Celebrate Earth Day As a Family April 20 2015

Originally published at Niagarafamilies.com

Even with rain in the forecast, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Earth Day as a family. In fact, why not honor the entire week with Earth Day activities, or some focused time on the weekend to celebrate our beautiful planet. Here are some of our favorite ideas for connecting and creating in honor of Mother Earth.

Clean Up - Show your kids good environmental stewardship by taking time out to work together on beautifying your corner of the earth. After a few missed visits from the garbage truck due to inclement weather, the stream along our property is looking pretty sad. Now that the water levels are safe again, we're going to attack the garbage that's found its way into the ecosystem. I'm guessing it will also be a great way to get up close and personal with the new life that's starting there.

Plant Something - We're not all ambitious or available enough to plant trees, but why not start a herb garden indoors? All you need is a sunny room, some food-safe soil, seeds and paper egg cartons. Seedlings need a bit of water each day. Be sure to slit the bottoms, so the seedlings can be transplanted either into larger pots indoors, or directly into the soil outside after the frost is over.

Take a Walk - What better way to appreciate the earth than by enjoying the beauty of the natural settings around you? There are so many wonderful things bursting forth at this time of year. You can even print out our free nature scavenger hunt and coloring page designed by our ten-year-old Hannah here.

Green Your Home - Take a tour through your busy household with your kids and discuss the ways that your family is taking care of the earth, and the ways that you could take even better care of the planet. Make a poster as a family to remind everyone of your new commitments to greening your home.

Enjoy 'Lights Off' - Enjoy dinners and bedtime stories by candlelight and take some 'lights off' time as a family for a month. I've noticed the ambience of candles on the dinner table is an automatic cue for the kids to bring their energy down. Except for our toddler, of course. Nothing can stop that one.

Organize a Swap - Create a date for your kids and their friends to have a swap meet. Previously loved toys, games and books find new life, and it's a great way for the little ones to see the value in re-using and re-purposing items.

Upcycle Crafts - Maybe I'm a snob, but I think kids' crafts can be beautiful and functional. Rather than try to make magic with macaroni, why not tackle some of these beautiful upcycled crafts? Click the photos to get to the instructions.

celebrate earth day

Plastic bottle sumo wrestler bowling pins

Celebrate earth day

Use old crayon bits to make these colorful crayon blocks

celebrate earth day

Simple toilet roll bird feeder

celebrate earth day

Tin can wind chimes 

Happy Earth Week everyone! How will you celebrate together?