Help Kids Appreciate the Planet for Earth Day and Arbor Day

Four children peek out from behind a tree in a forest, laughing and playing

April 22 is Earth Day and April 29 is Arbor Day!

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere, and kids are eager to get outside and play in the sunshine. Help them appreciate our beautiful planet and celebrate two great holidays with these activities! 

Science and Sensory Play

  • Go play! Squish mud, run across the grass in a yard or playground, feel the rough bark of tree, listen to the wind and the birds. Kids who experience nature can better learn to appreciate and care for it!
  • Learn about trees: Are there trees near your child care business? Help kids learn what they’re called with the video tree identification library on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website for kids.
  • Plant a tree: Talk to a local tree farm or nursery to see if they have opportunities for kids to help plant a tree. Or, play pretend! Fill a bin with soil and add small branches or toy trees to make a tree-planting sensory bin, like this one from Fun Learning for Kids.

Arbor Day Art

  • Paint spring blooms: This art project from Housing a Forest lets kids use the perfect tool for making a million colorful blossoms–their fingers!
  • Evergreen teamwork: If you live in an area where pine and fir trees grow, gather needles, cones and small branches and create a fun collaborative art project.
  • Recycled apple trees: Gather paper scraps and any extra red, green, or yellow art materials you have on hand for this preschooler-friendly apple tree collage.

Snack Time

  • Eat from the Earth: Cut up whole fruits and veggies and talk about how they grow — like apples on trees, carrots in the ground, berries on bushes, or peas on vines. Whatever your snack for the day, talk about how parts of it started as plants!