ever since, really!! I know many of you may be enjoying the parks but some may not be able.
Hint: While preschoolers will enjoy taking this virtual tour with you, this may be most valuable in supporting your walks with your children. Walk and point things out, stating your observations in response to the types of questions found here.
Walks are a wonderful opportunity to support observation skills and help children and adults engage with all their senses and make connections. Walks are an opportunity to facilitate curiosity and investigative inquiry.
I have included some videos and audio recordings for you and your child to explore together. The virtual, self-guided tour incorporates questions to engage your child’s observation skills.
BCS teachers enjoying nature when they were children and now!
Sarah A-K and her sister swimming in the brook near their house. They liked to build dams and everyone had their favorite rock to warm up in the sun.
Natalie discovering some cool mushrooms on a hike.
Baby Kat riding on her dad’s shoulders outside.
Kat and Kat’s family on a walk. Kat’s love for plants is born!
Sarah A-K in a field, her happy place!
Lauren B. enjoying some sunshine when she was a baby.
Sarah A-K skiing in her driveway because even in winter, they were expected to play outside every day.
Melissa’s daughter, Emma (age one), picking up rocks at a stream.
Natalie, her sister and her dad swimming in a waterfall after a hike.
Lauren W. out on a walk.
Sheila at her summer camp on the lake where she spent most of her childhood in the summer.
Melissa cross country skiing!
“You know I love a good snowstorm!” -Sam
Melissa wearing rad pants by the ocean.
Molly and Kat being silly on a hike together.
INDOOR EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES
BY THE OLDER TODDLER TEAM
Earth Day paper plate weaving. Cut slits around the outside edge of a paper plate or other cardboard and string the yarn to make the framework. The have your child weave the yarn in and out of the frame.
Shaving Cream Earth Painting– Spray shaving cream into a shallow container. Use droppers to add green and blue drops to the surface. Then lay a paper on top of the shaving cream and gently press down. When you lift the paper up, you have a beautiful work of art!
Earth Day Salt Dough Necklace – In a large bowl, mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt, and ½ cup water until it forms a dough similar to playdough. The dough should be a bit dry and not sticky. Using a rolling pin or bottle, roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. If you want to make jewelry with these. Use a toothpick, straw or other item to make a small hole in your shape. Bake at 250 degrees for 1-1.5 hours until it is hard and dry. Let it cool completely, then decorate with paint or glue. You can thread it with yarn after it is finished.
Earth Painting in a bag– Take a paper plate and some blue and green paint. Put dabs of paint on the plate, then put it into a large plastic bag. Use hands outside the bag to spread the paint around. Then remove the plate from the bag and let dry.
Painting in a Bag additions from the Infant Room Team:
“Sure, it’s fun to get messy when painting, but let’s be honest, there’s not always time to wipe paint off the table, floor, walls, ceiling… so here’s an alternative.
So simple, and so fun! Create a sensory experience for your kiddo.
Add a couple of drops of paint into a ziplock bag
Tape the bag onto a window or glass door
Besides this activity’s perk of having little clean-up, it can be left on the window allowing kids to come back and explore the project.
Add a piece of paper to the ziplock so that artwork can be saved and admired!
Try to reuse a ziplock you’ve kept food in and rinsed out (double check to make sure it’s still airtight). If anyone thinks of an alternative to using a plastic bag, please share with all of us!”
Fizzy Earth Day Science – Put about a spoonful of baking soda into a cup or bowl. Add food coloring if desired. Using a dropper or small spoon, add vinegar to the cup. Make sure to have a tray underneath to catch the overflow!
Planet Earth Pom-Poms – Gather two toilet paper rolls, scissors, and some yarn. Wrap the yarn tightly around the tubes until you have a thick bundle. Then cut the end off the yarn. Cut another piece of yarn and thread it between the tubes. Tie it tightly. Slide it off the tubes and cut through the loops created. Fluff it out.
ART WITH RECYCLED MATERIALS
“Trash isn’t waste until you waste it.”
Turn your trash into art! Check out this cool video for inspiration.
ON THE DAY YOU WERE BORN BY DEBRA FRASIER
READ BY MELISSA
Some pictures from the book for parents if you would like to dive a little deeper into some of Earth’s wonders with your children.