On April 22, the world will celebrate the annual Earth Day, a holiday devoted to environmental protection and conservation. So we’ve rounded up some tools and resources to teach your kids the importance of the holiday and a few ideas for how your family can live a more eco-conscious lifestyle as a family.
Brief History of Earth Day
Founder of the movement, Gaylord Nelson, came up with the idea after Nelson (then, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin) witnessed a catastrophic oil spill in Santa Barbara California in 1969.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, sparked the birth of the modern environmental movement that still roars today.
Now, Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 by over a billion people in 193 countries and countless cities, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex of course.
To celebrate 50 years of eco-friendly efforts, the Earth Day Network strives to provide families and individuals with the tools, information and the communities needed to make an impact and push forward change.
Tools and Tips to Educate Your Kids About Earth Day
So, what does all of this mean for you and your children? Spread some environmental and climate knowledge to your littles ones with a few of these online resources:
Coloring Pages: What better way to introduce an Earth Day conversation to your kids than with some arts and crafts? While your kiddos color, you can also show them Planet Earth or SciShow mentioned below—a win-win! All you need to do is download the coloring pages and gather some coloring tools.
Online Quizzes: For the family that already dabbles in the eco-friendly lifestyle, give your little ones a quiz to see what kind of planet protector they are. It’s a fun and interactive way to engage your kids in Earth Day while still being educational.
Planet Earth: If you’re looking for a show to educate yourself and your kids, try this BBC docuseries narrated by David Attenborough. It shows an up-close look at the animal kingdom, while also showing how their ecosystems have been affected by climate change.
Planet Earth can be found on streaming services like Amazon Prime and Google Play. If you have trouble, we’ve also seen full episodes of the series uploaded on YouTube. (Our Planet is also on Netflix—but be cautious, as it shows animal kingdom gore.)
Pro-tip: If your kid has specific interests (such as monkeys, dolphins, lizards, etc.), the episodes are divided up by environments like grasslands, deserts and jungles. Try picking an episode more geared toward that interest (i.e. “From Pole to Pole” would show polar bears and more arctic animals).
SciShow “Happy Earth Day!” For the kids that learn through TV, try out this SciShow episode on Youtube Kids. The 17-minute-long show runs through the key concepts of Earth Day with fun graphics and cartoons to keep your kiddos engaged.
How to Make an Impact
Now that you’ve educated your kids on Earth Day, it’s time to make an impact. The Earth Day Network outlines a few things your family can implement to help protect the environment. We’ve picked a few you can do from the comfort of your home (or backyard). Remember, every little bit helps!
- Plant a tree or garden in your yard
- Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies to eliminate harsh chemicals
- Maintain your car (make sure your tires are inflated properly and air filter is changed every 15,000 miles)
- Eliminate single use products
- Read documents online instead of printing
- Reduce your meat consumption (Hello, meatless Mondays!)
- Move your thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer
- Start a family compost to throw away food scraps
Do you have other ideas for how to celebrate Earth Day at home? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in April 2020.