Play: Playing with Trash- Two Earth Day Activities for Preschoolers
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. – Genesis 1.11-13
We are big fans of earth day around here because we love the idea of dedicating a whole day to celebrating God’s amazing creation. In Genesis, God created and said that it was good. If God did, why shouldn’t we as well?
In order to recycle our milk cartons, laundry detergents, gatorade bottles, etc., our recycling service asks that we take off the caps. Instead of tossing it in the trash, we wash them and then put them in a bag. When the bag gets full, the kids organize them into colors and we put them downstairs in our “craft area.” After almost 2 years of saving bottle caps, Jake and the kids decided to use a few to celebrate the coming of Spring!
Perhaps I should be embarrassed by how often we eat cereal for breakfast. The kids aren’t very patient in the mornings for food (they wake up really hungry!), so something quick works well. A few months ago, Jake started keeping the cereal boxes (much to my dismay, I must admit), and I came home one day to find this set up:
Here are some great books to check out that deals with Earth Day themes:
The newest book in the Pinkalicious series, this one is another hit in our house. One day Pinkalicious and her little brother find their favorite park filled with trash. A little magic and a lot of imagination made a VERY fun afternoon of turning trash into treasure!
2. My Little Planet Series
These are board books that are all themed around various topics- Picking Up the Park, Recycling, Gardening, etc.
3. Today is the Birthday of the World
This one is pretty good in that it connects the earth and God together instead of the “Mother Earth” persona that many childrens’ books represent in Earth Day themed books.
4. How Things Work in the Yard
FUN FUN book about different things we find (or play with) outside! This is written for a preschooler, and includes topics like caterpillars, fireflies, balls, and bubbles. Each full page would be really fun to read separately, and then go outside and explore around that topic! I have visions of looking up activities to do for each page. I like this one because it helps us to explore and learn about God’s creations (as well as some man-made creations– we like to talk about how God made us in His image, and part of that is creativity!).