High Five: Earth Day

Earth Day is a great time to introduce your zero- to-five-year-old to nature vocabulary and basic science concepts while practicing literacy skills. You can celebrate our beautiful world by singing songs about plants growing, doing crafts with upcycled materials, going on nature walks or reading books about conservation.

There are a lot of fun songs about gardening and farming. I love this fingerplay called “A Little Seed,” which includes English and Spanish versions. For another movement song that shows how plants grow, download “The Farmer Plants the Seed” from Freegal, our online music service that’s free with your library card. Movement songs help kids work on their motor skills while teaching them about rhyming and the rhythm of words.

Introduce them to the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - by turning trash into crafts. You can make paper mache sculptures out of shredded paper, experiment with sound or gravity by making instruments or marble runs, or make forts, rocket ships, or stores out of empty boxes. Open-ended crafts like these allow children to use problem solving and experiment.

It’s spring and everything is changing outside! Take a nature walk and look for new flowers or budding leaves on trees, watch the clouds, and listen to the birds. You can collect things like pinecones, rocks, seed pods or sticks. Take your treasure home or make patterns, fairy homes or pretend food. You can also make it a scavenger hunt! Can you find something round? Something that starts with the letter “S”? Something orange? Try combining your outdoor exploration with a fun story! Explore StoryWalk® picture book displays with your family at local parks, any day of the week. Learn more about which displays are up at which parks at this page on our website.

Get a bug’s eye view of nature with Denise Fleming’s toddler-friendly book, In the Tall, Tall Grass. Or you can explore a community garden with Miguel in Miguel’s Community Garden and learn the names of different plants. For other Earth Day books for age 0-5, check out this list.

Check out our Earth Day-themed programs to explore other ways for little ones to sing, play, read, write and talk while they learn about our amazing planet. - Crystal (Downtown)