Earth Day Educational Printables and Hands On Learning Activities for Children

With Earth Day approaching, it’s the perfect time to engage young learners in hands-on activities and printable resources that teach them about the importance of taking care of our planet. In the Montessori classroom, where hands-on learning is a cornerstone of education, there are countless opportunities to incorporate Earth Day-themed activities that will not only educate children about environmental conservation, but also foster a sense of stewardship for the world around them. In this blog post, we will explore a variety of engaging Earth Day learning activities and printables suitable for preschool, kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students in the Montessori classroom. Let’s dive in and inspire the next generation of Earth-conscious citizens!

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One way to incorporate Earth Day themes into your classroom or homeschool is through hands-on Montessori inspired science activities. These activities can help children learn about the natural world and develop a sense of wonder and respect for the environment. Here are a few ideas for Earth Day-themed learning activities:

  • Sorting cards: Create sorting cards with pictures of different types of recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Challenge children to sort the cards into the correct categories and discuss the importance of recycling and reducing waste.
  • 3 part cards: Use 3 part cards to teach children about different types of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Children can match pictures of plants and animals with their names and learn about the interconnectedness of different species.
  • Information cards: Provide children with information cards about endangered species, deforestation, pollution, and other environmental issues. Encourage children to read the cards and discuss ways they can help protect wildlife and preserve natural habitats.
  • Biology printables: Use biology printables to teach children about the life cycles of plants and animals, the importance of biodiversity, and the impact of human activities on the environment. Children can color, label, and cut out the printables to create their own educational materials.
Animals and their homes montessori nature sort matching free printables sign up
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learning about our planet and exploring important geography concepts

A child's hand placing a green plastic block on a paper with a grid and different earth images during an educational activity.

All About the Earth Pack

One fun and creative activity to celebrate Earth Day is to build a model of the Earth using green and blue blocks. This hands-on project can help children learn that land and water make up our planet.

Here’s how you can set up the activity:

Materials needed:

  • Green and blue blocks
  • Baseplate or flat surface for building
  • Picture or globe of the Earth for reference

Instructions:

  1. Start by placing the baseplate or flat surface on a table or the floor. This will be the foundation for building your Earth model.
  2. Provide children with green blocks to represent the land areas on Earth. Encourage them to build continents, mountains, forests, and other landforms using the green blocks.
  3. Next, give children blue blocks to represent the bodies of water on Earth. They can build oceans, lakes, rivers, and seas using the blue blocks.
  4. Use a picture or globe of the Earth as a reference for the children to follow while building their model. This can help them learn about the different shapes and sizes of continents and oceans.
  5. Encourage children to be creative and imaginative as they build their Earth model. They can add details such as animals, plants, and landmarks to make their creation more realistic.
  6. Once the model is complete, children can discuss the importance of protecting the Earth and taking care of the environment. They can also talk about ways they can help preserve the planet for future generations.
Educational poster showing earth with arrows pointing to resources essential for life: food, water, air, soil, materials, and energy.

Earth Has All the Things We Need to Live

Another important concept to teach children about is how the Earth provides all the essential things we need to live. This Earth Day-themed activity can help children understand the interconnectedness of living things and the importance of taking care of our planet. Here’s a Montessori-inspired hands-on activity to help children explore this concept:

Materials needed:

  • Large world map or globe
  • Pictures of essential elements for life and small objects to represent them
  • Labels for each element
  • Basket to hold the pictures and labels
  • Small trays or mats for organizing the pictures and labels

Instructions:

  1. Begin by introducing the concept that the Earth provides us with everything we need to live. Show children the world map or globe and discuss how different parts of the Earth provide us with essential elements for life.
  2. Place the pictures and corresponding objects of essential elements in a basket. Place the labels for each element in the basket as well.
  3. Invite children to choose a picture from the basket and identify what it represents. For example, if a child picks a picture of water, ask them to explain how water is essential for life.
  4. Once the children have identified the different essential elements, ask them to match the pictures with the corresponding labels and objects. This activity can help reinforce the concept that the Earth provides us with everything we need to survive.
  5. Encourage children to discuss how each element is interconnected and how they rely on each other for survival. For example, plants produce oxygen that we need to breathe.
  6. As a follow-up activity, you can discuss ways to protect and preserve these essential elements for future generations. Encourage children to brainstorm eco-friendly actions they can take to reduce waste, conserve water, and protect wildlife.
A picture of a calendar with a picture of the sun.

