Earth Day Activities for Elementary School

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Earth Day on April 22 each year is a time that you can remind your students to take care of their environment. Activities can highlight recycling, conservation and taking care of garbage in an appropriate manner. Activities should emphasize the reuse and conservation of materials to honor the message of Earth Day.

Young children holding the earth.
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Organize a book swap for your school. Ask students to bring books that they no longer read to trade with their classmates. This is a great way to introduce students to the works of unfamiliar authors, to keep books from the waste stream and to talk about literature.

Pile of books.
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You can create art from old holiday cards. Cut out parts of a holiday card with a tag-shaped punch and make one-of-a-kind tags for gifts. Glue several cards onto construction paper and laminate for placemats. Use lined paper cut to the size of the holiday card and stapled to the card to create a notepad. Holiday cards can also be used to make bookmarks. Simply cut the cards to bookmark length and size.

Blank greeting card.
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If you have land available, start a school garden. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow are carrots, spinach, radishes, and lettuce. Trees or flowers are other ideas for teaching children how to plant greenery and care for the environment.

Carrots growing in garden.
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You can make a cute pig bank that can save money at the same time that it saves the Earth through recycling.  Create the pig by taping an egg carton nose, cardboard ears, and a pipe cleaner tail onto a balloon.  Layer newspaper dipped in homemade paste over the construction and let dry.

Brown eggs in egg carton.
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A quart jar earth farm shows children how worms tackle the important job of composting debris into dirt. Give each student a quart jar and ask them to layer oatmeal, soil and sand in the jar. Each student will add 20 earthworms to each jar.

Earthworm in soil.
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Cleaning up your immediate environment is important and there is no better place to start than your school. Provide the children with child-sized work gloves and garbage bags. Ask the children to pick up the garbage on the playgrounds and fields. Warn the children to call an adult to pick up glass or other sharp objects. Adults should always pick up discarded needles and put them in a medically approved container. The adults should take the dirty needles to a public health facility for proper sharps disposal.

Elementary school students filling a bag with recycling.
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