Ways to celebrate Earth Day at home

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 that’s 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 Blue Manatee!)

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!

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!

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

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

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.

Earth

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 games

Check out this list of free educational resources to make learning fun — here are some highlights:

PBS Kids Nature Games

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.

National Geographic Kids

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.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Planet Arcade Games

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

Blooms and Berries is offering curbside pick-up, and you can get everything you need to create a container garden with your kids! The Garden Center at Blooms & Berries has simple garden projects, affordable supplies and lots of opportunities to make meaningful family moments.

Enjoy favorite outdoor attractions from afar

From live-streamed science classes and story times to virtual tours and shows, our favorite Cincinnati attractions are keeping us connected and entertained during COVID-19.

Cincinnati Parks

While nearly all activities and events were cancelled this spring, Cincinnati Parks remained open, providing a much-needed respite during tough times. The cherry and magnolia trees bloomed, and Cincinnati Parks posted videos, tours and photos on social media so all Cincinnati families could delight in the beauty of spring.

Cincinnati Zoo

For Cincy kids missing their favorite Zoo animals, the Cincinnati Zoo delivered. The Zoo hosted daily “Home Safari” sessions on Facebook Live, spotlighting fan-favorites like the flamingos, giraffes, elephants and, of course, #TeamFiona.

Great Parks of Hamilton County

For families missing Great Parks’ fun programs, the [email protected] series delivered, bringing nature and conservation education straight to Cincinnati homes. From coloring pages to backyard scavenger, this program allowed Cincy kids to enjoy Great Parks any time. Kids could also tune in weekdays at 10 am on Facebook and Instagram Live for virtual story times, nature walks, animal sessions, crafts and more. Afterwards, all live videos were posted to the Great Parks blog for 24/7 access.

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.
Earth Day is a special day to celebrate and learn about how to preserve our planet, and we can all do this from home!

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