Monday, April 15, 2013

Earth Day for Preschoolers - Part 1

Earth Day will be celebrated worldwide on April 22 this year again. You may wonder what a preschooler can do to celebrate the planet or even how much can be understood about this big celebration. I am presenting here, in three parts, what we did last week, in honor of Mother Earth. 

Earth Coffee Filter Craft
Coffee Filter Planet Earth - Art, Ecology and Fine Motor

This was by far the easiest/fastest craft of the week and I'm still amazed at the result. I mean, doesn't this just look like Earth in space? Of course, Adrian is just short of obsessed with the planets so the mention of an "Earth" craft just won him over before we even started. You'll need a coffee filter, a blue and green marker, a spray water filled with water and a black construction sheet of paper. To help Adrian in his proportions of blue versus green, I showed him a picture of Earth in Space. He quickly saw he'd need only a tiny amount of green and proceeded to color with the green marker first and filled in the rest with blue. When all the white was covered, a fine mist of water was sprayed by Adrian over the coffee filter and we then let it dry. When it was completely dried, we glued it on the sheet of paper. The idea was "given" to me by The Techy Teacher.

Earth Day Talk
A little talk about Recycling, Reusing, Reducing and the other "Rs"

It certainly feels like we did a lot of talking and crafting during Earth Day week. The sheet your see above contained the main points I wanted to mention to Adrian about the "Rs". It used to be the 3 "Rs" when I was growing up but it looks like they've come up with a lot more lately. I tried to explain and give examples of those "Rs" to Adrian. We went over "reducing", "reusing", "recycling", "rethinking", and "renewing". We covered that the first day so that he would understand how the rest of the activities would tie in later.

Earth Day Sorting Recyclables
Sorting Recyclables

Sorting recyclables is a BIG part of our daily life now that we live in Germany. (We did recycle when we lived in NY but not nearly as much as we do here.) The big box pictured above was filled with different things that are recyclable here and I simply put them in the box for Adrian to sort into "paper", "plastic", "metal", or "glass" recyclable groups. The task was actually much harder than I thought it would be. He was very excited to see the box and the content but deciding what went were was tougher. In his head, it was all "trash" because it was empty. I guess he never really paid attention to how I sort the "trash". :) In the end, we explored the materials more and it became more sensorial and he started understanding the task better. Glass was easiest of course. When all the groups were sorted, Adrian helped me put all the paper in the blue bin, all the plastic in a "Gelbe Sack" (yellow bag provided for all plastic, styrofoam, tetra pack, etc), all the glass and metal in plastic bags ready to be carried to the deposit bins at our street corner. (Adrian loves hearing the glass break when we insert the bottles in the big deposit bins!) :)

Sorting Recyclables
Sorted Recyclables : Paper, Plastic, Metal, Glass

Toilet Paper Roll Branch Craft
Deforestation-Inspired Craft using Recyclables and Nature

I really wanted to talk about deforestation to Adrian but it seemed like a heavy topic for a preschooler. I figured if we did it while we crafted, it might be go down easier. I matched the talk to this "forest" craft made with a broken up "branch" and recyclables (toilet paper roll, green construction paper and Styrofoam board taken from a package we had just gotten). I has seen this project made on a canvas with fall colors and it was just beautiful. Now here, I simplified it since a preschooler is doing it for Earth Day (really wanted to use recyclables and really had to skip a glue gun in favor of masking tape!) and it's Spring (just green please!) but still, the result it beautiful. For a step-by-step,visit Revolutionaries. It's actually easy but will require overnight drying.

Earth Day Toilet Paper Craft
Craft in Progress

Earth Beautiful Pictures
The beauty of Earth Nomenclature

Adrian loves Earth. He already does his part in helping Earth but I really wanted him to see how beautiful the world is to make him want to do his part even more when it comes to recycling and such. One night, I sat down and prepared these cards showing the beauty of Earth. I based my selection mostly on the Natural Wonders of World. The cards pictured above are only a few of the ones I made by the way. Hey, this is also a great cultural tool! :)

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland ; one of the most beautiful places I had the chance to visit

Adrian did get to experience one of the most beautiful places on Earth when he was a mere 15 months old; the ice polar caps and glaciers of Greenland. I can honestly say it was the most peaceful place I had ever been. The quietest and the darkest at night too. The air was also of the purest. If you haven't been, this should definitely be on your bucket list! ;)

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If you would like me to link up with you, please don't hesitate to ask, it might take me a week or two, but I generally do!


  1. Great ideas!

    thanks for linking up with Tender Moments with Toddlers & Preschoolers.

    1. You're welcome Dollie! Glad you liked my post! :)

  2. I LOVE your mini units!!! Thanks for sharing....can't wait to try with my little guy!

    1. Thank you Erin! Glad you like them. You'll be happy to hear I intend on publishing them throughout most of the summer too then! LOL :) Mini-units just keep my mind organized best...

  3. Great way to teach about Earth day.

    Thanks for linking to the Sunday Showcase.

    1. Glad you like the post and thanks for coming all the way from the Sunday Showcase. Linking up has been wonderful so far. I get to gather ideas and share mine as well. Great concept! :)