Environmental Education Activity Ideas
You need not look far to find environmental education activity ideas for kindergarten students. The plants and animals on the list below are suitable to teach children what animals and plants need to survive, how to treat animals and plants with care and respect, how to return animals to their natural habitat after you have studied them and how to record nature observations through drawings and words (see example half way down link page).
Please note that for live animals, materials from the animal's natural habitat would be included with the animal in each aquarium or jar. Return animals to their homes after a short visit.
Environmental education activity ideas for the whole year
- September - spiders (in an empty aquarium). Spiders are abundant during this time of the year, building beautiful webs and laying eggs
- October - Study sow bugs, be sure to keep them moist.
A great environmental education activity is to grow carrots and sweet potatoes from cut pieces. One year our sweet potato vine grew to the ceiling and was a terrific year-long measuring activity! In the spring we planted it in sandy potting soil and had a crop of sweet potatoes the next autumn.
- November - Plant experiments - use four of your carrots from October, what do plants need to survive?
- December - An environmental education activity for the winter months is to dissect an old bird's nest - what did the bird use to build it? Also, put celery, leaves and other flowers in food coloring
- January - Start a recycling unit. Find a lizard or other pets to borrow for a week or introduce mealworms or crickets.
- February - Bring in jars of pond water - full of so many living critters! Renew with fresh pond water every 2 weeks.
- March - Earthworms - keep in a gallon jar full of moist garden soil, wrap a black paper around it. When you remove the black paper after a few days the children can examine the burrows the worms build; Gather frog eggs and release them before the front legs grow (or you may find them dried up in your classroom), also replenish the aquarium with fresh pond water every so often; start gardening
- April - Butterfly eggs and cardboard houses are available through science lab stores (reuse houses year after year), continue planting seeds
- May - insects galore! Slugs and snails are also great animals to bring in for short visits
- June - If you are short on environmental education activity ideas ask a few older students to find a garden snake for a short visit to the classroom (keep in the aquarium filled with twigs and leaves for no more than an hour or two). Visit a tidepool (if you live near the coast), a lake, or a local park to study local mammals, birds and insects.
Remember to keep most animal visits to the classroom no longer than a few hours and to release them to the same places as they came from. Emphasis on returning animals to their environment is an important part of environmental education for kids.
Environmental education pages:
Environmental education activities skills list
Free science worksheets
Green kids and Earth Day
What is Earth Day about?
Leaf rubbing planet Earth - art activity
Pressed plants art activity
Easter Science Activity
Outdoor ed. degree
Recycling for kids - Part 1
Recyling for kids - Part 2
Science books for children
Tree Seedling Experiments
Year long environmental activity ideas
Earth Day toys and resources
In Social Studies Section: The Food Chain