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Celebrate Earth Day With These Fun Kid-Friendly Activities and Events

Celebrate Earth Day With These Fun Kid-Friendly Activities and Events

Show your children the importance of caring for the planet with these Earth Day activities and NYC events for families.

With our on-the-go schedules, it’s easy to miss out on the beautiful nature around us: cherry blossoms on our way to work, green grass at the playground, or 100-year old trees rooted into the ground. However, with Earth Day around the corner, it’s time to slow down and appreciate all that our planet has to offer. 

We’ve become increasingly aware of how important it is to take care of our environment, but once a year on April 22, we also get to celebrate Earth. Whether that means pausing to notice the flower buds on your morning walk or organizing a fun craft for your kiddos, take the time to say “thank you” to our planet. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly Earth Day activities and events so that your family can easily take part in the festivities. Read on to find out how you can celebrate! 

Earth Day Activities for Kids

Earth Day Storytime 

There are so many kids’ books that celebrate the Earth and encourage readers to treat our planet with love and respect. Choose a few and get cozy on the couch for storytime. Especially if April 22 ends up being rainy or chilly (you never know with the weather!), this is the perfect at-home activity. Some of our favorite books are The Lorax by Dr. Suess, We are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Julianna Swaney, and When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan and Lorraine Rocha, and City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. 

Blue and Green Tie-Dye 

What better way to celebrate the Earth than to get crafty and creative outside? Tie-Dye is a fan favorite for kids, especially as the weather warms up. Pick up a tie-dye kit and a few white t-shirts from your local craft store, and encourage your little ones to use the blue and green colors to create the Earth. You can even tie-dye blue and green hats, socks, headbands, and other smaller items to keep the fun going for a few hours. But a quick heads-up: this will cause a mess, so make sure your kids are dressed in older clothes. 

Flower Planting & Pot Painting

When we think of spring nature, flowers are the first thing that comes to mind! Let your kids become pro gardeners this Earth Day by heading over to your local floral shop. You can either pick up seeds or ready-to-bloom flowers– whichever you prefer. Plant the seeds or flowers into pots, layer the soil, and sprinkle them with water. If you want to extend the activity, you can even paint the pots. In that case, we recommend using terra-cotta pots and painting those first, before you plant. 

Layers-of-the-Earth Pudding Cups 

What if you could learn about the Earth and enjoy a delish sweet treat? Well, with these pudding cups you can! Each layer represents one part of the Earth, so we suggest having a printout of the Earth’s core handy. That way, you can teach your kiddos without them skipping to the sugar. This is how the pudding cup is made: 6 marshmallows (inner core), 1 tbsp yellow vanilla pudding (inner core), 1 tbsp orange vanilla pudding (outer core), 1 tbsp red vanilla pudding (inner mantle), 1 tbsp chocolate pudding (outer mantle), 1 tbsp crushed oreos (crust), 1 tbsp green coconut (grass), and a plastic dinosaur is optional on top.  

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great way to make learning fun! One idea is to do a “clean up” scavenger hunt, where your kids have to find things to clean up your local area. For example, you can go to a park and have a list that includes something plastic, recyclable, lost etc. Even if you end up throwing a few littered soda cans away, you still made a difference! Another idea is to do a “nature” scavenger hunt, where you take photos of a bunch of different natural sights: leaves, caterpillars, cherry blossoms, ducklings, water, etc. All you have to do is make a list and choose a spot. 

Earth Day Events Around NYC for Kids 

The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope 

April 22
Bring your family to the New York Botanical Garden to admire these beautiful orchids. Your kids will surely love the multi-colored orchids: orange, yellow, green, white, purple, and more. The show originally debuted in 2020, and it’s been incredibly popular since. Get in touch with Earth’s captivating nature this spring with the show, and you can even check out other exhibits at NYBG afterwards. 10am-6pm, $30; $28 students (with valid ID)/seniors (65+); $15 children (2-12 years); free for children younger than 2 and patrons/members. 

Wings Over Water Giant-Screen Film 

April 22 
If you’re looking to learn more about Earth’s creatures, Wings Over Water is simply spectacular. Your kids will be introduced to three bird families– the Sandhill Crane, Yellow Warbler, and Mallard Duck– and their journeys through migration. Head over to the American Museum of Natural History to watch these birds fly across mountains, cities, deserts, and forests to get to where they are now. 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm, $28 for adults, $16.50 for children (ages 3-12), and $22.50 for seniors and students.  

A Year With Frog and Toad

April 22 
Warm up your vocal chords, because you’re definitely going to be singing along to this catchy musical. The Showplace at Bellmore Movies is putting on a show about two friends who go on adventures through all four seasons. Your kids will be inspired by Frog and Toad’s connection with nature as they plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, and more. Not only is this musical super entertaining, but it teaches families about all of the nature that our planet holds from winter to summer, fall to spring. 11am, $15. 

Bee-A-Pollinator: Earth Day Service Day

April 22
Queens County Farm Museum is always serving up some of the best kid-friendly events, and this year they’ve planned a special Earth Day celebration. You’ll get to talk with the farm’s resident beekeeper, join the spring clean-up in the Children’s Garden, hear about composting tips, hop on a self-guided scavenger hunt, and even win something in a giveaway. 2-5pm, free, $8 donation encouraged. 

Earth Day Recycled Crafting Workshop

April 22
Kids love being creative, so take them over to The Craft Studio in Tribeca for some Earth Day-inspired crafts. Recommended for ages 4 to 9, your kids will get to make art projects out of recycled materials. This is a great way to learn about what qualifies as “recyclable” and to have fun while doing it. 3-4pm, $30. 

Earth Day Cookies Class

April 22 
Treat your family to yummy cookies at Taste Buds Kitchen. Recommended for ages 2 to 8, this cooking class will lead you through making a blue and green sugar cookie. You’ll get to bake alongside your little one and remind yourselves of just how amazing the Earth’s blue waters and green lands truly are. 4:30-5:30pm, $50. 

Earth Day Bazaar 

April 17 
Kick off your Earth Day festivities a little early with this bazaar. Connect with local artists and creators who use recycled materials to make sustainable projects. There is something for everyone here: jewelry, fashion, furniture, art, home decor, and more. And the best part? Everything is eco-friendly! Families can spend a few hours browsing the sustainable products and eating delicious, environmentally-friendly food. 10am-5pm, free admission. 

Family Art Project: Gratitude Garden for Earth Day 

April 23 
Turn Earth Day into Earth Weekend with a fun family craft at Wave Hill. Kids will get to make a mini sculpture using bright oil clay colors. Then they can add a flower from the gardens and an action that they want to do to better take care of our planet. This can be something as simple as switching to a reusable water bottle! 10am-1pm, free with admission.

Want to learn about more family-friendly events coming up in the spring? Check out our events calendar!     

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