Spring is always a good time for linking crafts and language activities. Celebrating Earth Day mid-April is an opportunity to change up the themes and activities and for a good reason! Here are a few activities I’ve done and plan on doing to celebrate the earth, talk about keeping it clean, and work on language concepts at the same time.
Compare/Contrast; Similarities/Differences; Opposites:
The Curious Garden – a GREAT story about the High Line in New York and how a little boy converts an old railroad line into a blooming, growing garden and how that changes the city and its people. Excellent for before/after; similarities/differences; and reasoning questions. An accompanying activity can be separating pictures of “clean/healthy” environments (think waterfalls, green pastures, blue sky) from “pollution/dirty” environments (think polluted waters, smokestacks, congested highways). Kids as young as 3 can understand the contrasts of “yucky/nice” or “clean/dirty”.
Work on any artic sound while using recycled water bottles to create a hyacinth picture. See our Pinterest page for specifics. WARNING – don’t expect such “perfection” in your children’s hyacinths; think creative and colorful! 🙂
Practice artic words or phrases while gluing tissue paper onto an old water bottle to create a colorful vase. Add a real or fake flower.
Sequencing; Following Directions:
Grass cups– this is one of my favorite activities! Plastic cups, face stickers (found part of a set at any kids toy store, or have your kid draw and cut out face pieces), dirt, and grass seed. If your child is 3-4, have them follow directions to plant the grass; if they are 4-6 years, have them predict and sequence the steps on their own. Talk about what makes grass/plants grow; how important water and sun are. Watch your grass grow over the next couple weeks (doesn’t take long). Then…here comes the best part…give your grass head a hair cut! Excellent combining some fine motor skills into the activity. Again, check out our Pinterest page for more specific steps (especially if you don’t have a visual of what this should look like!). The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, One Bean by Anne Rockwell, and The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin are great books to accompany this activity.
Finally – visit a local park, walk to your neighborhood shop/restaurant, find a hidden garden! Picking up one piece of trash, walking instead of driving, and talking about grass and plants growing are all easy ways to incorporate the concepts of a clean and healthy Earth!