Children’s Earth Day Activities Take Networking Outdoors

Connectivity isn’t always about electronics. Taking children outdoors is a natural way to participate in the global community.

April 22 is Earth Day. There are many apps and online resources to mark this holiday. The smallest local action, from planting a tree to recycling all those spring catalogues that come by mail, adds up to a lot when everyone does it.

Here are some of the ways to connect up with Earth Day 2014.

Global selfies

Taking a photo of the Earth from space led to global consciousness and the establishment of the first Earth Day in 1970. NASA is hoping to do something just as extraordinary this year, using social media.

The U.S. space agency is marking Earth Day this year by inviting everyone to participate in a global photo project. Step outside, take a selfie — a photographic self-portrait — alone or in a group in your local environment.

Post it with the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. On Earth Day, NASA will collect all the #GlobalSelfie photos posted on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, or Flickr and create a crowd-sourced mosaic of the Earth.

NASA’s project celebrates the launch of five new Earth-observing missions this year. There are 17 U.S. earth-science stations currently orbiting the earth. The satellites provide information on climate changes, variations in seawater and freshwater levels, and extreme weather conditions.

School projects

If your local school hasn’t already gone green, April’s a good time to start. The official Earth Day site offers a place to post photographs of school projects.

Earth Day has an educators’ network with library of resources and an ongoing Green Schools network. Their focus this year is on Green Cities. Check #GreenCities on their Twitter account @EarthDayNetwork. Healthy Schools Network is another source for information and activism.

Environmental action

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers an Earth Day Take Home Kit this year. It offers links, resources, and activities to think globally and act locally.

The EPA site also lists Earth Day activities, both at geographical locations and online. Environmental action is a year-round activity. Mother Nature Network encourages ongoing activity with a list of sustainable activities for every day of the month of April.

Story telling

The myths and fairy tales we grew up with and pass on to our children are all set in nature. Our psyches are attuned to the natural world. There are many opportunities for sharing stories this Earth Day.

Pinterest, the photo app for collecting visual ideas, offers a selection of story ideas for Earth Day 2014. The children’s mystery blog, Lululolli, tells the history of fairy sightings, both real and imagined.

Older children will appreciate the mystery. Disney’s Tinkerbell is only the latest in a long line of nature sprites that have populated the world’s imagination.

Taking the time to step outdoors this spring will set off a chain reaction across the globe. It encourages a global awareness of the earth, the environment, and the changing world. Children everywhere can take a Global Selfie to be part of Earth Day this year.

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