Make Earth Day, everyday! Create an appreciation for our beautiful planet with simple activities that teach children about the earth and ways that we can take care of it. This Earth Day use recycled paper and a sprinkle of seeds to create a plantable earth to place in the garden and watch grow. This Earth Day activity includes a free printable card, perfect to make this project a gift.
I created this Earth Day activity with a group of kindergarten children and they had so much fun making it and it turned out so well that I couldn’t wait to share it with you!
Celebrate Earth Day with this activity that mixes art, sensory play and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math)! Children can get their hands in the recycled paper pulp, create an image of the earth and then watch as their seeds begin to grow!
I created these plantable Earths with a large group, so I created a foldable card for each child to create their earth inside. This kept everyone’s creations organized and easy to take home. The card even includes instructions of what to do with the earth at home.
Earth Day Activity Materials
One of the things that makes this activity perfect for Earth Day is that it uses recycled paper. You can use any color you have on hand, but green and blue work best in order to create the earth.
To create this Earth Day activity, you will need:
- Green Paper
- Blue Paper
- Seeds (Grass Seed or Flower Seeds)
- Printbale ‘Happy Earth Day’ Card (Free printable, link at bottom of post)
- Blender or Hand Mixer
Start by ripping the blue and green paper into small pieces. This is a great skill for children to learn and an easy part of the activity for children to be involved with. Keep the blue and green paper separate.
You will need roughly a sheet of green and blue for each child to create their Earth.
Once ripped up, add water. Add enough water to fully soak, and cover the paper.
Next, use a blender, or hand mixer and break the paper into a pulp. There are some dyes in the paper, so I suggest using an old blender that you don’t still use for food.
If you have some time, let kids get their hands into the pulp. It’s a fun sensory activity for them to feel the paper in this form. It also gives kids an idea of how paper is made.
Once your pulp is ready, give each child some green and blue pulp. They can then start creating their earth.
If you are using flower seeds, you can mix the seeds into the pulp at this point. Grass seed can simply be sprinkled on top after children complete their Earth.
Happy Earth Day Printable
Since I did this activity with a large group of young children, I wanted a way to keep each child’s earth easy to send home. The printable makes a cute gift for Earth Day and it also includes a little poem that tells parents what they need to do with the plantable earth at home (add water, place in the sun).
Children can color the front of the card/printable and then create their earth over the picture of the earth on the inside. The earth they create does not have to be the same as the image, it just gives kids an idea of the colors and shape.
The free printable ‘Happy Earth Day’ card can be downloaded and printed today. Information on how to subscribe to Hands-On Teaching Ideas (for free) is included at the bottom of this activity.
Since you will be placing wet paper pulp onto the paper, I suggest using thicker paper, like cardstock, for your printable.
Earth Day Activity Steps
Take the paper pulp and fill in the picture of the earth using both colors. If you aren’t using the printable, you can simply create a earth on a sheet of wax paper by making a circle any size you choose.
Make sure that the circle is filled in and no background paper is showing. This will keep the earth stuck together when it dries. The pulp should be fairly wet, but not soaking. If you squeeze too much water out of the pulp it will not spread out properly to create the earth.
If it is too wet, it can cause the paper to rip, or simply take a long time to dry.
Once you have filled in your earth with the paper pulp, sprinkle grass seed across the top. If you are using seeds for flowers, it is best that the seeds were mixed into the pulp before making the earth.
When I did this activity, a few kids decided to only place the seeds on top of the green pulp. This way when the grass begins to grow, it will grow on the land part of the earth. It’s up to you where you put the seeds.
Once you have completed the earth, set it to dry. Depending how wet the paper pulp is it can take a full day or more to completely dry.
Completed Earth Day Activity
Once your earth is dry, it is ready to be planted!
If you created the earth inside the printable card, it can be folded and given as a gift to enjoy on Earth Day. If your earth is created on a separate sheet of paper, it can be removed or cut out to be planted.
Cut out the earth and place it in the garden or soil. Spray it with a bit of water so that the paper and seeds are wet. Leave it in the garden and sun, watering when needed, and watch it grow!
That’s all you need to do! Keep an eye on the plantable earth as the seeds begin to sprout and grow. The seeds use the recycled paper to help it grow. Then the paper will break down and become part of the soil. It’s a great experiment for children to watch their earth turn into something new!
If you are interested in adding even more fun and learning to your Earth Day celebrations, visit 3 Boys and a Dog post with Earth Day Handwriting Printables. Perfect for extra practice and early finishers.
Free Earth Day Activity Printables
The printable ‘Happy Earth Day’ card featured in this activity is available for free from Hands-On Teaching Ideas Free Resource Library. Subscribe by clicking below.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are preparing for Earth Day and looking for more activity ideas, check out more of Hands-On Teaching Ideas activities. From a Earth Day scavenger hunt and popular clean water experiment to more recycled seed bombs perfect for spring and spring STEM activities, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning every season!