“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” ~ Dr. Montessori.
I hope below you will find Earth Day activities and resources that you can utilize for one day, one week, or during the entire year. We love the Earth and love sharing great ways to teach children how to appreciate, respect and cherish the Earth.
🌐Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22. Senator Nekson declared this day a National Holiday so that we can educate our children on the importance of conservation and caring for our environment. There is still so much to be done in terms of reducing pollution, making sure we all live in harmony with every living creature, and conserving our valuable resources. Below, I am sharing ideas, materials, and books to celebrate Earth Day since this is a perfect time to start thinking about teaching your children why Earth Day is important and how they can help protect the environment!
See here a post about I Cherish Planet Earth Book & Matching Game.
I Cherish Planet Earth book (buy here) is about appreciating and preserving nature and our planet. It celebrates Earth’s life and beauty in all its glory. The book contains many affirmations, and it is an inspiration to learn about and care for all life, from the tiniest flower to the greatest forest. The book also comes with matching memory game, so it is a total win.
Our most favorite book perhaps is Children Of The Earth ... Remember book (by here) which offers a tender lesson on sharing and protecting the Earth, as enhanced with Schimmel's stunning artwork. "In the deepest black velvet of 🌌space spins the family of mother 🌎Earth and the animals remember when they saw the first people... Time passed and more people were born; more and more people until finally there were more people than animals and the people forgot 🙈...forgot to share Mother earth's land and water and sky with the animals... they forgot that the animals are their sisters and brothers ...they forgot that they were all part of one big family of Mother 🌎Earth ...till they remembered! And when people remember ~ they ❤️ love!"
For a roundup of all books, see here 🌐Earth Day Inspired 📚Books.
Are you ready to get a little messy not-so messy with finger painting? All you need are 🖐🏻little fingers and 🎨paints! Get the Earth "HumanFootPrint" template" here.
We are using these washable finger paints.
While little ones can have fun painting while learning the positioning of continents and oceans, older children can write how they can reduce their human footprint on the Earth. Or simply cut the outline of the Earth and create a piece of art to hang on a wall or be a part of your Solar System Unit Study.
Get the World Map PDF with labels here.
Match the play dough colors to Montessori Continents' colors: North America ~ orange, South America ~ pink, Europe ~ red, Africa ~ green, Asia ~ yellow, Australia ~ brown. (More on Montessori color-coding below.) See a recipe for our homemade play dough here in a post 🎄Holiday Inspired No-Cook 🏡Homemade 🍩Play Dough.
Offer your child to trace land, mountains, rivers and so forth. Sharpies work best for this.
From your backyard, Earth probably looks flat, however, astronauts see that Earth appears like a giant ball with blue oceans, greenish brown land, and white clouds. Even in space, you see only the part of Earth facing you. To see the whole Earth at one time, we need a map. Maps take the round Earth and make it flat so that both hemispheres could be seen at one time.
By popping the balloon and stretching it, a child will get an idea how maps are made.
If you could "peel" a globe like an orange, you would make the Earth flat, but there would be spaces between places.
Cartographers (map-makers) stretch the land and the water at the top and bottom to fill in the spaces. This is how a map lets you see the whole world all at once. See details here 🌎Geography 📖Theory Curriculum Lesson 3: 🗺Mapping (Making the Earth 🎈Flat).
We also explored Montessori World Map Puzzle.
We then positioned all the continents on the large blue cardstock.
We then traced all the continents.
Offer your child to fill the continent with a grain or beans (we are using lentils).
This is a mixture of geography and sensorial activity as little ones get more familiar with the continents' positioning and shape while stimulating the tactile sense. Also, fine motor skills are triggered when the child carefully fills the outlines of the continents. You can also discuss hemispheres and how the globe is a sphere and the process of making the map flat (see an explanation with a ballon and tangerine above).
See our original lesson on Montessori Colored 🌈 Continent 🌎Globe here where I explained how in Montessori Cultural and Science curriculum continents are consistently color-coded (North America is always orange, Europe ~ red, Asia ~ yellow and so forth). Also, you would generally introduce the🌈Colored Globe once the child is able to complete the 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson with a Sandpaper globe (read a detailed presentation here).
See here DIY ☀️Solar 🌎System Craft From No-cook Natural 🏡Homemade Play Dough.
This is an extension to practice 🔨hammering on wood instead of modeling clay! First, trace with a ✏️ pencil a word (can be child's name) and offer your child to 🔨hammer it. 👦🏼Adrian 🔨hammered "Earth" since this week we are paying 🙏🏻homage to our Mother 🌐Earth, as Earth 🌏 Day is approaching! See a detailed presentation of the use of Golf Tee here as well as a video on my blog Preschool Uses For A ⛳Golf Tee 🔨Hammering Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Lesson 💪🏻Gross Motor Game •101 🎥 Series 🎇.
From a flower spike to full blooming orchids!
Since children have little experience, they tend to view the world in the present tense. However, when children study nature hands-on, for example by caring for plants, learning answers to questions like "How long does it take for the flower to bloom?" allows them to expand their perspective to include the past, present, and future. Children can then project the Earth into the future and envision possible "futures" based on where we are now. Finally, as children gain love and an understanding of nature, they can project themselves into the future and consider how their actions would help build the future they dream of most. Read here how Adrian takes care of his orchids in Caring for Orchids (Earth 🌐 Day Inspired Montessori Practical Life Activity) post.
Also, check out our Earth Day 🌐 Activities Roundup in 2017 here.
Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach children to collected litter.
Despite global warming, increasing human population and depletion of natural resources, there is so much that has been done already: from conservation legislation to global change of consciousness regarding caring for our planet, to a shift towards renewable sources of energy. "One drop raises the sea!" I tell my children. So, one person, one child can make a difference, even if at first, such change seems insignificant. Any change will have a cumulative effect if many children learn early on to love and cherish and appreciate our home, our Mother Earth, and respect all living things, from the tiniest flower to a massive humpback whale since we are all interconnected ~ one big family!