Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

When my children were young, summer vacations were filled with educational opportunities.  We took field trips to the zoo, got educational books out of the library, and found other ways to prevent summer brain drain. I researched environmental projects for kids that would get them excited about learning.  Quite a bit of time was spent supplementing my children’s education.  I chose lessons that focused on topics that I felt were important.  Art, music, the environment, and science are losing focus in our elementary schools and those are all subjects that my husband and I are passionate about.  If you want to supplement your child’s education or are homeschooling and looking for more hands-on activities, here are a few suggestions.

Environmental Projects for Kids that make learning fun!

 

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Environmental Projects for Kids

The key to successful educational projects for kids is that a hands-on lesson plan is WAY more fun.  Look for fun environmental projects that will let them get involved, get their hands dirty, and give them a final project that they can be proud of.

Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

Build a Toad House

There are a number of reasons you want toads in your yard.  Basically, toads eat bugs.  And bugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare.  If you enjoy gardening, consider building your own toad house.  Check out GardeningKnowhow.com for directions for a DIY toad house.  If you don’t want to build one yourself, head over to Amazon and check out their selection of toad houses.  Your kids can still do a lesson about amphibians and head outside to check out your latest neighbor.

Canadian Made Birdhouse Log Kit - 41 piecesPlaid Wood Surface Crafting Birdhouse, 12740 GazeboBarn Owl Nesting Box

Build a Wild Bird Nesting Box

Teaching kids about birds is easy because they are literally EVERYWHERE.  You can include a diverse array of topics from anatomy and physiology to the physics of flying to geography as you research migration patterns.  If you don’t have a collection of wood laying around to make your own birdhouse, check out the birdhouse kits on Amazon.  Read my recent post about adding wild bird nesting boxes to your yard to ensure you bring as many birds to your yard as possible.

tips for planting a butterfly garden

Plant a Butterfly Garden

Butterflies (and most other pollinators) are declining in numbers rapidly.  By planting a butterfly garden, you can do your part to help boost the survival of a species.  Teach your children about different sorts of plants and their anatomy while you choose which vibrant colors you want to include in your yard.  Talk to them about how butterflies and other pollinators play a part in our food system.  Once the butterflies arrive and lay eggs and/or build their cocoons, you can talk about the butterfly life cycle.  Check out my post on how to plant a butterfly garden to get started.  Then, consider building a honeybee watering station which butterflies will love, too.

A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field GuideNature Series: Science on a Nature WalkNature Study & Outdoor Science Journal: The Thinking Tree Presents: A Creative Book of Observation, Drawing, Coloring, Writing & Discovery Through Nature - Fun-Schooling for All Ages

Go on a Nature Walk

Nature walks are a great way to teach your children about the world right outside their front door.  Strap on your shoes and grab a bag to collect your samples.  Encourage your children to get dirty, look under rocks, climb trees and explore small streams.  The most memorable lessons you teach your children will be the ones where they had FUN while they learned.  Buy a nature walk journal to record your findings or encourage your children to make one from a recycled cereal box and some scrap paper. Encourage them to find a way to use their discoveries in a few nature crafts once they get home.

Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

Participate in a River Cleanup

If you are looking for environmental projects for kids that also give back to the community, check out the National River Cleanup program through AmericanRivers.org.  This is a great way to support your local community while also teaching your kids a few valuable lessons.  Talk about pollution, recycling, and our trash system.  Discuss the chemistry of water and how oil, detergents, and other chemicals affect it. Depending on the age of your children, incorporate a few water chemistry projects at home to enforce the lesson.

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, 2nd EditionUrbalive Indoor Worm Farm - Organic Compost Vermicomposter, Chic European Design (Anthracite)Hungry Bin Flow-Through Worm Farm

Set up  a Worm Composting Bin

Okay, you may think worms are a bit high on the ‘ick factor’ but they are very important in our natural world.  They are also hugely fun for kids to play with!  Teach your children about their life cycle and how worms and other decomposers help rid our world of unneeded organic material.  You can set up an indoor worm bin but if that is a bit stressful for you, consider putting it in the garage or outside if it isn’t too hot or cold.

Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

Decorate a Rain Barrel

Do your part to conserve water and decorate a rain barrel with your kids.  Rain barrels are a great way to help reduce your water bill as well. Lesson plans that go along with your rain barrel will, of course, include the water cycle.  Discuss things like erosion, evaporation, condensation, and other similar topics.  Decorating a rain barrel is also a great fundraising idea for scouting troops, schools, and other children’s programs.  Decorate the rain barrel and hold an auction to raise money for your group!

There are so many environmental projects for kids to help get them excited about the world around them.  Include major academic knowledge and skills that are required by your state and local government or educational institutions.  The best way to raise green kids is to start them off young.  Show them how exciting nature really is and they will strive to protect it when they get older!

Have any other environmental projects for kids to suggest?

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About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

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