Your kids have probably seen you recycling, using both sides of a piece of paper, and refilling your plastic water bottle—these are things most of us do on a daily basis, simply because we care about the earth. And by talking to young kids about the importance of protecting our beautiful planet, you can encourage a life-long love for the environment. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to get a conversation going!
In honor of this special holiday, we’ve compiled a list of great books that focus on conservation. If you're parenting a toddler (or any aged child, really), we've got 10 great Earth Day books—each of which will educate and inspire budding environmentalists. Reading is one of the best activities for toddlers, and this month is a perfect time to take advantage. Make Earth Day every day—pick up one of these books and snuggle in for a fantastic read.
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth: What child wouldn’t be enticed by the idea of throwing all the family’s leftovers into a bin and creating a “compost stew”? Not only is this rhyming book great practice for kids who are learning their ABC’s, it’s a good source of inspiration for little environmentalists.
Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration: Biscuit is a cute and cuddly puppy who easily engages the minds of young children. In this book he helps with everything from saving water, to cleaning up trash, to planting seeds. It’s a fun and appealing story that’s perfect for young earth and animal lovers.
The Earth Book: This colorful and inviting story gives even the littlest children easy suggestions for taking care of our planet. From turning off the faucet to using both sides of the paper, the suggestions are manageable for children who are learning to make their own decisions.
The Three R’s: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle: This colorful and inviting story describes how young children and their families can make small choices that will impact our planet in a big way. Not only is it a good read, it’s a great conversation starter for parents and kids.
Michael Recycle: This book taps into some of children’s biggest interests—in the form of superheroes. Michael has special powers that help him teach people about recycling—he even manages to clean up an entire town.
I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: This is the story of a little monster who doesn’t care about his planet—he litters and won’t recycle. When the electricity goes out he’s able to really appreciate how beautiful the earth is. Through the actions of Max (the little monster), your children will see the importance of making the right decisions for the environment.
Earth Day, Birthday!: Every child loves having a birthday—and the monkey in this story is no exception. While the animals are busy celebrating Earth Day, monkey is trying to convince them that it’s actually his birthday. When he shows up with a cake, the entire jungle realizes it can be monkey’s birthday and Earth Day. It’s a win-win for everyone. This book weaves ecological lessons into a familiar (and fun) theme.
Look Out for Litter: Little Trina is a pirate who searches for trash—and not treasure. That’s what makes her special! In this story your children can follow her adventures as she looks for safe ways to deal with trash. This book gives a nice introduction to the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling—while inspiring littles to pick up their (pretend) swords and protect the planet.
I Am Earth: If you’ve got a little scientist on your hands, this is the perfect book for you. With its bright, vivid, and beautiful illustrations, I Am Earth talks about the amazing things our planet does. It also introduces what we can do for our environment—from recycling to reusing and beyond.
Earth Day: An Alphabet Book: This book celebrates the flora and fauna that make our planet beautiful—from apricots to daisies, waterfalls to zebras. It’s a reminder that wonder exists everywhere—and it’s our responsibility to protect it. Plus, it’s a pretty fantastic lesson on the alphabet.
Do you have anything to add? We’d love to hear how you and your children celebrate Earth Day. And if you’re looking for fun planet-themed activities, we’ve put together a great board on Pinterest.