Portland-- To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Environment Oregon has released a list of “Fifty environmental activities kids can do at home” as a resource for families across the state. With Oregon schools physically closed for the school year, for social distancing purposes during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this set of activities aims to provide a broad array of easy-to-do endeavors for Earth Day and beyond.
For teachers looking for curriculum ideas, the organization is also providing specific Earth Day materials as well.
“School closures and social distancing make it impossible to have the type of party 50 years of Earth Day deserves,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon “But that doesn’t mean families can’t embrace worthwhile options for their kids. Our activities offer enjoyable learning opportunities that do not require interaction with others outside the home.”
The list, which links to further information on subjects throughout is broken down into six different areas: Learn about solutions to climate change; learn about ways to reduce waste; learn about plants; learn about waterways, parks and conservation; learn about and protect birds, bees and other wildlife; and create a healthier home and community.
Activities range from making your own solar oven from a pizza box to creating a bird feeder out of an apple, peanut butter and birdseed. Educational opportunities vary from calculating your family’s carbon footprint to taking a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park.
In addition, the group has created a series of virtual Earth Day curriculum ideas for teachers. These materials feature a number of online classroom-friendly options, including specially produced videos for all academic age groups -- kindergarten to third; grades fourth to sixth; and grades seventh to 12th.
“Whether students are virtually learning through their schools or parents are looking for activities to help their kids discover more about the natural world around them, we’ve aimed to provide tools to help make the most of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day,” Meiffren-Swango said.
Environment Oregon is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.