Earth Day Preschool Activities
This Earth Day Preschool Activities theme page has activities to help your young students learn to reduce, reuse and recycle through art activities, using blocks, through circle time discussions and more!
You'll note that some sections do not have many activities listed yet! Do you have one? I'd love to add it to this page with our name as well!
Please use the form below to submit your idea (PLEASE, PLEASE be sure to put the theme name EARTH DAY somewhere in your description so that I know which theme page you are submitting the activity for).
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Earth Day Preschool Activities Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Do you have an activity you'd like to add to this theme? Use the "Contact Me" form to the left to submit your idea!
Materials Needed: Styrofoam balls, paper cups, green and blue paint
Rest a styrofoam ball on a cup. The children paint their planet Earth. When dry, hang from the ceilings.
Materials Needed: White paper plates, blue and green tissue paper, thinned white school glue, brushes
The children paint the paper plate with glue and then place pieces of tissue paper where they want them to create the Earth
VARIATION: To work on small muscle development, you could draw circles on white paper and have the children cut their own circle shapes out. Also, they can cut--or tear-- the tissue paper for this activity. We have also used construction paper for this activity.
Coffee Filter Planets
Materials Needed: round, white coffee filters, blue and green markers, spray bottles with water or eye droppers and water.
Our kids can NOT get enough of this activity! We make items throughout the year with coffee filters and markers such as butterflies, flowers, etc.
The children color the filter with the green and bluemarkers and then drop water to watch the colors merge together.
Materials: Many recycled items (plastic containers, plastic bottles, boxes, etc.), glue, miscellaneous items (scrap paper, ribbon, etc.)
See what the children can create by using items that would be going into the trash! Most will just explore what will stick and what won't but some may create a box for their collections, etc.
EXTENSION: Prior to doing this activity with the children, place all the items in a large bin in your math/manipulatives area for the children to sort. See Recycle Sort Activity below under Math/Manipulatives Section.
Materials Needed: Items from outside: leaves, pine needles, grass, etc.; glue
The children can make their own nature collage.
VARIATION: Rather than glue, purchase some clear contact paper for the children to stick their items onto. You can then cover it with another same sized piece of contact paper and hang in a window for display.
VARIATION: Rather than individual collages, make a group collage and discuss the Earth and ways to help take care of it as you place items on the collage.
Materials: You know those annoying packing peanuts you get with shipments? Well, most are water soluble now! Place them and a shallow tray of water at the art table with some sturdy cardboard. Encourge the children to dip the peanuts into the water to make them stick together. I have, with our younger ones, added some glue to the water!
I know you can now purchase these very sticky noodles/peanuts at craft stores, but this activity is more about recycling!
Saguaro Cactus Thank you Margaret from in Durham, NC for the following idea!
Have children make tissue paper flowers or other flowers or desert creatures to hang on your classroom Saguaro Cactus!
To make your class Saguaro (adult project only!):
You'll need: packaging styrofoam; large bucket half-ful with rocks/stones; green spray paint; toothpicks
Take packaging Styrofoam from boxes and melt them together and form inot a giant Saguaro Cactus.
Place in an old bucket stones (from the driveway).
Stab the cactus with multiple toothpicks.
Spray paint the cactus a lovely green.
The kids add tissue paper flowers for a blooming cactus. You can also add smaller creatures that the children make onto the cactus.
Voila! I did this years ago for my son (born in 1985) and he was smiling!
Boxes and More Boxes
Materials: Provide recycle boxes such as small and large cereal boxes and packing boxes. The children will make things you never thought of! We've had garages, multi-family homes and puppy houses! Provide scissors at the block area at this time (supervised of course!) so that they can make doors and windows in the boxes.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Space Theme!
Explain to the children what littering is and what they SHOULD do with their own trash. I know many songs and fingerplays have to do with "See a piece of litter, pick it up...", however, I'm not a big supporter of preschoolers picking up trash outside.
They sometimes can not differentiate from a safe item to pick up and a not safe one. A triangle "rock" may actually be a sharp shard of glass. Therefore, I have discussions with them about letting a grown up pick up trash. I talk about the germs that are in trash. Mostly, we talk about what THEY can do to NOT CREATE MORE TRASH!
Materials: 1 puppet, a few pieces of construction paper and a marker.
Make up your own script for this! The idea is that Wally is making one little mark on a paper and then throwing it away. He then tears a piece in half and goes to throw the other half away. That's when you (or perhaps another puppet!) ask him what he's doing?
This is a great way to encourage the children to think about waste, perhaps start a paper recycle bin for scraps of paper we can use again, etc.
Wasting In School
This is a great time to talk about how to save water and paper by refreshing your washing hands skills!
Many children forget to turn the water off when washing or use 6 or 7 paper towels to dry their hands. This is a great time to discuss and demonstrate how to save water and paper!
Our paper towels in the bathrooms are tri-fold. I bring one to circle time and show them how to wash hands (pretending!) and then show them how HUGE the paper towel is and that it is plenty to dry their hands with!
Fix The Earth Thank you Kori Blanchette from Bradley, IL for the following activity!
I have in the past talked with the Pre-k class about how we need to fix the planet we live on. We would share ideas on ways to do this.
Then give each child a print out of the Earth. Instruct them to color their Earth with blue and green.
Give each child tiny sized Band-Aids and have the children peel and stick them onto their Earth.
