Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd in many countries around the world.
Earth Day aims to raise environmental awareness and inspire action towards a better environment. Many communities gather on Earth Day to clean up local beaches, volunteer for tree planting, recycle, fight climate change, and change energy consumption.
Grow Seedlings in an Egg Carton 30 min activity: Growing seedlings in an egg carton is a great way to teach your child about plants.
- Cardboard egg carton
- Potting soil
- Spray bottle
- Garden trowel
- Large planting pot (optional) or outside planting location
- Cut a cardboard egg carton in half. An adult should supervise or help young children with this step.
- Add potting soil to the individual egg cups in the carton. Have your child use one finger to create a hole in the center of each cup. Place one seed in each hole. Cover with soil. Spray the soil and newly planted seeds with water.
- Place the egg carton on a tray and keep it in a warm light-filled location indoors until the seeds begin to sprout. Remind your child to water the seeds every day or as directed on the seed package. The soil should stay very moist.
- Once the seeds have sprouted into small seedlings, you and your child can transfer them to a permanent location outside. Before planting your seedlings, it’s a good idea to take your tray outside to get the seedlings used to being outdoors. You can start by taking them outside in the shade for a day or two before transferring them into the ground or larger pot. Be sure to talk to your child about what you’re doing with your seedings and why.
- Make sure the egg carton is very wet and saturated before transferring the seedling to its new outdoor location. Tear or cut off one of the egg carton cups.
- Use the trowel to dig a hole in the container or ground garden where you are transferring the seedlings.
- Place one egg carton cup directly in each hole. Fill in the hole around the egg carton with a little more soil if needed, but be sure to leave the seedling uncovered so that it can get sunlight and water. The cardboard egg carton cup will eventually decompose leaving just the plant.
- Remind your child to water the seedlings often to help them grow! Try to take a photo of the seedlings on the same day every week, so that your child can look back at the changes in growth. Ask questions such as: What does the plant look like this week? How has it changed since last week? Is it taller? Do the leaves look different?
Tree Planting Activity:
Age: Pre-k and up
Time: 5 minutes or your life time
Time: 5 minutes or your life time
Type of Activity: Backyard science
- One tree (oak, maple, or any other type of tree or bush)
- Bucket of water
- Measuring tape
- Pen or pencil
Planting the tree:
1. Pick out a tree. Very young trees are usually sold bare-root. Bare-root means that they will look like sticks with a bit of root at one end. They can only be planted when they are dormant. The roots of very young trees must be soaked in a bucket of water for a few hours before planting. Larger trees are usually sold balled-and-burlapped. This means that the roots are enclosed in dirt and wrapped in burlap and twine or wire. These trees can be planted at any time.
2. Pick a suitable spot in your yard to plant your tree. Be sure that the tree has the amount of sunlight that it needs to grow.
3. Dig a hole and set aside the soil, sod clumps, and rocks. You want the hole large enough that the roots fit in without being crowded.
- For bare-root trees, the hole should be a few inches deeper than the length of the root and wider than the spread of the root.
- For the ball-and-burlapped tree, you will want to measure the height of the root ball and the depth of the hole before planting it. Remove the twine or wire before putting in the hole.
4. Put the tree in the hole and fill it 2/3 of the way with the dirt. Fill the rest of the hole with water. Once it has settled, fill the rest of the hole with dirt.
5. Make a saucer-like circle around the tree using the leftover rocks and dirt clumps. Water thoroughly and then mulch.
6. Stake the tree so that it does not get knocked over by strong winds, lawn mowers, and other hazards. Water thoroughly once a week in dry weather.
Variation: Bring a tree indoors! Some trees may be grown in large pots or other containers.
Happy Earth day from the DiscoveryK12 Team!