Learning and play are best together. They work even better when linked with a naturally occurring event or experience. Earth Day is coming up. Many people use this time to focus on the planet Earth and how we can keep it healthy! Not to go full tree hugger on y’all but I think we should always focus on the health of our planet. In any case, it’s always good to use some Earth-inspired tools, games, and printables for learning and play. This Earth Day Busy Box can inspire some independent pay and teach some tree-hugging early learning skills at the same time.
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Pre-Reading Earth Day Busy Box Activities
Learning comes from experience. The next best thing from being out in the world is reading about it. Check out these Mother Earth-inspired reading Busy Box Learning Supplies.
Looking through books to learn about our world is a perfect way to foster a love and interest in learning to read. As always, I encourage some fiction and non-fiction options as you choose books. Here are some of my favorites!
Letter names and shapes can be practiced, explored, and drilled with the Earth Day Alphabet Flashcards! Match Uppercase and Lowercase. Trace the letters with a dry erase marker. Line up the cards in ABC order. Choose a letter card and hunt for that letter around the house or in books. Use the Letter/ Word Wand when you are on the hunt!
Knowing the sound that matches each letter is an important step in learning to read. Use those letter flashcards again to drill and practice the matching letter sounds. Find objects in the house or in the yard that start with the letter on the card. Bonus points if those objects are Earth Day related. After the knowledge of the letter sounds has been built you can use the CVC Word Building Mat to Make simple words. The Earth Day Word Wall Words can be used when practicing those beginning sounds by getting your kiddo to add them to a Word Wall.Learn more about Word Walls Here!
Pre Writing Earth Day Busy Box Activities
Just like I talk about in this post –Fine Motor- Not Just about Writing, This early learning skill is about developing the hand muscles. The first skills are very play-centered and then you can move on to the actual writing of letters and words.
Starting with play can include puzzles, play dough, beads, crayons, and even the ever so popular slime! Here are some great options on Amazon. And be sure to check out my puzzle and trace or cut the trail printables!
Pre Math Earth Day Busy Box Activities
Kids don’t just jump into adding and subtracting. They have to learn about the numbers, shapes, and amounts first. Just like letter knowledge before phonemic awareness. Pre Math skills are starting with the basics.
Number Recognition, Set Creation, and Counting
Learn the names and shapes of the numbers by grabbing the Earth Day Number Set Flashcards! Use manipulatives like little toys and erasers to count and create sets to match the numbers. The 10 Frame is a great next step for organizing sets as they are learning. The Earth Day 10 Frame has a cool number line on the bottom to help with number recognition and counting as well! Practice Explore, Drill, and Count with these tools and toys! Check out this video on ideas for using a ten frame here!
Sorting, Matching, Shapes, and Patterns
These are also skills that are very easy to practice through play. Grab those manipulatives, stamps, stickers, etc., and work on sorting by size, shape, and color. I will show you some ideas for pattern creation below. Remember to model or show your kids how before just expecting them to practice and play independently.
Check out the Books above for your read/write learners. Getting them to copy the Earth Day Word Wall words is another great idea to learn with their strengths!
Several of the toys in this post have kids looking at cards and placing them in the correct bin. Recycling, Trash, ETC. This is a great way to actually do what they are learning.
Puzzles and maps are always good for visual learners. Lucky for you there is one of those above! I also created that Printable Planet Earth Puzzle as well. Don’t forget to subscribe or check out Teacher Pay Teacher for all my printables!!