Hang them with a clever little saying about fixing the planet!
On chart paper, write down the ideas they come up with for fixing the planet and display the chart with their finished projects.
Instead of printing an Earth shape, encourage them to draw their own Earth on the paper.
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Thank you Stacie from Marlton, NJ for submitting the following cooking activity!
We have made sugar cookies, then put food coloring in white icing, (blue and green) and have the children decorate the cookie to look like the earth.
Sorting Area Thank you to Krystal from St. George, Utah for this idea!
Have cardboard boxes or bins labeled with pictures and words for the different kinds of items to be recycled there. have the dramatic play area covered with 'trash' and allow children to sort and put recyclable items in the appropriate bins and throw away trash that can't be recycled.
Materials Needed: fingerpaints in blue and green; fingerpaint paper. Let's fingerpaint at the easel today!
Pop Can Smash submitted by Miss Melissa--Thank you so much!
The pop can smash is done after we discuss recycling and we talk about how some people use recycled items to create other things.
First we use empty pop cans to sort with, and discuss their differences.
We pull off the tabs to collage with (along with other recycled items you have).
We then go outside we do our smash. Each child gets one (preferably two or more) empty cans and you show them how to smash them. Either by jumping on them, or twisting them with their hands. They love it and think it's so much fun.
added note from Miss Cheryl: I remember placing cans on the ground lengthwise--and "stomping" my foot into the middle! We did this with both feet and the cans would stay on your shoes--great sounds when walking around with them on your shoes!)
You discuss how to take them to the recycling place (on a field trip if possible) or you can take them there yourself and take pictures to show them later.
I've also "trashed" the room while they're outside playing, and when we come back inside I say "Who made this mess!!" (sometimes the kids say "it wasn't me! I promise!") Then ask questions like "would you like our classroom to always be trashy like this?" we discuss litter outside and the importance of keeping the Earth clean. We also go into keeping the water clean, asking them "what if the water in our lakes and streams were dirty like our classroom?"
We celebrate Earth Day as the Earth's birthday, and sing happy birthday to the Earth as well.
HAVE MORE GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES FOR THIS THEME? PLEASE SUBMIT YOURS BY USING THE FORM ABOVE
Book Suggestions for the Library
A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry
All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka
Biscuit's Earth Day Celebration by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and David T. Wenzel
The Earth and I by Frank Asch
Fancy Nancy: Every Day Is Earth Day by Jane O'Connor
I Can Save the Earth by Alison Inches and Viviana Garofoli
I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin, Jr.
On Earth by G. Brian Karas
Our Earth by Anne Rockwell
Recycle Every Day by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Materials: Recycle Items, large bins and boxes.
Provide many items from a recycling bit: plastic bottles of different sizes, boxes, etc. Place them in one large bin.
Encourage the children to sort the items in different ways: by color, by size, by type (plastic, cardboard, etc.).
Save these items for the Recycle Art project listed above in the Art section.
Milk Cap Activities GALORE!
If you save milk caps or have extra marker caps! Try some sorting and counting activities!
Sort them by color. Place out different colored bowls for the children to sort into.
Counting. Place numbers on plates or cups. The children then count that many caps or covers into that plate or cup.
Lacing. Hole punch the milk caps in the middles and give the children lacing string (or yarn, shoelaces, etc.) to lace--great way to work on patterns and counting!
Patterns: Hot glue some caps on a cardboard strips creating a patterns on each one. The children try to duplicate your pattern.
Materials: Blue and Green Playdough
Use your favorite recipe for playdough or store bought playdough. Have pictures of the Earth in the classroom for the children to see. They shape and mix the colors to make the earth. You may want to add white playdough as well! Many pictures of the Earth that are a satellite view also show clouds!
VARIATION: To REALLY push those small hand muscles, give the children blue and green modeling clay to make their planets!
Nature Yoga Thank you Jessica B. for this idea!
Teach your students yoga moves that are earth like. For example teach them the tree pose, rock pose, and I bet there a many more kid poses that they could learn that are about nature.
Place grass, flowers, twigs, etc. and outdoor toy animals (birds, cats, etc.) in your sensory table!
Add dirt or sand and some water for pond water and add toy frogs, fish, etc.!
Take a nature walk with the children and collect nature items such as fallen leaves, dandelions, twigs, etc.
Place these items in your science area or in a bin with magnifying glasses and paper and markers for the children to draw their observations or stories on!
I've not done this one yet! Add dirt, egg shells fruit too a jar with some water. Seal the jar shut with hot glue (trust me, you do NOT want this jar opened!) and watch the decomposition over time! Keeping a class journal at the science table with this as well as photographs of the changes would be great!
NO ACTIVITIES HERE YET! SUBMIT YOURS BY USING THE FORM AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE!
Nature Walk I Spy
Of Course! Take a walk outside with the children. Encourage them to talk about nature items: "I spy up in the sky........"
Talk about what they see: clouds, flowers, grass, etc.
VARIATION: While walking, bring a bag with you for the children to help collect nature items such as fallen leaves, twigs, flowers, etc. Place these items in your science area for investigation (see Science Activitivies Section above) or as a Nature Collage (see Nature Collage Art Activity above in the Art Section)
Some ideas for visitors:
A gardener from a local Nursery or flower shop.
A tree farm owner.
CLICK HERE for the Planting Seeds Theme Page