The Earth Book by Todd Parr:
I think Todd Parr ranks high on the list of my favorite children’s authors. His gentle messages and bold illustrations draw children into his books; my own two year old daughter reads (asks me to read) them over and over. Parr’s Earth book talks about ways in which small children can help protect the Earth. My daughter’s take away from this title was to shut the refrigerator door to save energy; any book that can get a two year old to conserve energy is worthwhile in my opinion!
Earth Day by Linda Lowery:
For elementary school aged children, this book talks about the history of Earth Day and gives examples of things that children can do to celebrate the day.
S is for Save the Planet: A How-to-Be Green Alphabet by Brad Herzog:
For elementary aged children, this book uses the Alphabet to talk about ways that we can help preserve our natural world. For the older child, there are thorough explanations and facts to explain each green suggestion. The pictures are realistic and appealing and a list of web resources is included at the end of the book.
10 Things I Can Do To Help My World by Melanie Walsh:
The title pretty much sums up this book, which is a simple list of things children (and adults) can do to help respect the Earth. There are fun picture cut outs and shapes that will appeal to children and simple concrete explanations to accompany the 10 actions depicted.
A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry:
A Caldecott Medal winning tale perfect for toddlers and early readers that talks about the wonder, beauty, and function of trees in a delightful and appealing way. The language is simple and easy for small children to understand.
*Have your child help you sort recycling; I have my daughter put items to be recycled into our recycle pile. This helps small children develop good recycling habits and learn what items can be recycled.
*Plant a garden, a houseplant, a seed cup, a tree. While the size of the plant matters in terms of carbon dioxide reduction, it doesn’t matter in terms of the lesson for children. Digging in dirt, learning what makes a plant grow, building a relationship with the Earth is a positive learning experience that children can build upon.
*Pick up trash in your local playground or neighborhood. (Make sure children are supervised so they aren’t picking up sharp or dangerous objects and thick work gloves are always a good idea!)
*Keep track of how often your children turn off lights in a week (use a sticker chart) and plan a special outing or reward at the end of the week.
*Give your child the task of making sure you have reusable bags packed when you go to the grocery store (if you’re like me, you often forget them at home or in the car!).
*Make recycled cards for holidays from old greeting cards; this is a fun art project as well!
*Visit your local farmer’s market with your child and have them help you pick out fresh vegetables for the week’s meal.
*Take a nature walk; talk about the plants, trees, bugs, and animals that you see. Check out some books about them to learn more.
*Go to the store with your child to purchase LED bulbs and then replace the ones in your home.
*Have your child write their own Earth Day story or draw a picture of how they want to protect and preserve our natural resources.
What is your favorite Earth Day activity?