Earth day is April 22nd this year, and we wanted to prepare all of the kiddos out there with ways to celebrate! We’ve said it before and we will say it here again, getting outside is great for so many things, including calming and attention (see our blog post about this HERE). It is also great for promoting movement of many varieties!

Here are some fun, Earth Day themed activities to get you and your family moving in the great outdoors:

  1. Hiking – Hit the trails with your family, there are so many great hiking trails in Somerset, Mercer, and Middlesex Counties, you will never be bored! Many of these trails feature wildlife and beautiful flowers as well as inclines and declines that are sure to get the blood pumping! Hiking can be used to teach your child about the “Leave No Trace” rules that apply to all hiking paths, where what is found in the forest, stays in the forest. This is a way to honor the nature found there and to leave it undisturbed for all hikers and wildlife alike.
  2. Gardening – Gardening exposes your child to many fun colors and textures while having them work and help by carrying plants to be potted, then squatting down low to help plant them! They get to feel dirt, feel the many different textures that come along with different plants, and maybe even find a worm or two! This can be turned into an educational experience about what animals and nutrients are needed to help a garden grow big and strong too!
  3. Plant a Tree – This is similar to gardening, but to plant a tree you need to use a big shovel. Have your child grab their mini-shovel and start digging! This can also be turned into an educational experience where you teach your child about how important trees are for our Ecosystem and for life, to teach them about why we celebrate Earth Day in the first place! When the little tree is all planted, they can look at your work and feel a sense of accomplishment that will last years and years as the tree grows!
  4. Canoe or Kayak – Both of these water related activities are very fun AND involve a lot of core and upper body strength! There is a lot of wonderful wildlife to be celebrated in lakes, rivers, and streams, and paddling on the water with your family is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors from a new perspective. You may see turtles and fish, and seeing these creatures living in their natural habitat will help your children learn about why bodies of water are important to protect as well.
  5. Go for a Bike Ride – Go to either a bike path or start from your house and bike somewhere that you want to explore with your family. Bike riding is a whole body activity and is easy for the whole family to do together. If you bike on Earth Day, you can teach your kids all about alternative forms of transportation and how riding your bike for transportation helps decrease the harmful emissions in the air, helping create a cleaner environment for everyone.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Go out there and explore the great outdoors! We hope this post helps generate some ideas for combining movement and activity with the outdoors for some teachable moments so that your kids can learn why we celebrate the green world all around us!

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