8 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Kids

OK, you probably already know that April 22 is Earth Day. But what are you going to do? We've rounded up a bevy of kid-friendly options to mark the occasion.

1. Honor our Mother Earth.

Enjoy guided hikes, kids' activities and crafts, critter encounters, upcycled art demo and a kid-friendly race -- plus free admission -- at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. While you're in town, swing by the Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival to check out games, music, art and more for all ages.

2. Plant something.

Grab some wildflower or vegetable seeds from the store or visit a local nursery and pick up some lush greenery to add to your yard, then get dirty.

3. Take a trip back to prehistoric times.

Get some perspective on life our planet with tickets to Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live! at the Mendel Center in Benton Harbor. The audience will be thrilled by life-like dinosaurs and other creatures during the theatrical performance.

4. Clean up your local beach, park or neighborhood.

There is an organized beach cleanup in South Haven (we'll be there!) through the Great Lakes Alliance that you can join, or simply grab an empty bag and clear your block or nearest park of litter.

5. Read up on the planet.

Head to the library and grab a few fascinating books about the Earth, animals, the environment, science, recycling...whatever captures the imaginations of the littles.

6. Make your yard bee friendly.

Drill holes in spare lumber and leave it in your backyard (or pick up a ready-made bee shelter at the store). Make a bee waterer with marbles and a shallow dish, or use a bucket and a sponge.

7. Take a walk.

Connect with nature by taking a relaxing hike at a state park, nature preserve or beach. All the gorgeous colors in bloom right now make for a pretty spectacular backdrop.

8. Generate a green plan for your life.

Call a family meeting and jot down earth-friendly changes you'd like to make at home, then form a plan and put it into practice. Some ideas: using reusable grocery totes instead of plastic bags, taking shorter showers, composting food scraps, keeping reusable water bottles handy and buying local foods as much as possible.

Have a happy, productive, rejuvenating Earth Day, friend!

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