The summer is winding down and the kids are heading back to school! As you prepare to open your classroom to new students—or send your little ones back to school—consider introducing them to fun, educational activities that will get them excited about learning while connecting them with their local and global environments.
- Make a terrarium. A terrarium is a great way to help kids explore the relationships and interdependencies in an ecosystem. Using old 2 liter bottles, students can make several terrariums to mimic a variety of ecosystems. They can also explore the effect of one component–such as water–on different landscapes within their terrariums. (Another idea: upcycle an old pallet to create a functional–and very cool–vertical garden!)
- Create leaf art. Before you know it, the leaves will be changing colors and the air will be cool and crisp. Take advantage of the shifting seasons by taking your kids out to collect leaves and inviting them to create unique leaf art.
- Make an eco-friendly lunch bag. Have your students bring in old or outgrown t-shirts and use them to create eco-friendly lunch bags or shopping bags. (Find other great tips to green your home or your classroom!)
- Hold a BioBlitz. Maximize the beautiful summer and fall weather by asking students to record all the different plants and animals found on your school grounds or in their backyards. BioBlitzs are the perfect way to introduce kids to the biodiversity in their own neighborhoods. (Students can also explore some of the species found in the rainforest using our species profiles.)
- Calculate the carbon in a tree. Ask students to identify the variety of trees found on your school property and think about the many different benefits they provide to people and the environment. Then, teach them to measure the diameter of the tree and use their math skills to approximate the amount of carbon stored in each tree.
This is just a sampling of the many activities for students, parents and teachers available on the Rainforest Alliance’s Learning Site!