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12 Earth Day Activities for Kids – Fun Eco-Friendly Earth Day Ideas

Embark on an eco-friendly journey with our roundup of Earth Day activities for kids. These easy Earth Day ideas will inspire a love for our planet and teach your kids how to care for it.

Earth Day falls annually on April 22. This holiday, dedicated to promoting environmental protection, has been celebrated since it was created in 1970. 

Celebrate Earth Day this year with everything from outdoor explorations to hands-on craft projects. The ideas for Earth Day below are designed to spark curiosity and deepen your children’s understanding of how the planet works.

The suggestions below feature Earth Day recipes using home-grown vegetables and tips to live more sustainably. It’s never too early to start fostering respect for the earth and teaching ecologically responsible habits.

We have included a free Earth Day printable checklist at the bottom of this page. Have your kids check off the fun Earth Day activities as you complete them!

A black background with text on the left that reads get a list of 12 Earth Day activities for kids, beside a pair of hands holding a miniature Earth on the right hand side.

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Outdoor Earth Day activities for kids

One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is to get outside and show your kids the beauty of the planet, and encourage them to care for it. The easy Earth Day ideas below are great ways to get the whole family together.

Plus, outdoor Earth Day activities for kids are a perfect way to enjoy the beginning of spring, now that the weather is getting nicer. It’s a perfect time to appreciate the planet.

Free Earth Day activities for kids: pick up trash

There are so many free Earth Day activities you can take part in outside. If you want to teach your kids about helping keep the planet clean, you can start by picking up trash around the area where you live.

A woman picking up trash for Earth Day who is walking along a rocky coastline reaching for a green recyclable bottle, to put in the bag of bottles she's carrying with her.

You can do this on a large scale by volunteering with a cleanup organization. Try finding one in your area by visiting your local sanitation website, or with a quick Google search.

If you want to pick up trash on a smaller scale, you can clean up your neighborhood. Make sure to bring plenty of trash bags with you, so you can separate the litter into trash and recycling.

If you are picking up litter, ensure you sure to take proper safety precautions by wearing appropriate clothing and protective gear like gloves, tennis shoes and long pants. It’s also a good idea to use long-handled grabbers to pick up trash.

Fun ideas for Earth Day: visit a botanical garden

Every state in the United States has a botanical garden. You can see photos and tips for visiting some of our favorite botanical gardens here.

Some of the botanical gardens even have special children’s gardens that would be a perfect Earth Day activity for kids and adults to enjoy together.

A photo of the rainbow arch that marks the entrance to the children's garden in Botanica, the Wichita Botanical garden, with light coming through the trees behind it, casting shadows onto the sidewalk, with a bush of pink flowers in the foreground.

Botanica, the Wichita Gardens in Kansas not only has a special children’s garden, but also other areas of interest that kids will enjoy. They can learn about the importance of bees at the Alexander Bee House, visit a musical maze, and see large animatronic insects in The Big Bugs area.

Some other botanical gardens around the US with impressive children’s gardens are the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine, the Memphis Botanic Garden in Tennessee, and the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens in Wyoming.

In addition to botanic gardens, you can also take your kids to an aquarium or a zoo to teach them about animals they might not get a chance to see normally. This might help to inspire them to preserve the planet not only for themselves but all of the animals that live here.

Green ways to celebrate Earth Day: Plant a tree

You can pick an Earth Day activity that teaches your kids about helping the environment by fighting climate change, like planting trees. Trees not only create oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, but they also help prevent erosion. 

A father and son engaged in the easy Earth Day activity of planting a tree, with the son holding the tree upright, and the father patting the soil around the base of the tree.

Make sure if you are planting trees, that the trees are native to the area in which you live. Not only do native plants have a better chance of surviving in the environment, but they also don’t pose a risk of introducing invasive pests to the area.

You can look to see if there are tree-planting organizations where you can volunteer in your local area. If you don’t want to plant trees or have space to do so, you can plant other greenery that encourages natural pollinators.

To attract bees, you can plant coneflowers, liatris, sunflowers, and even chive flowers. To attract butterflies, you can plant butterfly bushes, swallowtail nectar plants, and zinnia.

Active Earth Day ideas: a family bike ride

Many of the Earth Day activities for adults and kids also serve a double purpose as bonding time with family. If you want to take a family bike ride for Earth Day, it would be an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about alternate modes of transportation.

A mother helping her son who is learning to ride a bicycle down a path, by holding on to his shoulders gently to guide him as he begins to pedal away.