The Earth Goes Around the Sun Free Printable

Four educational flashcards showing images of a tree, a landfill, the earth, and wildlife with their corresponding names labeled below each image.

Earth Day Vocabulary Cards

Earth Day vocabulary cards are a fun and interactive way to help young learners build their vocabulary and increase their understanding of environmental concepts. These cards can include words related to Earth Day, sustainability, recycling, conservation, and more. Here are some ideas for creating and using Earth Day vocabulary cards with young learners:

  • Play matching games: Print out two sets of the vocabulary cards and have children match the words with their corresponding images. This can help reinforce the meaning of each word and improve memory recall.
  • Word wall display: Create a word wall display in your classroom or homeschool area with the Earth Day vocabulary cards. Encourage children to use the words in sentences or to discuss their meanings.
  • Create a vocabulary booklet: Have children create their own Earth Day vocabulary booklet by writing the words and drawing pictures to represent each word. This can be a fun and creative way for children to practice their writing and drawing skills.

Helpful to the Earth vs. Harmful to the Earth

To set up this activity, you use our set of sorting cards with pictures or descriptions of actions or items that are either helpful or harmful to the Earth.

To introduce the activity, explain to the children that the Earth provides us with resources and a beautiful environment, but our actions can have a positive or negative impact on the planet. Encourage them to think about how each action or item on the sorting cards affects the Earth.

Invite the children to work individually or in small groups to sort the cards into the “Helpful to the Earth” and “Harmful to the Earth” categories. As they sort the cards, encourage them to discuss their choices and explain why they placed each card in a particular category.

After the children have completed the sorting activity, you can facilitate a group discussion about the importance of making eco-friendly choices and ways they can help protect the Earth. Encourage them to brainstorm additional actions they can take to positively impact the environment.

This sorting cards activity is a fun and interactive way to teach children about the importance of caring for the Earth and making conscious choices to protect our planet for future generations. Let’s empower our children to be environmental stewards and celebrate Earth Day every day!

Children in cultural attire holding hands around a globe with a dove above it.

People of the World

Earth Day is an important time to focus on peace and cultural diversity, as we come together to celebrate and protect our planet. One great way to engage children in learning about different cultures and promoting peace is through the Peace Around the World – Multicultural activity.

This printable dress-up match-up activity is perfect for children ages 3-6, allowing them to explore traditional outfits from a variety of countries across the globe. From Japan to Mexico, children can learn about different cultures and embrace diversity as they match each outfit to its corresponding country.

This activity is not only fun and interactive, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for group discussions about the importance of peace and understanding among different cultures. As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s also celebrate the beauty of cultural diversity and the importance of peace around the world.

Educational materials displaying hands holding earth, with messages about kindness and environmental care, accompanied by circular images of various scenes and activities.

Compassion and Peace Learning Pack

Here is a simple Earth Day activity for children that includes pictures of various ways to show love and compassion to the Earth:

  1. Start by discussing with the children why it is important to take care of the Earth and why showing love and compassion to the planet is essential for our well-being and the health of future generations.
  2. Show the children the pictures of different Earth-friendly actions and explain each one. Encourage them to think of other ways they can care for the Earth.
  3. Have the children choose a picture that represents an Earth-friendly action they would like to showcase on their poster.
  4. Ask the children to draw a large heart on the poster board and write “Love and Compassion for the Earth” in the middle of the heart.
  5. Have the children glue or tape their chosen picture inside the heart and decorate the rest of the poster with drawings and messages about why it is important to care for the Earth.
  6. Display the finished posters in your classroom or homeschool space as a reminder to children to continue showing love and compassion to the Earth every day.

This Earth Day activity not only encourages children to think about the importance of environmental conservation but also inspires them to take action and make a positive impact on the planet. Let’s empower our children to be the changemakers of tomorrow by teaching them to love and care for the Earth!

A child's hands coloring a map, with a colorful world map visible in the background.

Continents of the World

An Earth Day activity that incorporates cutting and gluing exercises while also teaching children about the continents of the world is a great way to combine learning and creativity. Here is a fun and educational Earth Day activity for children:

Materials Needed:

  • World map printable with the continents outlined
  • Colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers or crayons

Instructions:

  1. Print out a world map with the continents outlined.
  2. Have children use scissors to cut out each continent from the world map. This cutting exercise helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  3. Next, have children color each continent. Encourage children to glue the continent cutouts onto the blue colored paper, creating a colorful collage of the continents of the world.
  4. Once the continents are glued onto the colored paper, children can use markers or crayons to label each continent. This is a great opportunity to teach children the names of the continents and discuss unique features or animals found in each continent.
  5. Display the finished continent collages in your classroom or homeschool space to celebrate Earth Day and showcase children’s understanding of the world’s geography.
Educational materials displaying lake shapes with corresponding real-world lake images.

