As environmental awareness grows, so does the importance of Earth Day. Observances are held across the world, in zoos, major cities, schools, and in local neighborhoods. Earth Day forces us to consider all the big and little things we can do to help our environment, and to teach children to do the same. Follow this party plan and they will see how much fun it can be to think about our terrestrial home.
Turn a recycled can, jar or carton into a planter. Whichever you choose, wash the inside thoroughly and be sure there are no sharp edges. Have the children fill the bottom of the container with gravel for water drainage. Next, give them small plants to transplant. You could give them flowers, or even herbs to gain the satisfaction of growing something they can eat. Finally, have them fill in around the plant with potting soil.
Front if By Land, Back if by Sea
Arrange children in a circle facing outward. Call out words that either relate to earth or water, and tell them to step forward for earth words, and backward for water. Whoever steps in the wrong direction is out. Play until one person is left. Earth words might include: land; mountain; desert; dirt; hill; ground. Sea words could include: water; sea; ocean; river; pond.
Line up children in two teams facing two empty bins.
Give each team an equal pile of recyclables such as empty plastic bottles, cereal boxes, etc. Tell each child as they step to the front of their line to toss an item into the appropriate bin for paper or plastic. The team that finishes with the most items making it into the correct bin wins.
After the relays are over, divide the children into teams.
Give each team a large roll of packing tape and half of the recyclables used in the relay. Challenge each team to build the most creative structure they can using their materials. If they need ideas, you can suggest towers, buildings, tunnels, arches, cars, etc.
Earth Day Hangman
Divide children into teams and lead them in a game of hangman using Earth Day words such as: earth, environment, water, trash, recycle, planet, plants, and nature.
Earth Day Party Snacks
Serve all snacks and drinks using reusable plates and cups. If disposables are required because the party is at school, a park or other offsite location, use party goods made from recycled materials.
You can serve:
- Water (serve out of jugs or, better yet, filled pitchers, not individual bottles)
- Juice (out of jugs or filled pitchers, not individual packages)
- Sun Chips (to carry out the nature theme)
- Carrot Cupcakes
- Flower Shaped Cookies
- Platter of vegetables and ranch dip
- Platter of fruit and yogurt fruit dip