In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute‘s global environmental and humanitarian youth program featuring service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website offering earth-friendly activities, is empowering kids and families worldwide to care for the planet.
Roots & Shoots (in conjunction with Toys R Us) have developed the following list of free and low-cost activities to help families appreciate the outdoors this Earth Day.
- Jump! Whether you call it skipping rope or jump roping, it’s a great activity to improve strength and fitness and can be performed on grass or pavement.
- Retreat to the Beach. Instead of driving to the beach, recreate a piece of the coast’s serene atmosphere with a sandbox in the yard.
- Be Farm and Garden Fresh. Get to know your local farmer and enlist the kids to join you at the local farmers’ markets. Better yet, plant your own garden that everyone can care for and enjoy all season long.
- Let’s Go Fly a Kite! Show the kids how to soar into a colorful sky with only the force of nature to power your kite. A centuries-old activity, kite flying can be enjoyed at any age—with a little wind, of course!
- Give Back. Gather the family for a volunteer day dedicated to beautifying the earth. Many communities have organizations that champion environmental protection and regularly organize events like stream and trail clean-ups.
- Be Bubbly! Invite the neighbors to create bubble wands out of objects found around the house like straws, pipe cleaners, strawberry baskets and coat hangers. Take the kids outside and have your own bubble party!
- Take a Hike. Locate a nature trail near you and take the kids on a woodsy adventure. Hiking is a group activity that provides great exercise and hands-on experiences with the natural world.
- Start a Kickball Game. All it takes is a rubber playground ball, make-shift bases and some friends to start a kickball game. Create a neighborhood tournament and coach the kids though innings of bouncing fun.
- Catch and Release. Butterflies are some of nature’s most beautiful creatures, although they aren’t easy to observe when they flutter in the sky. Using an insect or butterfly net, capture them and show the kids how to appreciate their beauty up close. Then let them loose.