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17 Earth Day activities that'll remind kids and adults how precious our planet is

We've got fun ways to celebrate Mother Nature and keep making our world go round.
/ Source: TODAY

Join over a billion people in nearly 200 countries across the globe and go green this Earth Day

What began in 1970 after a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic observance in the world. And it’s been a dedicated day on the calendar ever since those initial 20 million Americans sprang into action to protect our planet. 

Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day is a friendly reminder to take better care of the planet we call home. This day of celebration is a chance to reassess your own carbon footprint and commit to making eco-friendly lifestyle changes. You can also turn it into a teachable moment for kids, helping them better understand the importance of taking care of the planet for future generations.

There are so many ways, both big and small, to make an impact on this day — and all the days to follow. From planning an eco-friendly picnic to participating in a yard sale, we’ve rounded up a bunch of fun Earth Day activities for you and your family to show your appreciation for Mother Nature.

Go camping in your backyard 

Grab s’mores ingredients and head to your backyard for a night in nature. Take in the night sky and stargaze with your little ones before they head to bed. After all, immersing yourself in the outdoors is one of the best ways to appreciate all it has to offer. 

Play a nature-themed bingo game

Take the fun outside and see who can exclaim bingo first! Make your own cards with with nature images like different kinds of trees, plants, flowers, bugs, birds and furry creatures.

Attend a yoga class

Take a yoga class to not only connect with yourself, but the world around you. Chances are you'll find yourself in tree, mountain and waterfall poses throughout class, which take on a whole new meaning on Earth Day. While you're at it, look for classes designed for kids so they can get their om on too. 

Make art out of recyclables

Turn trash into treasures by using materials from the recycling bin to create Earth Day masterpieces. Try making a picture of a tree out of egg cartons by cutting and painting the individual egg cups green and gluing them onto a canvas. Just add a brown trunk and any finishing touches.

Or get some Mod Podge and decoupage an empty jar with blue and green tissue paper to make a pencil holder that'll help you remember the day.

Take a virtual field trip on Earth Day

Spend the day traveling the globe without even needing to pack a suitcase. Transport your kids virtually to spots like the Great Barrier Reef or Amazon rainforest to get a crash course in the effects of climate change and deforestation. Or visit a few national parks to learn about their ecosystems. No matter what destinations you choose, there are so many places to visit ... for free!

Paint flower pots and plant seeds 

Want to get your kid's creative juices flowing? Paint one of their hands blue and stamp it on a plain flower pot. Take a paint brush and add some green markings on the handprint until it resembles the Earth. Or skip the blue paint altogether and use their fingerprints to form flower petals or ladybugs. Once it's dry, fill it with soil and seeds to turn this craft project into a science experiment. 

Bake Earth Day-inspired cookies 

Earth Day cookies will be fun for the kids to make and even more fun for them to eat. Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe fit for the occasion by tinting half the batch blue and other half green. Then take bits of each batch of colored dough to form a ball into a delicious worldly creation. Talk about a sweet way to honor Mother Nature!

Have a nature scavenger hunt

Search for natural wonders in your own backyard (think: a flower, squirrel, moss and so on). Give each scavenger a clipboard to keep track of their findings and a magnifying glass to really investigate their surroundings

Read thought-provoking books 

Head to the library with your little environmentalists. From classics like “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss or “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein to loads of newer titles about sustainability, pick up a bunch of planet-friendly books for kids of all ages. 

Ground yourself

Kick off your shoes and give grounding a try. The practice, which many document on TikTok with the hashtag #grounding, has amassed almost 300 million views. But come to find out, it’s actually centuries old and suggests that direct contact of skin to the Earth’s natural electric charge offers a host of health benefits. 

Assemble an inspired charcuterie board

If a culinary celebration is more your thing, jump on the charcuterie board trend and use your imagination to honor Mother Earth. Design a plant-forward board with fruits, vegetables, nuts, hummus, crackers, and dairy-free cheese. Or if you have a sweet tooth, make an Earth-themed dessert board by arranging cookies in the shape of the earth, flowers and butterflies. Finish it off with gummy worms, sharks, frogs and fish.

Host a yard sale

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Host a yard sale — either solo or with neighbors — to give items you no longer use a new home.If you really want to go the extra mile, donate some of the profits to a local or national environmental cause that’s meaningful to you.

Show off your green thumb 

There are endless ways to create an eco-friendly space that will extend long past Earth Day itself. Plant a tree, assemble indoor herb container or designate part of your yard as a pollinator or butterfly garden.

Adopt an endangered animal 

Beloved animals like gorillas, rhinos and elephants are facing extinction due to habitat loss caused by deforestation, pollution, lack of food sources, overhunting and more. Look for organizations to sponsor or adopt endangered animals or if you want to make a difference without dipping into your wallet, sign an online petition to help protect these species for future generations.

Make a homemade bird feeder

Nurture your natural environment by creating a bird feeder for your winged neighbors. Simply fill empty milk cartons or plastic water bottles with bird seed. Watching feathered friends flock to the yard is bound to make your little ones smile with excitement (you, too!). 

Start composting

Start saving those scraps! Incorporate the eco-friendly practice of composting into your regular household routine. Not only does it lighten the load at the landfill, but it'll make nutrient rich fetilizer for your garden. Find a method that works best for you and your family, whether you start small with a pail for banana peels or go all-out with an electric composter.

Go paperless

Help preserve trees by reducing your dependency on paper. Spend time on Earth Day switching settings so financial and bank statements are sent to you online rather than through the mail. Then think about how you can make this practice part of your everyday going forward, whether it's paying bills electronically, opting for emailed receipts rather than printed ones or even using a digital planner.