Earth Day is April 22, and because of COVID-19, we’ll have to forgo our usual outdoor attractions and events and celebrate at home.
But perhaps this is actually the ‘greenest’ way to commemorate this spring holiday. It’s so crucial to teach our little ones about the importance of preserving our natural surroundings, and there’s no shortage of fun ways to celebrate Earth Day at home this year.
Read a book
Weave one of these Earth-themed books into your next homeschool lesson. (Need to stock up? Order from local bookseller Indy Reads Books!)
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’s beloved story, printed on recycled paper, teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. Also, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie is available to stream through Amazon!
My, Oh My–A Butterfly! by Tish Rabe
This story shares how with a little help from the Cat in the Hat, Sally and Dick observe a small miracle in their own backyard-the metamorphosis of an egg into a caterpillar into a chrysalis into a bright new butterfly! Readers will also follow the amazing migration of millions of monarchs.
I Can Name 50 Trees Today! by Bonnie Worth
While stopping to admire some of the world’s most amazing trees, the Cat and Co. teach beginning readers how to identify different species from the shape of their crowns, leaves, lobes, seeds, bark, and fruit. Kids will learn about many trees common to North America.
If I Ran the Rain Forest by Bonnie Worth
The Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Dick for an “umbrella-vator” ride through the understory, canopy, and emergent layers of a tropical rain forest, encountering a host of plants, animals, and native peoples along the way.
Seussville, the website for all things Seuss, houses Dr. Seuss themed activities for parents and educators. These activities range from making colorful Truffula Tree Cakes to The Lorax Planter that teaches kids the importance of taking care of the environment.
An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive, awaits you in Earth. Disneynature brings you a remarkable story, narrated by James Earl Jones, of three animal families on a journey across our planet – polar bears, elephants and humpback whales.
We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Julianna Swaney
We Are the Gardeners is a children’s book that chronicles how the famous Gaines family began their garden. The stars of the show Fix Upper narrate how it began with a fern Chip gave Jo, their adventures along the way and what they have learned. Young readers will love the warm story of their discovery for the love of gardening, and want to create their own successful gardens.
Play educational and nature-focused games with your PBS KIDS favorite characters. Games include “Nature Sketchpad” where you can draw what you see in nature and “Nature Changer” where you help animals find what they need to survive.
This special Earth Day issue of National Geographic Kids celebrates five animal success stories. Take a cool quiz to discover which of the comeback critters you’re most like, then get tips for protecting them. Next, meet 20 at-risk animals and find out what you can do to help. Plus, on Disney’s website, you can learn how to draw some of your favorite animals from Disney and Pixar animators!
This arcade is a portal to games and interactive activities focused on ocean and air themes. It highlights the science and the activities of the (NOAA) and other agencies and organizations promoting environmental stewardship.
Build a container garden
Make Earth Day at home a year-round activity with your own garden! Habig Garden Shop is offering curbside pick-up, and you can get everything you need to create a container garden with your kids! Habig’s has everything you need to make meaningful family moments. Find one near you: SoBro, Nora, Carmel.
Enjoy favorite outdoor attractions from afar
From live-streamed science classes and story times to virtual tours and shows, our favorite Indy attractions are keeping us connected and entertained during COVID-19.
While many greenspaces, parks and trails are remaining open, many others have closed or have restricted access. Luckily we have fabulous local park systems, like Indy Parks and Carmel Parks, who are working hard to bring you fun activities, videos, workouts and more to do right at home!
For kids missing their favorite zoo animals, the Indianapolis Zoo has delivered. Committed to #BringingtheZootoYou, the zoo is posting activities and lots of informative and enjoyable videos of what the animals around the park are up to on their Facebook page. We could sit and listen to 4-year-old cheetah Bahati purring all day long.
The Children’s Museum
We’ve always been proud of our beloved Children’s Museum, but we’re even more impressed with how they’ve stepped up during this time. As part of their Museum at Home programming, they released an Earth Day at home activity bundle, including how to make a bird feeder at home, a guidebook to help you discover the world around you in your own backyard, an “Ecosystem Jenga” game and more!
Clean the house and put together boxes of books, clothes and appliances to recycle
It’s April, and spring (cleaning) season is in full swing. In an effort to reduce what we’re throwing away, many of us opt to donate, upcycle or recycle. Click here for the 411 on where to recycle all your hard-to-recycle stuff!
Support local businesses
Supporting local businesses isn’t just good for the economy — it’s also greener. Simply put, shopping locally cuts down on emissions and fuel usage. Local businesses — especially restaurants and retailers — typically carry a greater portion of locally-produced goods and use more local channels, meaning less fuel consumption is required to keep the business up and running. Also, those locally-produced items likely will come from smaller-scale farms, factories, artists, and producers than the huge suppliers for large chains. It’s known as the “green ripple” effect and something we should try to be doing every day of the year, not just on Earth Day!