Not only can you teach them about the benefits of biking (for both your health and the environment), but you can also teach them about other eco-friendly methods of transportation like buses and trains.

There are lots of cities in the United States that are becoming more bicycle-friendly, but even if your city isn’t completely accessible by bicycle, there may still be bicycle trails in your city you can enjoy.

If you have old bikes that your kids have outgrown, you can donate them to an organization that gives them to kids in need. If the bikes aren’t in good condition, you could repurpose them and turn them into creative bicycle planters.

Earth Day crafts & indoor activities

If you’re looking for some easy Earth Day activities you can do without too much planning, the ideas below are for you. They’re perfect last-minute Earth Day ideas that are still enjoyable and good for kids.

Crafts for Earth Day: make a mini terrarium

If you want to make environmentally friendly crafts for Earth Day check out this tutorial for a mini terrarium. It is perfect for the holiday because it repurposes a rotisserie chicken container, which would normally be thrown away.

A mini terrarium for succulents made from a reused rotisserie chicken container, as a low waste Earth Day craft.

This Earth Day craft can lead to open up eco-friendly topics of conversation. Not only would it teach your children about reusing items that are normally viewed as trash, but it would also give them an introduction to gardening.

You can explain how terrariums are self-sustaining by recycling the water within. This also allows you to talk about the water cycle with your kids, emphasizing how important water is for all life.

Free Earth Day activities for kids: Earth Day word search

If you have a large group of kids you need to teach about Earth Day, you can download our free Earth Day word search. It would be great for teachers, church groups, and family gatherings.

It is a moderate difficulty word search printable, that has 20 words hidden within it. It might be too challenging for really little kids, but would be appropriate for older kids, teens, and adults.

A free word search printable for Earth Day with a word bank at the bottom, and a teal bar across it that has text that reads download a. free Earth Day word find printable.

This word search for Earth Day also comes with an answer key, if anyone needs a little extra help solving the word puzzle. Make sure to print the word puzzle on the back side of a piece of paper you don’t need anymore to teach your kids about making the most out of the resources we use.

You can also find our full collection of word searches here, including seasonal word searches, holiday word searches, and word searches about the national days of the year.

Indoor activities for Earth Day: watch a movie about the environment

If you want a fun Earth Day idea for kids you can do indoors, try watching a movie about the environment. There are plenty of movies that are appropriate for children that highlight the importance of protecting the earth and conserving our resources.

Some animated movies that would be good for kids on Earth Day are The Lorax, Wall-E, and FernGullyAll of them have environmental themes that support the message of Earth Day.

A film clapper with a tiny astronaut, space ship, and images of the earth nestled among the stars above it to symbolize and celebrate Earth Day.

If you want to watch educational and fun videos about animals online, try the Nat Geo Kids YouTube channel, which says it is recommended for children ages three and up in the channel’s bio.

Free Earth Day activities for kids: Earth Day word scramble

If you’re looking for free Earth Day activities for kids, make sure to download our free Earth Day word scramble. Like the word search, this word scramble for the holiday would be great for large groups of kids.

It has twelve scrambled words in it, with a space for kids to write the answer on the line beside the scrambled word. This Earth Day word scramble has a word bank at the bottom, for younger kids to use to help them.

A word scramble printable for Earth Day with a blue bar across the puzzle with white text on top that reads download a free Earth Day word scramble printable.

Just like the word search, this word puzzle also comes with an answer key if anyone needs help solving it. Make sure to print it out on the back of a sheet of paper you no longer need to make the most of the paper.

If you want more word scramble fun, check out our full collection of word scrambles here, including seasonal word scrambles and holiday word scrambles.

Food-related Earth Day ideas

If you’re wondering how to celebrate Earth Day every day, consider thinking about the food you eat. It’s great to grow your own vegetables, but if you don’t live in a space where you can do that, you can try one of the Earth Day ideas below.

Visit a local farmers’ market

If you can’t grow your own food, visiting a local farmers market is a great way to get fresh, local, and seasonal produce. It not only helps you get the freshest produce possible, but it also encourages supporting small businesses.

A woman's hands holding a bunch of tomatoes on the vine, with lettuce, carrots, potatoes and radishes, visible in the background on a table at the farmer's market.

You can go to a farmers’ market and show your kids how to interact with the local vendors and shop from small businesses. Farmers markets offer a wide range of items.

