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 find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.
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 your name as well!
Please let me know by clicking here.
(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.
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.
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!
Provide blue and green modeling clay to make the planet Earth. Provide other colors to create planets as well. GREAT muscle development activity!
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 full with rocks/stones; green spray paint; toothpicks
Take packaging Styrofoam from boxes and melt them together and form into 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!
Newspaper Painting Thank you, Lorraine, for this activity idea!
Ball up newspaper and either paint it with blue white and green paint, Water colors of blue and Green and droppers, or wrap with tape of blue, white and green. Great fine motor activity.
Group Planets Thank you, Lisa, for this activity idea!
First I use newspaper. The children and I roll up different size balls for each planet. We use masking tape to hold the balls together.
We research the of colors of each planet and then paint the newspaper balls according to our research for each planet and glue other objects to the planets.
The teacher uses pipe cleaners to connect the planets together.
There are may ways to create planets. One 'traditional' way was to use Styrofoam balls, however, they are not biodegradable and therefore it is contradictory for an Earth Day activity!
Here are some ways preschoolers are creating planets:
Rest the ball on a cup. The children paint their planet Earth. When dry, hang from the ceilings.
Idea from Tiffany: I was thinking of using newspaper balled up and secured with a little masking tape or not.
From Glenda: Planet earth made out of small balloons and newspaper, paper mache.
From Latonya: Modeling clay to use to make planets instead of Styrofoam.
From Kerensa : Replace the Styrofoam ball by using small balloons, old newspaper and glue to form planets to your desired size.
From Diane B: Make paper mache planets!
This theme (and over two hundred more) are available to members of Preschool Cubby, my membership program created just for preschool teachers!
You'll find the above theme and more already prepared in weekly and daily planning forms, ready for you to use as is OR to add your own unique flair to (yup--they are editable!). Click here to learn more about how to save hours of planning time each month! Take your weekends back!
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!
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.
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.
Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!
Materials Needed: fingerpaints in blue and green; fingerpaint paper. Let's fingerpaint at the easel today!
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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.
(I LOVE Amazon, and if you choose to get yours there, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit!)
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 onto cardboard strips creating patterns on each one. The children try to duplicate your pattern.
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!
Thank you, Kate K., for these ideas:
#1. The children make Thank You Cards for the Earth. We use paper from the recycle bin and construction paper scraps. Run it through a blender with water and pour it on an old window screen. Spread it a bit, Put another screen on top and have the kids squeeze the water out. Use towels. Let it dry - this is the card. Then let the kids each come up with something they are thankful the earth provides for us.
#2. Have each child Make a paper plate Earth, apply a band aid and let the kids write ( or dictate) what they can do to help the earth. We write it on a speech bubble and attach it to their earth and display.
Earth Day Preschool Activities Theme Field Trips
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)
Earth Day Preschool Activities Theme Classroom Visitors
Some ideas for visitors:
A gardener from a local Nursery or flower shop.
A tree farm owner.
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