Land and Water Forms

One fun and educational activity for Earth Day is to explore different land and water forms with hands-on resources like Montessori 3-part cards, definition cards, play-doh mats, and photographic cards for matching and sorting. By engaging in hands-on activities like these, young children can develop a better understanding of the natural world around them and learn how to appreciate and protect our precious planet on Earth Day and every day.

Here are some ideas for Earth Day activities with pictures of land and water forms:

  • Land and Water Forms 3-Part Cards: Use Montessori 3-part cards to introduce children to different land and water forms such as lakes and islands. Show them pictures of each form and have them match the pictures with the corresponding labels.
  • Definition Cards: Help children understand the characteristics of each land and water form by providing definition cards.
  • Playdough Mats: Encourage children to create their own land and water forms using playdough mats.
  • Photographic Cards for Matching and Sorting: Show children real-life photos of land and water forms and ask them to match the pictures with the corresponding names. You can also create sorting activities where children categorize the photos into land forms and water forms.
Educational setting with children learning about the parts of a volcano through illustrated diagrams.

Volcano Learning Pack

Earth Day is a great time to teach children about the natural processes that shape our world. One fun and educational activity for young children is to explore volcanoes and their role in Earth’s formation through a series of interactive resources.

Volcanoes have played a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s formation over millions of years. When the Earth was first forming, volcanoes erupted lava and gases, releasing elements like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen into the atmosphere. These elements eventually formed the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, creating the conditions necessary for life to thrive. Volcanic eruptions also released minerals and nutrients into the soil, which helped plants and animals to evolve and flourish. Additionally, volcanic activity contributed to the formation of new landmasses and mountain ranges, reshaping the Earth’s surface. In summary, volcanoes have been essential in creating the diverse landscapes and ecosystems we see on Earth today.

One way to introduce children to volcanoes is through 3 part cards, which include pictures of different volcano-related items like lava, ash, and magma. These cards can be matched together to help children learn the vocabulary associated with volcanoes.

Additionally, definition cards can be included to help children understand key terms related to volcanoes, such as eruption, crater, and tectonic plates. These cards can be used to facilitate discussions and deepen children’s understanding of volcanic processes.

To further engage children in learning about volcanoes, student booklets can be created that contain information about how volcanoes form and why they erupt.s. These booklets can also include fun facts, coloring pages, and interactive activities to make learning about volcanoes exciting and engaging.

Finally, hands-on experiments can be conducted to demonstrate the science behind volcanic eruptions and help children understand the role of volcanoes in Earth’s formation. For example, a simple experiment involving baking soda and vinegar can simulate a volcano eruption, allowing children to witness the chemical reaction that causes lava to flow from a volcano.

Educational materials about the rock cycle laid out on a table with colorful illustrations and real rock samples.

Rock Learning Pack

Incorporating the rock life cycle and types of rocks into an Earth Day unit for preschool and kindergarten students can be a fun and engaging way to teach young children about the Earth’s formation and the importance of taking care of our planet. One way to introduce the concept of rocks to young children is through hands-on activities, such as sorting different types of rocks by their characteristics (e.g., color, size, texture) and creating rock paintings using different types of rocks as tools. Additionally, creating a rock life cycle display or poster with pictures or drawings showing how rocks are formed, weathered, and transformed over time can help children understand the continuous cycle of rock formation on Earth.

To explain how the rock life cycle is related to Earth’s formation to kids, you can use simple language and visuals to illustrate the process. Start by explaining that rocks are made up of minerals and that there are three main types of rocks: igneous (formed from molten magma), sedimentary (formed from sediment that has been deposited and compacted), and metamorphic (formed from existing rocks that have been subjected to heat and pressure). You can show examples of each type of rock and explain how they are formed through processes like cooling and crystallization, erosion and deposition, and heat and pressure. By linking the rock life cycle to Earth’s formation, children can begin to understand how geological processes have shaped our planet over millions of years and why it is important to take care of Earth’s resources for future generations.

