12 Meaningful Ways to Teach Kids About Earth Day

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, we rounded up some kid-friendly books, videos, and toys that can teach environmental protection to the next generation. 

Asian Mother Teaching Son to Recycle
Photo: LStockStudio/Shutterstock

First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day looks a lot different now than it did over 50 years ago. Countries around the world come together to support environmental protection, with an emphasis on preserving our resources, combating climate change, and more.

Looking to teach your children about the importance of Earth Day? Start by sharing fun facts and statistics, then consider using some of these educational tools. We rounded up books and videos that educate kids on important topics (like recycling), toys that encourage sustainable play, and outdoor activities that showcase the beauty of our planet. Hopefully, they'll inspire your little one to make a difference in the world!

Earth Day Books for Kids

One of the best ways to teach kids about our planet? Reading about conservation, nature, wildlife, and more. Here are three Earth Day books to get you started.

01 of 10

My Friend Earth

My Friend Earth Book
Courtesy of Amazon

Written by Patricia Maclachlan and illustrated by Francesca Sanna

This children's book highlights the various ways Earth provides us with the elements of each season, from wintertime snow to spring rain that nourishes flowers and vegetable seeds. It encourages children to be a good friend to Earth, since Earth is a good friend to us.

02 of 10

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail
Courtesy of Target

By Editors of Storey Publishing

Jam-packed with interactive activities like search-and-find prompts and nature-related games, this field guide will encourage kids to explore nature outdoors.

03 of 10

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
Courtesy of Amazon

Written by Mary McKenna Siddals; illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Develop your child's green thumb with this alphabet how-to on composting and caring for Earth. With compost piles becoming more popular, this book teaches kids to create and care for one at home.

Earth Day Videos for Kids

When you turn on the TV this Earth Day, consider pulling up one of these informative YouTube videos. They'll teach kids about the history of Earth Day, with tips for helping the planet yourself.

04 of 10

"Earth Day" by PBS Kids

This two-minute video, released by PBS Kids, gives a short history lesson on Earth Day. Watch it with your child, then discuss the question prompt at the end of the video: "What do you and your community do to celebrate the Earth?"

05 of 10

"Happy Earth Day!" by SciShow Kids

This 17-minute Earth Day video highlights ways your household can implement sustainable practices into your daily routine. It also explains how items in the trash can decompose, how recycled items can be transformed into something new, and more.

06 of 10

"Recycle!" Music Video by WonderGrove Kids

Follow along as two children turn trash into treasure with their recyclables—and hopefully give your kids the inspiration to do the same! This three-minute long music video follows the journey of a water bottle after it's been recycled.

07 of 10

"Earth Is Our Home" by Mother Goose Club

This three-minute music video, catered to young children, emphasizes the many ways we can care for our planet.

Earth Day Toys and Activities for Kids

You don't need acres of land to have hands-on experiences with nature. These fun products encourage outdoor play in your home and yard.

08 of 10

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Kids' Gardening Set

10pc Kids' Gardening Set - Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Courtesy of Target

Complete with tools, labels for each seed, and a handy tote to carry it all, this 10-piece set is a great introductory gardening tool for kids.

09 of 10

gofindit Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Card Game

gofindit Nature Scavenger Hunt Game
Courtesy of Amazon

These scavenger hunt cards prompt children to search for many elements of nature, including something spotty, something dry, and more. For more adventures and continued play, purchase gofindit too, a follow-up game with different prompts and sensory characteristics.

10 of 10

Educational Insights Compost Container

Educational Insights Compost Bin
Courtesy of Amazon

Get a close-up visualization of composting with this clear, easy-to-use container. Simply lift the lid to place compostable items, such as banana peels, inside. Then watch them decompose in real time!

Earth Day Poems for Kids

Are you raising a word lover? Check out these kid-friendly Earth Day poems for kids, and consider reading them before bed on April 22.

"I'm Glad the Sky is Painted Blue" by Anonymous

I'm glad the sky is painted blue,
And the earth is painted green,
With such a lot of nice fresh air
All sandwiched in between.

"Mud" by Polly Chase Boyden

Mud is very nice to feel
All squishy-squash between the toes!
I'd rather wade in wiggly mud
Than smell a yellow rose.

Nobody else but the rosebush knows
How nice mud feels
Between the toes.

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