Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don't Be A Litter Bug - Earth Day Lesson

Earth day is fast approaching and I wanted to give you an activity idea to use with your children.

One lesson we use this time of year is to teach that God wants us to protect our earth, take good care of it and honor it. One way to get the message across to young children is to teach them not to be a “litter bug.”

Take some newspaper, scrap paper, clean bottle caps, clean string and other items that resemble litter. Go outside to the playground or outdoor setting and toss the “litter” all over before the children arrive, (yes, you read that correctly, make a mess and spread the litter).

As soon as all of the children have arrived tell them that something happened on the playground that you want to show them. Be prepared to answer questions about why there is litter all over the playground. Take garbage bags with your when you go outside or have them out there ahead of time.

Ask the children how God would feel if he knew that someone had spread litter outside. Most likely you will get answers like sad, mad, upset and not happy. Take a moment to sit outside with them and ask them if they know what a litter bug is and if they have ever been a litter bug.

Suggest to the children that we need to pick up the litter from the playground or outdoor area and once we pick it up we are going to go inside and make “litter bugs” with it. Explain that this litter is actually items you brought from home to help them practice picking up litter, and that the items are clean and OK to use for a craft project. Litter that they find on the ground in other settings should be disposed of properly.

In advance have
glue, scissors and crayons ready for the children to create their litter bugs.
One way to start is to show them how they can crumble the newspaper into balls and glue the bottle caps, string and other litter to the newspaper to create their bugs. This can be a creative, unguided project where the end results can be anything the children imagine.

Have little signs made up ahead of time that say “Don’t be a litter bug!” The children can attach these signs with a craft stick, straw or twig for their litter bugs/creatures to hold. Remind children when they see litter outdoors they can help keep the earth beautiful by picking it up and disposing of it properly.

At the end of class you can read a story about the earth. One of my favorites is “Dear Children of the Earth” by Schim Schimmel.

I hope you have great fun with this activity and let me know how it went.

As always, peace and joy,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I did something similar to this last week. We went out to our playground and looked for trash, glued some of that and some "trash" I had inside on a litter bug.
We also put some trash into a jar filled with water. Over the next several days we observed how the water changes colors and how 'gross' the water gets when trash is in it. They were truly affected by this!