Teaching Kindness This Earth Day
Distance Learning Activities to Promote Kindness for Yourself, Each Other, and the Earth
On April 22, the world will celebrate Earth Day. This year, it may look a little different. Especially during this period of social distancing, children have ample opportunities to discover, appreciate, and care for the world around them.
With the emerging and strengthening emphasis on social and emotional learning, Earth Day can be a unique way to help early learners forge key understandings about kindness, empathy, and thinking outside of themselves. It could also provide teaching opportunities to talk about care, respect, and responsibility. To celebrate Earth Day this year, we have compiled resources and activities for your learners that promote kindness and sustainability in a safe, creative, and engaging way.
1) Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can have a profound positive effect on happiness, self-esteem, mental health, resiliency, and empathy. Now is a perfect time for learners to reflect on all the things they are thankful for in life. Instruct your learners to consider what they are grateful for, and write them down. Have your learner decorate their list and hang up in a place where they can see it daily: in their room, on their fridge, even framed on a wall in a well-trafficked room.
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2) Get Outside
Schedule time for your children to learn and play outdoors. Have them choose a spot outside (could be a tree, a flower, a birdnest) and observe changes throughout the day or week. Encourage them to write down these changes, snap a picture, and then share with other nature enthusiasts on social media. This activity helps children to stay connected with nature and the community at a time when it is more important to than ever.
3) Learn About Sustainability
Earth Day provides a perfect opportunity for learners to brush up on their knowledge of recycling, waste reduction, and general sustainability practices. See below for free learning resources that promote sustainability.
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4) Give Back to the Earth
Based on their knowledge of sustainability, encourage your learners to look for ways to be kind to the Earth. On a walk, allow them to safely pick up litter or garbage they see and dispose of it responsibly. Start a compost pile at home. Have children research sustainable charities and choose one to donate to. Make an easy indoor herb garden with biodegradable pots placed near a sunny window, that your leaner is responsible for watering. Or, your children can even repurpose cardboard boxes into COVID-19 Cardboard Creations, such as thank you cards, birdhouses, and forts.
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5) Spread Kindness, Safely
Even from a distance, there are many ways your learners can practice kindness this Earth Day. Have your child collect stones in your yard or during a walk. After cleaning the rocks, paint them or decorate them with messages of kindness. Redistribute the rocks around your neighborhood or at a local park for others to discover and share!
Another way to promote kindness on Earth Day is to participate in the Linked By Love challenge. Our partner, Kids for Peace, is organizing this record-breaking event — creating the world’s largest paper chain, composed of 1.5 million reused/recycled paper each with a message of love and hope for the world. To participate in “Linked By Love” visit the link below.
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