Looking for fun ways to get your students involved in saving the planet? With climate change and other pressing environmental issues, it’s more important than ever that the next generation takes action. That’s why I’ve put together the 10 best eco-friendly environmental activities for students that are both educational and engaging. Keep reading to learn about the best ideas that will raise environmental awareness among elementary students.
Environmental activities for students encompass a range of engaging, hands-on learning experiences that connect children with nature while promoting eco-friendly and sustainable values. From outdoor exploration and conservation challenges to art projects and science experiments, these 10 activities raise awareness through fun and education.
Keep reading to learn more about how to get elementary students involved in saving the planet!
Table Of Contents
Fun Environmental Activities for Students (Elementary)
- Nature scavenger hunt: Involves hunting for natural items such as leaves, flowers, rocks, etc. It helps students learn more about plants and animals while connecting with nature.
- Planting a garden: You can plant a few trees in a designated area and nurture them to attain full growth.
- Recycling relay race: You can organize a simple competition involving teams or groups fighting to collect and sort recyclable materials (like cardboard) around the school compound, marketplace, etc.
- Bird watching: This is among the best environment activities for elementary students. You can join other learners to spot and name birds in a nearby forest. Bird observation is a fun and educational activity for students.
- Outdoor art: This involves creating works displayed in outdoor spaces, such as parks, streets, or public squares. They can be sculptures, murals, installations, etc. Be careful when making such pieces because many people see them.
- Water conservation challenge: You can organize a competition that exhibits students’ ability to minimize water wastage, e.g., collecting rainwater.
- Nature photography: Teachers can encourage their students to take nature walks or wander around the school grounds looking for birds, small animals, some interesting leaves, and rocks to photograph.
- Building birdhouses: Most bird species are great at building their nests. Still, students can use their free time to build beautiful birdhouses. No matter how you choose to get involved in this work, it is important to remember that all contributions can make a difference.
- Environmental storytelling: This is one of humanity’s oldest information-sharing channels. Stories can be captivating and impactful. Narrating how old generations conserved the environment can leave an impression on kids.
- Outdoor science experiments: Simple tests like plant transpiration can be quite impactful. For example, you can place a plastic bag over a leaf and observe what happens in 24 hours.
Benefits of Environmental Education for Students
1. Fosters environmental awareness
The earth breathes. It’s alive and must be protected by all of us. Unfortunately, some people are oblivious to the facts. Some communities, like Native Americans and tribes in Africa strongly believe in the balance of nature, where eliminating plants or insects may lead to the complete collapse of the ecosystem. Researchers have observed that children from such societies are more environmentally conscious.
We can replicate this in other communities through environmental education. If taught from an early age, children can master the skills to make responsible decisions and grow a deeper understanding of environmental issues.
2. It promotes sustainability
Sustainability is about understudying the possible impacts of our actions on the environment and society. We can only protect and converse if we have the skills, knowledge, and experiences crucial to coexisting with all the plants and organisms in the biosphere. Therefore, we must find ways to inspire our children to care for the planet. For example, organizing environmental projects for students can be a good start.
3. It enhances critical thinking
Environmental education encourages students to research on why and how things happen, helping them make informed decisions. This requires thorough research and consultations to launch a convincing argument.
Following such debates actively helps students to develop and enhance their critical thinking, creating a new generation of informed citizens or decision-makers. But if you’re unsure of your research and writing skills, you can always seek help from a research paper writer instead of shaming yourself. For example, a reliable research writing service such as CustomWritings is always there for you, providing top-quality papers to students worldwide. So if you are stuck writing your academic papers, you can simply ask them to help you out.
4. Sense of responsibility and stewardship
Some places have been dilapidated because no one felt responsible enough to protect them. You can talk about mining towns left in ruins, beaches overflowing with plastics, old forests turned into barren lands, etc. These places stand as stuck reminders that humans can destroy everything on their path for economic gains.
Environment activities for students instill a sense of stewardship towards earth’s resources. By understanding the values and fragility of natural resources the learners can develop a sense of responsibility to protect and preserve them for future generations.
5. Promotes physical and mental well-being
The contact with nature in school is beneficial for promoting the well-being of the students as well as their access to positive environmental factors such as clean air, water, and healthy food. When you engage in physical activities or interact with wild animals, you can improve your mood significantly.
6. Equips students for careers in the environmental sector
There are numerous career opportunities in the environmental protection sector. If you study hard and pass your exams, you might become an environmental engineer, sustainability consultant, renewable energy analyst, wildlife biologist, weather analyst, conservation officer, etc. These roles are critical to protecting and preserving our natural resources for a sustainable future.
Resources and Tools for Tracking Environment Activities for Students
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website: This is one of the most important resources for environmentalists. The website provides crucial information about trending topics, ongoing projects, and proposed environmental initiatives. It’s the first stop when looking for a start in the journey of conservation.
- National Geographic: Founded in 1888, the organization started out as a small outfit made up of elite scholars, researchers, explorers, and scientists. Its main objective was to map out the world and increase geographic knowledge while conserving precious global history, culture, and natural resources. It has remained true to its objectives, becoming a critical source of information for learners. You can access their materials online, on TV, and on periodicals.
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF): WWF’s mission is “to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.” This is one of the places to find crucial information about all endangered species on Earth. Their materials will also help you develop a deeper understanding of ecological and environmental issues and motivate you to apply the principles of sustainability to your everyday activities and decisions.
- Greenpeace: Unlike the other resources, Greenpeace is purely volunteer-based. The organization works with thousands of willing individuals sacrificing their time and resources to make the world a better place. Their tireless efforts help students understand the nature and complexity of environmental facts and challenges and build their capacity to act. Visit their page to find out about new environmental initiatives in your area.
We have only one planet to live on. As such, we can’t ignore the harm we’re doing to it if we truly care about future generations. Most importantly, we share the earth with many plants, animals, and microorganisms. Therefore, we should be mindful and avoid thinking that we can do whatever we want with it.
Conserving the environment is protecting our own future. Hence, the mentioned environmental activities for students are critical to promote awareness and knowledge that is critical for our survival and future prosperity.
How can teachers make environmental activities engaging for different learning styles?
To engage various learning styles, incorporate activities like dramatic skits for verbal learners, art projects for visual learners, and experiments for kinesthetic learners. Also use competitions, stories, and hands-on building projects to make the activities fun and interactive.
What low-cost supplies are needed for easy environmental activities?
Simple environmental activities can be done with household items like reused containers for planting, paper, and crayons for nature drawings, and plastic bottles for building bird feeders. Outdoor exploration only requires a nature journal and magnifying glass.
How can environmental activities be made accessible for students with disabilities?
Consider sensory gardens, adapted tools, and verbal instructions to make outdoor activities accessible. Pair visually impaired students with a buddy for nature walks. Provide written instructions for hearing-impaired students. Keep terrain smooth for mobility devices.
How can parents extend environmental education at home?
Parents can plant gardens, go on nature walks, reuse household items creatively, read related sustainability books together, and discuss reducing waste. Connecting environmental topics to daily life teaches kids sustainable habits.
You may also be interested in reading: