7 Ways Chicago Families Can Celebrate Earth Day

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day comes at a time when most families can enjoy the Earth from inside their homes. That doesn’t stop the celebration. With crafts, nature admiration and cleaning up at home, here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day this year.

Make your own paper.

The Museum of Science and Industry has a great recipe for creating recycled paper. Your kids can use their new paper to show off their projects with a letter to relatives or friends.

Learn about your climate zone.

Different plants grow in different climate zones around the world. Learn about the best plants for our climate by comparing the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map with plants your family would like to add to the garden.

Track the weather. 

Build a weather station using materials you might already have in your house, with a great tutorial from MSI.

Learn to identify local birds.

Take a peek on the Audubon Society’s database and learn about which birds you see outside your windows. While there, your family can figure out which plants to add to the garden to attract those birds to your yard. (Some birds are excellent pollinators!)

Admire nature on a social-distance walk.

While practicing the 6-foot social distancing rule, find items on this Nature Bingo card, like a robin, a pinecone or a puddle on a walk in your neighborhood.

Check out animal tracks in your yard.

After it rains (or even snows, brr), look for animal tracks in the mud. Kids can learn to identify the differences between squirrels, bunnies and chipmunks using this Chicago Children’s Museum guide.

Clean and recycle.

If you’ve used your time inside to channel your inner Marie Kondo and clean your home, try a few of these ideas for places to recycle the things that no longer bring you joy.

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