Earth Day Earth Craft for Preschoolers

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The Whole World in Your Preschooler's Hands!

Earth day craft for preschoolers
This Earth Day earth craft for preschoolers is easy-to-make, and uses just a few materials -- most of which you can find at home!. Amanda Rock

When my daughter was three, her preschool class did a lesson on recycling. Each child was asked to bring in a piece of garbage and they talked about how their household castoffs -- egg and milk cartons, juice bottles and soda cans -- could be used for something else.

Even now, seven years later, that exercise still resonates with her. She'll spy an egg carton in the trash and ask to use it for a craft or chastise me the way only a child can when she sees that I've accidentally placed a soup can in the kitchen garbage and not our recycling bin.

But recycling and making sure you throw out garbage in the right spot isn't just an indoor lesson. When you take your preschooler outside to play, you can really hammer the importance of caring for the earth home. While you are sliding down the slide or swinging on the swings point out the beauty of where you are, whether it's the park, the beach or even your own backyard. When you see trash on the side of the road, if it's safe and you have gloves or a plastic bag, certainly pick it up and throw it out, explaining to your little one what you are doing and why.

Preschoolers are at the perfect age to learn about recycling and taking care of our environment. They are impressionable and generally eager to find out about new things. By teaching them good earth practices now, it's likely they'll develop habits that will stay with them for their lifetime. The best part is, even if you haven't been as "green" as you would have liked up until now, by teaching your little one, it's likely you'll develop some good habits of your own.

A great way to give your preschooler some perspective about the earth (and even what the earth is), is to make a craft. This Earth Day craft is easy to make and uses materials you probably already have at home. Before you start, be sure to lay out all of your supplies first. Explain to your preschooler that there will be some waiting time involved (you have to wait for the coffee filter to dry before you can glue it on to the construction paper), so together come up with some things she can do while you wait.

What you'll need:

  • Coffee filter
  • Black construction paper
  • Construction paper in the same color as your preschooler's hands
  • White crayon or white chalk
  • Blue and green markers
  • Eye dropper
  • Access to water
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paper plate
  • Paper towel
  • Pencil
  • Clothes pins and a string for drying
  • Hair dryer (optional)

Instructions

  1. Lay out all your supplies, including a space where your preschooler can work with water. It's a good idea to cover any work surface with old newspaper or a drop cloth.
  2. Flatten the coffee filter — this will happen as the project progresses, especially this step. Place the coffee filter on the paper plate. Have your preschooler color the entire coffee filter using the green and blue markers. The design or pattern isn't super important — what you are really looking for is that the entire coffee filter has either blue or green on it -- even the edges. Encourage your preschooler to make sure that the colors are next to each other and that there is both blue and green all over. 
  3. Using the eye dropper, gently place a few drops of water onto the blue and green coffee filter. Tilt the coffee filter so the colors all get wet and start to run together. Once you are satisfied with the result, use the paper towel to blot the water off.
  4. Let the coffee filter dry, either by hanging somewhere for a while or carefully using the hair dryer. 
  5. Once the paper filter is completely dry, glue it near the top of the black construction paper. Using the pencil, help your little one (or do it for them) trace your preschooler's hands (both left and right) on to the construction paper that is the same color as your preschooler's hand. Cut out.
  6. Glue both hands (in the correct spots -- right on the right and left on the left so that the thumbs are next to one another) on to the blue and green coffee filter earth. 
  7. At the top of the black construction paper, using the white crayon or chalk, write "Earth Day 20xx," or another quote or saying that inspires you or your preschooler. Make sure your preschooler signs the back and adds the date or year. 

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