Rock Learning Pack

Biomes of the World Learning Pack

Incorporating the concept of biomes into an Earth Day unit for preschool and kindergarten students is a great way to introduce young children to the diversity of ecosystems on Earth and the importance of protecting and preserving our planet’s natural habitats. To make this concept engaging and accessible for young kids, you can create hands-on activities and visual aids to help them understand the different types of biomes and how they represent Earth’s ecosystem.

One fun and interactive activity could be to set up a sensory bin or play area representing various biomes, such as a sandy desert, a lush rainforest, a snowy tundra, or a grassy savanna. Children can explore these different biomes through play with toys and props that represent the plants, animals, and landscapes found in each habitat. This hands-on experience can help children understand the unique characteristics of each biome and how different plants and animals have adapted to thrive in specific environments.

You can also introduce the concept of biomes through storytelling and picture books that showcase the diversity of habitats around the world. Reading books or watching videos about rainforests, deserts, oceans, and other biomes can help children visualize the different ecosystems on Earth and the importance of conserving and protecting these habitats for future generations.

To further reinforce the concept of biomes and their representation of Earth’s ecosystem, you can create simple crafts or art activities that allow children to create their own mini biomes using materials like paper, clay, or recycled materials. Children can design and decorate their own miniature rainforest, desert, or Arctic habitat, helping them understand the unique characteristics of each biome and the interconnectedness of all living things in our global ecosystem.

By incorporating hands-on activities, visual aids, storytelling, and art projects into an Earth Day unit that focuses on biomes, preschool and kindergarten students can gain a better understanding of the diversity of ecosystems on Earth and the importance of protecting and preserving our planet’s natural habitats for the future.

A collection of illustrated flashcards featuring famous landmarks from around the world.

Famous Landmarks 3 Part Cards

Incorporating famous landmarks of the world into an Earth Day unit for preschool and kindergarten students is a great way to introduce young children to the diverse cultures and natural wonders of our planet. Each landmark represents a unique aspect of a country’s history, culture, and environment, and can serve as a springboard for learning about the importance of preserving our planet and celebrating its diversity.

For example, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia can be used to teach children about the importance of protecting marine life and coral reefs. Children can learn about the vibrant underwater ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef and ways to reduce pollution to help preserve these delicate habitats.

By incorporating famous landmarks into an Earth Day unit, preschool and kindergarten students can develop an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the world around them, as well as a sense of responsibility for taking care of our planet and promoting harmony among different cultures. Through hands-on activities, stories, and art projects inspired by these landmarks, children can learn valuable lessons about environmental stewardship and cultural diversity in a fun and engaging way.

Continents of the World

Incorporating a Continents theme into an Earth Day unit for preschool and kindergarten students can enrich their learning by helping them understand the diverse geography, cultures, and ecosystems that exist across our planet. By learning about different continents, students can discover the unique habitats, wildlife, and natural resources that are found in each region, fostering a deeper appreciation for the Earth’s incredible diversity. This theme also provides an opportunity to explore the important concept of global interconnectedness, emphasizing that we all share one planet and must work together to protect and care for it. By learning about different continents, their geography, and culture, young children can develop a sense of global citizenship and a deeper understanding of the significance of Earth Day in promoting environmental awareness.

Learning About Plants

Plant Life Cycle Printable

Types of Trees Free Printable

Types of Mushrooms Printable

Types of Leaves Printable

Parts of a Plant Printable

Talking about plants for Earth Day is a great way to emphasize the importance of plant life in our ecosystem and the role they play in supporting life on Earth. Plants are not only vital for providing oxygen, food, and habitat for animals, but they also help to clean the air, regulate the climate, and maintain the balance of the ecosystem. By teaching children about plants on Earth Day, we can help them develop a deeper appreciation for nature, understand the interconnectedness of all living things, and inspire them to become stewards of the environment.

To incorporate a plant theme and lessons on the parts of a plant, plant life cycle, plant needs, types of leaves, and types of mushrooms into an Earth Day unit for preschool and kindergarten students, a variety of hands-on and interactive activities can be implemented. For example, you can engage children in planting seeds and watching them grow, creating plant diagrams or models, and conducting experiments to observe what plants need to thrive (e.g., sunlight, water, soil).

To teach students about the different types of leaves, you can go on a nature walk to collect samples, create leaf rubbings, or classify leaves based on their characteristics. The exploration of mushrooms can involve learning about their role as decomposers and how they contribute to the recycling of nutrients in the environment. Children can also engage in mushroom-themed art activities, such as painting or crafting with mushrooms.

