Earth Day is just around the corner on the 22nd of April and this year will be its 50th anniversary! This is a great opportunity to teach your family about the importance of caring for the environment and how we can all do our bit to help reduce pollution, fight climate change and look after our planet together. If you are homeschooling you could make Earth Day your theme, watch videos to learn more, check out the Earth Day website- they will be creating content for 24 hours straight to provide a totally digital Earth Day this year! Art is a wonderful way to celebrate the Earth, and a great way to open up the conversation around Climate Action, which is the theme of this year's Earth Day. We have listed below 8 brilliant Earth Day art projects for kids, they are all super easy and use recycled materials, and household/store cupboard items. All of the below projects would make wonderful gifts so why not pop a couple in the post and spread the word about Earth Day!
1. Earth Day Artists
For a simple way to create some mixed media Earth Day art, we recommend clearing off the whole table and laying out all the art supplies you have, using what you already have available instead of buying new is also very eco! Cut out a few cardboard circles in all different sizes, some in paper too and let the kids go wild with creativity. It might be helpful to show them some photos of the Earth for some inspiration and rough location of ice caps and continents, but abstract is good! Put all of the creations up on the wall for an Earth Day art show.
2. Recycled Earth Pom Poms
To make these Earth pom poms you will need, blue and green carrier bags, cardboard, and some scissors. If you don't have a stash of carrier bags already, definitely don't get any specially! We are using the same method as these yarn pom-poms so these would look just as good made with scraps of yarn or even strips of fabric if you have some old tea towels, or bedsheets, using recycled materials for as many of these projects as possible is key.
3. Earth Seed Paper
The ultimate way to give back to the Earth through art, you will need green and blue sugar paper, water, and flower seeds of your choice. Take a look at this to see what we are going for here. So tear up the sugar paper and mix it with water, add a little bit at a time until you can squish it into a pulp, you can also use a hand mixer here! Then mix in your seeds. You can then press out quite a bit of the water, but keep it a little bit squidgy so you can shape it into little circular earth shapes. These can be planted whole in the garden or torn up and scattered outside. These make wonderful thoughtful Earth Day gifts.
4. Nature Earths
Next time you are in the garden or out and about on a walk, encourage the kids to look for things they can add to a nature-inspired earth collage! Things like green leaves and small rocks for the land, and perhaps some white petals for the ice caps. Sticks and flowers are great too! When you get home, cut a circle out of cardboard, thicker cardboard is best, then paint the whole thing blue. You can then look through your nature treasure and see what will work best, once the paint is dry the kids can lay out all the pieces and try different combinations. Once they are happy it can all be stuck down. You could draw on the actual continents in pencil and glue everything on to fit the shapes, this would work best on a big circle! Or keep it simple, an imperfect nature Earth will look lovely.
5. Earthy Salt Dough Ornaments
This is a really cool take on salt dough. Salt dough is super easy, and for this one we are adding coffee grounds which not only adds to the earthy look but makes this even more of a fun sensory activity. You will need, 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 2 scoops of coffee grounds and 1/2 cup of water. You then mix up the dough and roll it out, you can use circular cookie cutters or a glass will also do the trick to get the circular shape. You could place leaves and flowers into the dough at this point to create some marks! If you want to hang these as decorations don't forget to make a small hole near the top. You then simply place in the oven on a very low heat, if you make your Earths more on the slim side they should only take an hour or two to dry out, check out this post by Rainy Day Mum for some mega salt dough tips. Once the disks have cooled down you can paint them! These will look beautiful hung up at the window on Earth Day.
6. Earth Crayons
This is such a clever way to use up broken crayons, these look amazing as Earth art themselves but you can also use them to create more Earth art- full circle! Making the crayons is best to do with older kids, and have the activity for younger ones be the drawing with them after as you will need to use an oven and the wax is hot and melted when it comes out! It is a good idea to save any broken crayons in a designated space, as this is a great way to reuse them to make mixed up rainbow crayons at any time, not just earth day! So you simply place snapped up blue and green crayons into a cupcake tin, if you have some white crayons they make good ice caps so pop those in first, then put the tray in the oven at a low temperature for around 15-20 minutes, until the crayons are melted. When you take the tray out, be careful not to mix the colours- also they liquid wax will be super hot! Leave somewhere cool to harden up then if you have space for the whole tray- put it in the freezer for an hour, the wax will pop right out! Take a look here for full instructions and step by step images.
7. Balloon Stamping
This is such a cute and fun way to make some little earth prints! You could cover a whole sheet and make a repeat pattern, or experiment with rolling the balloon around to see what you can come up with, anything goes. You simply need a balloon, card or paper, and green and blue paint. Blow up your balloon, for little hands especially don't blow it up all the way, its much easier to hold onto and dip in the paint if you keep it on the small side, for bigger 'stamps' you can blow it up more but be on hand to catch it! Gently swirl the blue and green paint together, then simply dip the balloon in the paint and stamp it on to the card! Take a look at this post for full instructions. To add an eco-friendly touch, you could swap out the balloon for a ball that you can wash the paint off afterwards!
8. Marbled Earth Art
Making marble art is so fun and really satisfying, with a lovely end result- you may find yourself having a go at this minus the kids! Full instructions can be found here, but this could not be easier! It is also just messy enough that the kids will love it, you can get creative swirling your green and blue paint or food colouring into the shaving foam. If you have a dropper this can be an amazing sensory play activity too, fill the droppers with food colouring and let the kids drip it onto the shaving foam and swirl it around with their hands. Once you have made your marbled paper or card, let it dry then simply cut out circles and you have a beautiful, abstract Earth- you could make multiple circles then string them up together to make a mobile or some bunting. Bonus points for using recycled card and paper!
Freelance writer Amy lives in Hampshire with her 3 year old daughter, who is a super energetic, chatty child, leading to Amy’s interest in all matters to do with infant and child sleeping patterns and mindfulness for adults and children. Amy’s degree was in fashion design and she loves filling their beautiful home full of interesting textiles, tiles, art, ceramics, and houseplants or, alternatively, pining over them on Instagram. When they aren’t out exploring in the fresh air they can be found cosying up at home, painting, knitting, and dancing!