In honor of Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I have put together some fun Earth Day activities for kids! It is never too early to raise your child’s awareness of the Earth, how plants grow, recycling and more. These fun Earth day activities and crafts are the perfect way to talk about these topics with your autistic child or students.
Earth Day Activities for Kids (Gardening)
Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs (w/ free printable) from Buggy and Buddy
Over my nearly 20 years of working with children with autism, I have often use growing plants and outdoor gardening with my little learners. As soon it gets warm enough here in Paris, we start planting our little garden! If you love gardening with your child too, I share some strategies to make gardening educational and fun in the post 6 Tips to Make Gardening with Children with Autism Easy and Fun. That post includes a printable gardening visual schedule as well.
Earth Day Sensory Bins
Garden Sensory Bin from Special Learning House
This quick and easy garden sensory bin is made with a bowl, dried lentils and these free printable carrots.
Spring Sensory Bin from Special Learning House
This is another fun and simple sensory box for kids. All you need is dried pasta, a simple plastic bin and some Spring stickers. Use it to build new vocabulary skills in a fun, sensory way.
Earth Day Crafts for Kids
Coffee Filter Planet Earth Project from About A Mom
I love that this project uses materials that you probably already have at home. We went searching for these at my center and we had : paints, paint brushes, coffee filters, paper and scissors!
Handprint Hearts Earth Day Craft from Crafty Morning
I love this sweet Earth Day heart craft. The little hands holding the hear are precious. Use this project to discuss the Earth, maybe talk about working together as a community to take care of the planet. You’ll need paper, paints and paintbrushes for this Earth day activity.
DIY Turtle Toys from Recycled Bottles Craft from iCreative Ideas
This activity is a great way to teach your child about recycling! These little turtles are made from plastic bottles. So fun! They are also free-standing which means that you can use them like you would use puppets for creative and pretend play.
Newspaper Polar Bear from I Heart Crafty Things
This polar craft is a great way to open up a conversation about animals and how important it is to protect the environment. I also love the googly eyes!
Earth Day Songs for Kids
Earth Day Songs from Prekinders
What better way to talk about Earth Day and celebrate than with some Earth Day songs for kids? I love each and every one of these recommendations and I think you will too!
Earth Day Outdoor Activities for Kids
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Organize a fun and educational nature scavenger hunt for your little learners. I like this nature scavenger hunt for kids from Doing Good Together.
Neighborhood Clean Up from National Geographic
Get your little ones involved in a neighborhood clean up! I love these neighborhood clean up for kids tips from National Geographic.
Make a Bird Feeder
I love this little bird feeder that kids can easily make from Messy Little Monster. This project calls for peanut butter, so make sure you check that none of the kids who are participating in the activity have a peanut allergy.
Start a Garden
Why not use Earth Day as an excuse to start a small garden at home or with your class. Use my gardening tips for starting a garden with autistic learners. This site also has lots of tips for gardening with kids.
Tips to Use these Activities with Autistic Learners
- Use visuals. You could do a run through the activity in advance and take a photo of each step to help your little learners complete each step of the activity.
- Take your time. Autistic learners may need more time to complete a project. If that is the case, you may want to consider breaking the craft project into two separate parts that you can complete in a morning and afternoon or start one day and complete the next day.
- Use a timer. Some activities can be overwhelming for individuals on the autism spectrum, especially sensory activities. If you feel like your child or students may be overwhelmed by using paint or engaging with sensory bins, use a timer to allot a certain amount of time (maybe 5-10 minutes) for the activities before you move on to the next step.
- Use clear instructions. Frustration typically comes when instructions are unclear. Use short and simple sentences to make sure that it is absolutely clear what needs to be done in the activity. Most importantly, keep expectations at may to have a maximum amount of fun!
More Autism Resources
- The Successful Interaction with a Child with Autism Course – learn to better understand your autistic child or students with this complete course.
- Autism Activities Workbook Bundle – build communication skills, fine motor skills, sensory play skills and daily living skills, while helping your child or students to successfully manage any difficult behaviors, with these fun, educational, printable activities.
- Sensory Communication Workbook – Build communication skills with simple sensory activities.
- How to Make a Communication Binder Guide & Workbook – Learn how to create a Communication Binder for your child or student with autism using real photos. Follow my expert guide to learn how to use it to increase communication skills.
- Zoo Animals Play Dough Mats Bundle – use these printable play dough mat to work on the names of the animals, build language skills, and increase fine motor strength and precision in a fun, sensory way!
Earth Day Activities for Kids
Which of these Earth Day activities for kids is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below!
First published March 22, 2017. Last updated April 8, 2021 with more information, additional tips, and better readability.
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