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Celebrate going green and honor the planet with these fun and sustainable DIY projects.
Earth Day is on Friday, April 22 this year. And whether you’re a PTA mom brainstorming Earth Day craft ideas for your kid’s school or just a busy parent with craft-loving kids, there are countless DIY ideas that celebrate nature and Earth, while encouraging your kids to learn about the importance of being eco-friendly. Before you decide what to do, come up with a good plan. Ask yourself the following questions:
Throughout all of your Earth Day activities and crafts, remember to think about everything this planet has given you and your family. And with every craft, remind your kids to conserve, reduce waste, reuse, and recycle — not just on Earth Day, but every day of the year. To get you started with ideas for Earth Day crafts, here’s a roundup of 26 of our favorites.
Jodi Levine of Super Make It! says her favorite material to craft with is actually toilet paper tubes. She specializes in use-what-you-have crafts, like this adorable sea creature mobile, that utilize pantry, recycling bin, and supermarket materials.
“Dreaming up uses for items otherwise destined for a landfill is my favorite challenge. Not only are they cheap and plentiful, but transforming them helps us retain the childlike skill to identify the potential in things,” she says.
Get the Cardboard Tube Sea Creatures tutorial at Super Make It! and check out Jodi’s Toilet Tube Treasury ebook here.
And the coolest desk organizer award goes to this craft. Using old cardboard tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, and gift wrap, this functional piece of art can be yours. You will need a wood tree trunk slice, so perhaps that’s an item you’ll have to buy — but the rest of the materials can be found around your home to be on-theme for Earth Day. Reuse what you have: Paper scraps in fun colors and patterns, plus paint.
Get the DIY Desktop Organizer tutorial at Crafting Cheerfully.
A lesson on wildlife is important during Earth Day and beyond. Tell your kids about the safari, the animals that live there, and why it’s important that we support initiatives to keep those animal populations thriving. You can even bring this set of binoculars —made out of animal print paper, old toilet paper or gift wrap tubes, and twine — to your next zoo visit to bring your teaching moment to life.
Get the DIY Safari Binoculars tutorial at Crafting Cheerfully.
This adorable flower craft is super easy to make. All you’ll need is blue cardstock or construction paper to use as a canvas, green cardstock or construction paper for the leaves, white cupcake liners for the petals, and paper straws for the stems. The printable Earth template at the link below makes the globe. Your kid crafter will just need to color it with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
Get the Cupcake Liner Daisy tutorial at Buggy and Buddy.
One of the easiest crafts you can do for Earth Day — with your kids or without — is setting up your trash station. Incorporate a sorting system to support the Earth. These printable trash can labels are stylish and will remind your entire family about the importance of sustainability.
Get the Printable Trash Can Labels at Lia Griffith.
Make these cute birds with your adorable preschooler. You’ll teach your tot about these lovable critters with feathers while you make them and their nest habitat. You may need to buy some materials to make this one, but the cuteness will be well worth it.
Get the Nest and Baby Bird tutorial at Buggy and Buddy.
One important lesson to pass down to kids during Earth Day (and anytime during the year, for that matter), is the concept of seasons. You’ll need four wooden slices (one each to represent winter, spring, summer, and fall), paint, rocks, and some paper scraps to make your rocks into things that remind you of that season. After you dress up your rocks, you can ask your tot to assemble them on the wood slices.
Get the Sorting Seasons Activity with Stones and Rocks tutorial at Buggy and Buddy.
Earth Day crafts can be useful, too! These beautiful vases are made out of milk cartons. You’ll need spray paint, raffia, and some beautiful beads to create. While this craft is not ideal for toddlers because of the small beads, a child over five can totally do these with adult supervision. Don’t forget the flowers!
Get the Milk Carton Vase tutorial at Gina Tepper.
Have an empty plastic water bottle and coffee filters on hand? This repurposed vase and flowers DIY will delight kids of all ages. Dampen the filters slightly, and the kids can use markers to create a watercolor effect once dry. Reinforce the occasion with a “we heart Earth” (or any phrase!) sign drawn on poster board.
Get the DIY Vase and Flowers tutorial at Rae Elizabeth Design.
With just three materials and PVA glue, this suncatcher can be yours. Simply find sea glass, an empty lid, and some twine. If your sea glass is blue and green, even better for the Earth Day theme! Hang it from a window to reflect some beautiful light.
Get the Sea Glass Suncatcher tutorial at Mother of Grom.
Before you throw those empty cans in the recycling bin, give them a brand new life as planters. Recycle your recyclables by ripping the labels off to start. Then, simply paint (spray paint works best), add tape, and plant. You can try adorable faces like the DIY-er did in the photo, or make fun shapes and patterns.
Get the Upcycled Fun Face Planters tutorial at Project Kid.
All you’ll need is cardboard, blue and green paper (cut into small pieces), adhesive paper for your border, markers, and tape, plus a craft knife and bowl to trace (for making your circle). You may also want to draw the outline of the continents for your little one to fill with paper in corresponding green and blue colors to make a lovely Earth.
