April 22 marks Earth Day each year. The celebration raises awareness about conservation efforts for our planet. Earth Day offers teachers and parents the chance to teach kids about the importance of caring for the Earth. Games with an Earth Day theme work well in the classroom, at home or at Earth Day parties.
Earth Day Bingo
Bingo is a popular game for both kids and adults. It is easy to adapt to fit any theme such as Earth Day. On a blank Bingo board grid, add pictures related to Earth Day. This might include the Earth, a recycling symbol, a compost pile, animals or solar panels. One picture goes in each square. Make sure all of the playing boards are slightly different with the order of the pictures. The players cover the squares with the corresponding pictures as they hear the name of their images. Covering five squares in a row earns the player a Bingo.
This Earth Day game works well as a competition between two teams or with everyone playing together as one team. Each team needs a set or recycling bins for different types of recycling. Common categories include paper, plastics, glass and aluminum cans. Each team also has a pile of recyclable materials. Make sure the items are clean and free of sharp edges. One at a time, a player from each team grabs a recyclable item, runs to the area where the recycling bins are set up and places the item in the correct bin. She returns to the start and tags the next player who repeats the game play. The first team to sort all of its recyclable items correctly is the winner. If you play as one large team, time the group to see how fast they complete the task. Play again to see if they can beat the original time.
Reduce, Reuse or Recycle
This group game challenges kids to figure out the best way to handle different used items. Each group gets a pile of old items such as a plastic bag, plastic foam cup, aluminum can, glass jar and an old toy. The kids decide if they should reduce, reuse or recycle each item so that it can stay out of the landfill. Once the groups divide their items into the three different piles, they explain to the larger group why they chose each option.
Newspaper Recycling Obtacle Course
This entertaining game adds a physical challenge to throwing old newspapers in the recycling bin. Gather newspapers from parents, teachers and other sources to get a large pile. Set up an obstacle course with a newspaper-recycling bin at the end. Obstacle ideas include cones that the kids weave through, a cardboard box tunnel to climb through, hula-hoops to hop around and beanbag chairs to climb over. Each child must carry a stack of newspapers as he navigates the obstacle course. Only one player from each team can be on the course at a time. After navigating the course, he places his newspapers in the recycling bin and returns to the starting line. The next person on the team begins the course with her stack of newspapers. The first team to complete the task wins.
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Shelley Frost writes professionally on a full-time basis, specializing in lifestyle, family, parenting and relationship topics. She holds an education degree and has extensive experience working with kids and parents.