Happy Earth Day – Five Fun Earth Day Crafts and Activities for Families

“Earth Day was firmly established for all time on a sound basis as an annual event to deepen reverence and care for life on our planet.” Mr. John McConnell

Here are five crafts and activities to help you and your family do just that:

Earth Day Craft #1: Tin Can Herb Pots

You can make a pot for any herb you might use in your kitchen:  chives, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil are good choices. You can grow the herbs from seeds or buy the herb plants, depending on the patience level of your little crafter.

To begin:

1. Save a number of aluminum cans of different cans. Just make sure the edges aren’t sharp.

2. Completely wash out the can with soap and water and let it dry. Turn the can upside down and punch some holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

3. Let your child decorate the outside of the can by using an acrylic base coat. They can then paint any design they like on the can. Be sure that any paints you use are safe for children. Next, an adult can spray the outside of the can with an acrylic sealer so the paint won’t come off.

4. Place rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the can and then add potting soil until the can is filled two-thirds of the way up the can.

5. Transplant a potted herb into the can and fill the rest of the can with potting soil. Gently pat the plant into the dirt, but don’t press too firmly. You want the plant to have some room for water to seep through. Place the can on a plate to catch any extra water.

6. If you’ve opted for seeds, fill the can nearly full with potting soil. Place a couple of seeds in the soil and then cover it with a thin layer of soil. Be sure to keep the soil damp, but not soaked.

One four-inch potted plant will probably make at least two, if not three, herb pots. Remind your little ones to take care of their plants.

If you have more than you need, why not give your earth day craft to a loved one this Earth Day? They’re sure to enjoy fresh herbs when the time comes to cook.
Earth Day Craft #2 – Make “LitterBugs” out of your Recycling

No one wants to be a litter bug but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some. Your child can do this by using sections of a paper egg carton and decorating them with recyclable items. Paint the egg carton or leave it its natural color. Glue on twigs, bottle caps or other items to create eyes, a mouth, hair or legs.

Here’s what your child needs to make her own litter bug for Earth Day:

* Paper egg carton

* Yarn

* Google eyes

* Bottle caps

* Tacky craft glue

* Newspapers

An adult may need to cut the paper egg carton in segments. Give your child one segment at a time so they can complete one litter bug before beginning a second or third.

1. Turn the egg carton segment upside down so the bottom is facing up. This will be the litter bug’s body.

2. Use recyclable items from around your home to decorate the bug. If you don’t have google eyes, why not use small caps from squeeze dish soap bottles?

3. Several twigs can be used for legs. Poke a hole in the carton to push the twigs through.

4. Use yarn pieces for hair.

5. A bottle cap can be glued on for a hat.

Another way for your child to create a litter bug for Earth Day is to use crumpled up newspapers as the base, or body, of the bug. Glue the various items you’ve found lying around your house onto the body. Give it hair, a bottle top cap, and eyes.

Let your child make several litter bugs this Earth Day. You don’t have to make them wait until Earth Day to try this craft. In fact, if you wanted, you could create a recyclable box for your child to keep items in for crafts. By doing this, not only will you encourage their creativity and fine motor development, you’ll also encourage them to recycle items rather than tossing them in the garbage.

 

Earth Day Craft #3 – Paper Mache Globe

Start by tearing newspapers into strips about 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Make a paste from one cup of flour and one cup of water. Blow up a small balloon; the rounder the better. Dip the paper into the paste and then wrap the strips around the balloon in several layers.

Allow the globe to dry for several days before you pop the balloon. Trace and then paint the continents onto the balloon. Allow the children to paint it and then let it dry again.

Earth Day Craft #4 – Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Find several pine cones from your yard or a local park. Tie a piece of string or yarn from the top so it can be hung up. Spoon some peanut butter onto a shallow tray. Roll the pine cone into the peanut butter or spoon some peanut butter between the layers. Then roll the pine cone in bird seed. Hang it from the branches in your trees to feed the birds. See how many different types of birds visit your yard.

Earth Day Activity #5: Plant a Tree in Your Yard

Determine what type of tree you are going to plant and where. Choose a sapling, but do not soak it prior to planting. You don’t have to remove the burlap that encases the sapling, but do remove the ties. Open the burlap sapling and clip the roots which circle the outer part of the root ball. Dig a hole two to five times wider than the root ball.  In the bottom and center of the hole, leave a planting base of undisturbed soil. Put the root ball on undisturbed soil flush to two inches over the top of the hole. Hold the tree while backfilling with dirt and soil. Remove grass and weeds within six inches of tree material. With excess soil, build a small boarder around the hole to add water down to the roots; then water and mulch.

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