By providing young children with hands-on experiences, visual aids, and interactive lessons about plants, their importance in the ecosystem, and their various characteristics, we can help them develop a foundational understanding of the natural world, foster a sense of wonder and curiosity about plants, and instill a sense of environmental responsibility in caring for our Earth. By incorporating plant-themed activities into an Earth Day unit, we can empower preschool and kindergarten students to become advocates for the environment and make a positive impact on the planet.

Animal themed hands on earth day activities

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to teach young children about the importance of protecting the animals that call our planet home. These activities can help children learn about different animal species, their characteristics, distribution across continents, and habitats.

Animals play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of Earth’s ecosystems and natural environment. They help to pollinate plants, disperse seeds, control pests, recycle nutrients, and maintain food chains. For example, bees pollinate flowers, allowing plants to reproduce and produce fruits and seeds. Birds help to disperse seeds by eating fruits and then spreading the seeds through their droppings. Predators like wolves keep prey populations in check, preventing overgrazing and helping vegetation to thrive. By preserving habitats for animals and protecting biodiversity, we can ensure that Earth’s ecosystems remain healthy and resilient. Children can help by learning about different animal species, their habitats, and ways to conserve and protect them for a sustainable future.

Invite children to sort the animal pictures into the appropriate categories. Encourage them to observe and compare the animals, noting their physical characteristics and habitats. Discuss the importance of protecting these animals and their habitats to ensure their survival.

You can introduce a world map and showing children where each animal is typically found. This can help children develop an understanding of the distribution of animals across continents and the importance of preserving diverse ecosystems.

Educational puzzles featuring animals and the continents of africa and asia.
A world map poster featuring illustrations of various animals native to different regions displayed on a tabletop.

Animals of the Continents free printable

Educational activity setup with a mammals classification chart and toy animal figures for a hands-on learning experience.
Child engaging in a learning activity involving bird characteristics with cut-out images and a chart.

Five Classes of Vertebrates and their Characteristics

Educational exhibit displaying animal classification with emphasis on vertebrates, featuring informational text and compartments presumably for matching specimens.
Educational activity sheet about vertebrates and invertebrates with animal pictures and a child's hand pointing.

Vertebrates and Invertebrates Sorting Cards

Child engaging in a nature-themed matching activity with educational cards on a wooden table.

What Goes Together in Nature

Educational material displaying animals and their corresponding habitats, with labels such as "desert habitat" and "woodlands habitat.

Wild Animals Preschool Pack

Educational posters showing animals of the north pole and south pole with labels.

The Arctic and Antarctica Pack

Educational flashcards showing examples of vertebrates and invertebrates with a peacock, moth, nishikigoi, and butterfly.

Asia Preschool Pack

Insects and Other Invertebrates

45 Animals of North America

45 Animals of Asia

Patterns in Nature

Dragonfly Printable

Pollinators in Nature

Birds and Their Eggs Printable

Animals and Plant Research Printable

Four panels depicting stages of the earthworm life cycle: an adult worm, cocoons, a hatching earthworm, and adult earthworms.

Earthworm Learning Pack

For Earth Day, it’s important to teach young children about the valuable role that earthworms play in our natural environment. Earthworms are often referred to as “nature’s recyclers” because they break down organic matter like dead leaves and plants, turning it into nutrient-rich soil called castings. These castings improve soil structure, help plants grow healthy and strong, and increase the soil’s ability to hold water and resist erosion. By tunneling through the soil, earthworms also aerate it, allowing oxygen and water to reach plant roots. By learning about the vital work of earthworms, children can appreciate the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of taking care of our planet’s ecosystems on Earth Day and every day.

Incorporating educational activities centered around Earth Day for preschool, kindergarten, and lower elementary students is a wonderful way to instill a sense of environmental awareness and stewardship from a young age. By engaging in hands-on activities, such as exploring volcanoes, learning about the role of earthworms in the environment, and delving into the geography and culture of different continents, children can develop a deeper connection to the natural world and understand the importance of preserving and protecting our planet. These activities not only enrich their learning experiences but also empower them to take action in caring for the Earth, instilling valuable lessons that will help shape them into responsible global citizens who are committed to environmental sustainability. Earth Day serves as a reminder of the impact our actions have on the environment and by providing engaging and educational activities, we can inspire the next generation to be mindful stewards of the planet.

earth day learning printables

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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