April is Earth Month -- with Earth Day celebrated on April 22nd!
It's a great time to teach the kids about going green, eco-friendly behaviors and ways they can help the environment.
When we were young, environmental issues weren't as well discussed or researched -- now, our kids learn about these issues in school as part of the curriculum and are inspired to do small things that will benefit the Earth.
As we introduce eco-friendly behaviors to our children, it's not only important to teach them HOW to do the behavior (such as recycling a plastic bottle) but also critical that we share with them WHY we are doing these things.
Why do we sort out our recycling?
Why shouldn't be let the water run when we brush our teeth?
We sometimes miss the opportunities to discuss the impact our behaviors can have on the world around us.
So today's activity -- an Earth Month Scavenger Hunt -- mixes both the How & Why of choosing to 'go green'!
Earth Day (or Month) Scavenger Hunt
The goal of this Earth Day scavenger hunt is to not only find the items listed but also discuss how they relate to being eco-friendly.
As you can see, some of the items pictured can easily be connected to the "HOW" we protect the Earth (throw away trash, look for the recycling symbol before throwing something away, etc) while other pictures show more of the "WHY" we want to adopt these behaviors (so insects can help pollenate plants and we will have trees taller than our house).
For example, one of the items listed is "an animal that needs water" -- that's kind of a trick statement, isn't it?
ALL animals need water whether it's to drink, bathe or use for swimming -- which is a great point to discuss with kids as they search for an animal who needs water.
You can also talk about where the water comes from (older kids will be able to 'school' you on the water cycle, I'm sure ;) and how we can all help to keep the water clean and usable for animals.
Related Activity: Build the Water Cycle with LEGOs
Each item on the scavenger hunt is a prompt that can lead to a discussion -- kids might ask:
"What does it mean to 'reduce' in the phrase 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'?" or
"What's a rain barrel?"
Here's a great selection of rain barrels (from Amazon -- they ship right to your door!) if you're considering one for your yard -- we've been SO pleased with ours as now the kids don't have to drag the hose around the water the garden!
The Earth Month Scavenger Hunt can be completed in a day, over the course of a week or during the entire Earth Month.
and encourage kids to be observant as they learn, play and explore this month!
If you'd like to get more in-depth about certain Earth Day topics, here are some additional resources to assist you:
Books are always a super start to introducing kids to new topics. Many times, a story will spark kids to become more aware of how to be earth friendly and also why we should all adopt these behaviors.
If you're looking for books about "How" to adopt earth-friendly behaviors:
For more of the "Why", check out these books about biomes and animal habitats.
You'll also enjoy our list of 10 Kids Movies with Environmental themes -- great for family movie night this month!
And be sure to visit Kitchen Counter Chronicles to learn What is a Carbon Footprint? -- very eye-opening activity for kids!
Celebrate Earth Month with Us
We're celebrating Earth Month with many of our blogger friends!
You can find 100's of eco-friendly ideas for families on the main page of the Guide to Natural Parenting & Earth Month on the Alternative Learning blog!