Get the Earth Collage tutorial at 7 Days of Play.
How fun is this? Making toys out of recycled materials is the best way to show little ones what Earth Day is all about. For this one, all you’ll need is an old egg carton, used bottle caps, skewers and straws to make the wheels turn, and some paint. Use little people figurines you already have, or make those too, with wine corks and pom-poms or large wooden beads.
Get the School Bus Craft tutorial at 7 Days of Play.
During Earth Day, one important lesson to teach kids is on ocean life and sustainability. This DIY felt fishing game can open up the conversation. Create various felt fish in different hues using the downloadable pattern at the link below. Moms and dads will need to sew while kids can help pick the color combos. Once complete, find a blue basket or container to fish out of.
Get the Felt Fishing Game tutorial at 7 Days of Play.
This car craft can be yours! You will need an empty cracker box, craft paint, paintbrushes, scrap cardboard, an empty egg carton, popsicle sticks, low-temp glue, and paint pens. If you have smaller kids, pre-cut the cardboard so all you have to do is paint. And the best part is, you’ll be reusing items you already have.
Get the Cardboard Toy Car tutorial at Lovely Indeed.
Have you been saving all of those wine corks? Well, you finally have a use for them. You can make super cute stamps with your kiddos. All you’ll need are foam stickers, glue, and paint to create these upcycled wine corks-turned-stamps.
Get the Wine Cork Foam Stamps tutorial at Craftic.
Also a creative use of your old wine corks, these love bugs are easy to make, requiring few materials. You can make bees using the same tutorial, but with yellow and black wings.
Get the Cork Love Bugs tutorial at No Time for Flashcards.
Have an artist in the family? This simple craft calls for drawing and painting a beautiful scene on a jar that you can then use for holding little knick-knacks or candy. You’ll need an empty, clear jar, some special paint, and art skills. You can also do this craft again for any holiday or theme of your choosing.
Get the Upcycled Candy Jar with Bird and Tree tutorial at Craftic.
A simple card to celebrate the cause is one of the sweetest and easiest crafts you can make with kids of all ages. Instead of painting directly on the page, you’ll learn how to make this sort of imprint using a fun technique.
Get the Earth Day Print Card tutorial at Mother of Grom.
Another easy craft to make is an earth painting. Simply find a blank piece of white paper, cut it into a circle, and glue on top of a larger square of cardstock or construction paper in any color. If you have younger kids, consider showing them this photo so they can try to mirror the proportions with their own painting skills.
See this and other fun crafts at @creativekidsplay on Instagram.
Instead of chucking the center of your toilet paper roll (you know, that cardboard tube), make them into adorable cacti. You’ll just need some craft paint and a bit of skilled scissor work.
Get the Toilet Paper Roll Cacti tutorial at Pink Stripey Socks.
If cacti are not your thing, how about some flowers? Using the same method, you can make these adorable flowers with old cardboard from the center of your toilet paper rolls. Make different kinds of flowers, like daisies or tulips. Just make sure you have colorful craft paint on hand to match.
Get the Toilet Paper Roll Flowers tutorial at Pink Stripey Socks.
You’ve probably seen paper lanterns sold at your local craft store or Target. As an easy weekday craft (because this is a quick one to make), get mini paper lanterns that easily expand to make ball shapes. Use watercolor paint you already have at home to decorate a globe for Earth Day. If you have ribbons or scrap paper to spare, hang them from the bottom and design a cute jellyfish. Older kids can also try a watercolor flower design. Younger kids can paint in whatever colors they like, and even add mini pom-poms.
Get the Watercolor Painted Paper Lanterns tutorial at Pink Stripey Socks.
So relevant to Earth Day, this craft is also a science experiment that will teach kids how to create energy without using electricity. Your energy source? The sun! Use things from around the house: cardboard, aluminum foil, plastic wrap or a plastic bag, and tape. You can even use it to make s’mores with your kids.
Get the Solar Oven and Solar Energy Science Experiment tutorial at Raising Global Kidizens.
If you’ve seen the Pixar movie Up, you’ll be familiar with Russell, the wilderness explorer. After you DIY this costume, your little explorer can learn about the importance of wilderness preservation, in the backyard or a local park. While mom will probably handle most of this craft (like getting the shorts and T-shirt together), kids can help make their sash with all of the patches and “pins.” Pro tip: Use stickers instead if you don’t want anyone to get pricked.
Get the Wilderness Explorer Costume tutorial at Once Upon a Cheerio.
Likely, neither you nor your kid has any idea what a bathyscope is (we sure didn’t!). Also known as an aquascope, it’s basically an underwater viewer you use in a lake, river, ocean, or any other body of water. Using one helps get rid of any glare from the water’s surface so you can see what’s underneath. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by making a tool to help you learn more about the Earth? Be sure to test it out with your kids after making this craft together.
Get the Simple Bathyscope tutorial at Raising Global Kidizens.