Not only do they have fruits, vegetables, and herbs, but they also often have stalls that sell freshly made bread, and local meats and cheeses. Some farmers’ markets also have vendors that sell homemade goods like candles or soaps.

Many farmers’ markets take place on the weekends, but be sure to check the schedules in your area as some operate during the weekdays. For example, the Culver City farmers market in California is only open on Tuesdays.

Make a plant-based meal with Earth Day recipes

Our favorite recipes for Earth Day use local ingredients that are in season. A good way to find these ingredients is with a trip to your local farmer’s market.

Get your kids involved by having them help you make an easy plant-based meal like this tomato mozzarella plate recipe. You can slice the tomatoes and your little kids can have fun arranging them on the plate.

A caprese salad recipe featuring heirloom tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper on a white plate sitting on a wooden coffee table.

Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet reduces your carbon footprint, but you don’t have to go completely plant-based to make a difference. Swapping one meal using meat per week for one plant-based meal can still be beneficial.

If you’re considering adding more vegan or vegetarian food into your life, be sure to check out this list of 40 vegan recipes that also has tips for how to incorporate more plant-based food into your life.

Outdoor Earth Day ideas for kids: have a picnic

Getting outside and having a picnic is a great way to celebrate the holiday. This Earth Day idea for adults and kids is a wonderful opportunity to spend time together, and also enjoy the outdoors.

If you’re looking for a place to have your picnic, we suggest visiting your kid’s favorite park, or even packing your beach chairs and having a picnic on the beach if you live nearby.

A picnic basket with reusable plates, cutlery and glasses, open on a white picnic blanket, on a grassy lawn with trees in the background to celebrate Earth Day.

Picnics are popular during the spring, not only because the weather is enjoyable, but also because the day after Earth Day is observed annually as National Picnic Day. Check out our post on National Picnic Day, for ideas of what to pack.

Remember to pack your picnic basket in an eco-conscious way, opting for reusable items over disposable ones. You can pack lightweight reusable plates and glassware, metal cutlery, and cloth napkins that can washed afterward. 

Teach your kids about reusable items

There are some Earth Day activities for kids that you can do all year round, instead of just on this one day. Use today to teach your kids about reusable items they can use in their daily lives. 

Even making a few simple swaps can make a difference in the amount of trash we produce. You can encourage your kids to swap colorful reusable water bottles for plastic ones, and glass straws for plastic ones.

A flatlay image of reusable items including wooden cutlery, a metal cup, a cottom bag, bamboo plates, a glass jar, and a reusable metal straw, showing how to celebrate Earth Day by using reusable goods.

There are also reusable plastic bags that come in fun colors that they might enjoy. Not only can they pack their snacks in them, but these Stasher bags are also microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe (up to 425˚F).

No matter which of the Earth Day activities for kids you choose to do from the list above, your kids will have a great time celebrating this environmentally friendly holiday!

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Would you like a reminder of this post featuring easy Earth Day activities for kids? Just pin this image to one of your trivia boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

If you’re interested about learning more fun days in April, check out our YouTube video of national days in April.

A white background with illustrated bubble letters spelling out happy Earth Day above a green square at the bottom and text that reads celebrate the day with a list of 12 fun Earth Day activities for kids.

Yield: 1 printable checklist

12 Earth Day Activities for Kids - Printable Checklist of Earth Day Ideas

A film clapper with a tiny astronaut, space ship, and images of the earth nestled among the stars above it to symbolize and celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day is a great opportunity to teach your kids about protecting the environment, and enjoying all it has to offer.

If you're looking for fun Earth Day activities for kids, make sure to get our free printable checklist.

It has 12 Earth Day ideas that are easy to do with the whole family. Most of them are free, or cost very little to participate in.

Once you do each Earth Day activity, just check it off the checklist!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Pen
  • Computer paper


  • Computer
  • Printer


  1. Load your computer paper into your printer.
  2. Choose portrait layout and if possible "fit to page" in your settings.
  3. Print this checklist of ways to celebrate Earth Day.
  4. Each time you complete an Earth Day idea, check it off the list.
  5. See how many of these Earth Day activities for kids you can do today.


Using this print function on this card will print an Earth Day printable that fills about 3/4 of an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper.

To fill the entire page, choose "fit to page" on your printer if you have this setting, or use the link in the post above and print using the browser print feature.

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

FACT CHECK: Our editorial staff aims to be accurate and fair in all posts. If you see something that doesn’t appear correct, please click here to contact us. Always the Holidays reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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