Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Going "Green" at the Library: Earth Day Crafts and Activities

In honor of Earth Day, I figured I would share some of my favorite "green" crafts and activities to do with kids. I thought they could be of use for next year's programming, or used any time throughout the year. Some of the ideas could be combined them for a specific Earth Day related program, and I've also included them in other thematic library events.

  • Planting Seeds: Any biodegradable material works great to have kids plant seeds in to take home. Some great ideas include egg shells, paper towel rolls and citrus halves. I've also had kids do it with ice cream cones. I've since realized from some new information I've read online that that might not be the best material.
  • Birdfeeders: The tricky part about making these is many call for peanut butter to hold the birdseed, which I choose not to use in my programs due to allergies. I've used vegetable shortening instead, and it has seemed to work well. I've spread it around the edges of a paper plate, which was then hung horizontally and face up. The shortening could also be used to make a traditional pinecone feeder.
  • Plastic Bag Flowers: Instructions can be found here. This is a great way to use up plastic grocery bags. It would work great as a Valentine's Day or Mother's Day craft for tweens.
  • Toilet tube race car tracks: A great activity I've used with K-2nd kids is using paper towel tubes, tape and various other craft materials to make race car tracks. Very fun and requires very little preparation.
  • Decorating boxes for recycling: Decorating and labeling boxes to sort trash for recycling definitely falls into the "killing two birds with one stone" activity because it is using recycled materials to promote recycling. Gotta love that!
  • Minute to Win It Style Games: A variety of Minute to Win It style games re-purpose various materials. For instance "Breakfast Scramble" reuses an old cereal box and Candelier uses empty pop cans.
  • Nature collages: Creating collages out of natural materials can work with kids of all ages. I've done fallen leaf collages with preschoolers and seed collages with school age kids. Using this kind of material for art is great way to help kids gain knowledge and appreciation of nature. 
I hope everybody has a great Earth Day! Feel free to share any additional suggestions you may have for "green" activities and crafts.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome green living ideas! HouseLogic also has some good ideas for saving energy n going green. Cheers!