Since we are all social distancing, it’s hard to get outside and around other people so today I am sharing with you 7 ideas to get your kids out in the backyard to help celebrate Earth Day.
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- Make your backyard another living space. Your backyard could be an outdoor living room and a safe place for pets and kids to play. It’s been proven that spending time outside is good for your physical and mental health. Especially when we are spending so much time indoors now with COVID-19 going around. Research has found that when we spend time outdoors around trees, shrubs, and birds, we are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress. Some fun ways to make your backyard a living space is to add things with which to play. Like this cute teepee that is easily stored, like this one from Amazon.
We love our trampoline too. I was a little scared to buy a trampoline for my kids but since we have had it, it has been a lifesaver. My kids LOVE it more than anything we have had in our backyard. And it gets the kids up and exercising so that’s a good thing!
A playset gets your kids outside and exercising without even knowing it. They are one of the things that kids spend the most time on so they are a great investment.
A Sand and Water Table is a great toy for kids outside to get their creative juices flowing and kids spend a lot of time playing in sand and water to give mom a break!
Picnic tables get the whole family outside to give a picnic feel to each meal without having to sit on the ground. We have had the Lifetime Round Picnic Table for about 10 years now and it still looks new. I love how the seats swing out so you can sit on it like benches too.
Outdoor Furniture gets the whole family spending time outside and talking with each other so this is another great investment that will last a long time.
2. Make outdoor projects a family activity. Have the family take a walk around the yard and ask them what they think you should do with each area. Have the kids create a map and have them draw the ideas your family has. Then have a meeting outside to decide what you can and can’t do then make a plan to get them all done. Each year we plant a garden and the whole family has a say on what we want to grow. Pumpkins are always on the list for Halloween, but everyone has their favorite veggies they want to grow. This gets the kids a little more motivated when it’s time to weed the garden. We also made a plan to create a birdhouse to sit on a pole that used to have a satellite dish on it. We also created a fire pit so we could roast marshmallows and hot dogs in the summertime.
3. Connect kids to nature. Free, online, do-at-home lesson plans are available from the TurfMutt.com. The environmental education program resources and activities, based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles, give kids the prompts they need to have fun learning about and exploring the nature and science in their own backyards.
4. Know your climate zone. Learn about climate-zone-appropriate plants, the importance of pollinators, and how backyards can support local wildlife. Conduct a plant inventory to determine what’s currently thriving in your backyard. Match that up against the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine the best types of turf, trees, shrubs, and plants for the climate zone.
5. Create Seed Balls from recycled paper. This fun activity from Buggy and Buddy is a great way to teach kids about how seeds work and getting the kids outside and digging in the dirt.
6. Go on a color treasure hunt outside. Taking the family on a walk is still allowed where we live so we go on walks often. This time, we took our phone with and had a purpose to find anything yellow. Then when we got home we made a collage to print for the kid’s room. This post has the collage template for you to use in photoshop so head out and choose a color to try to find and have fun exploring!
7. Enjoy time outside at night. We love playing Night Games outside when the weather gets warmer and we found these super fun night game set that includes glow in the dark games for the kids. My teenage son has loved taking these to the park with his friends. The company is called Starlux and they make glow in the dark Capture The Flag. This new game lets you play Capture the Flag using futuristic lights. There are 25 light-up game pieces that last 12+ hours with batteries. There are 12 different ways to play. Then they have a game called Glow Battle which is an organized sword fighting game using harmless glowing foam weapons. Choose from 10 different ways to play with 2 or more players. It’s an interactive game for team building and developing strategy. It’s great for small and large groups. You can play this in a basement, garage or gym with the lights low or at nighttime outside.
Don’t forget about all the easy and inexpensive ideas for outside too like sidewalk chalk, running through the sprinklers, picnics, sports, playing tag, and painting with water. What do you like to do with your kids in your backyard?
Heres a list of some other great blog posts with Earth Day activities for kids:
- Earth Day Activites for Kids by B-Inspired Mama
- 50 Earth Day Activities by TinkerLab
- Earth Day worksheets and crafts
- 21 Easy Hands On Activities for Earth Day by Little Bins for Little Hands
- 12 Meaningful Earth Day Activities for Every Grade Level from We Are Teachers