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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension

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Earth Day with 4-H

Earth Day is Friday, April 22. To celebrate "Earth Is Our Home," try these activities . . . on your own, in your club, or even at school. The activities below are tried and true, guaranteed to spark interest and create exciting learning opportunities. We're glad to be home!

These activities can be completed by individual learners or in groups. Each activity has identified learning outcomes that include the most applicable Next Generation Science Standard. For details, see each activity or this Summary of Learning Outcomes.

recycling symbol and various recyclable materialsChoose to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Topic: Sustainability
Activity: Use cards to sort items into reduce, reuse, recycyle. What happens when there's no garbage can?
Time: 40 minutes (after cards are printed and cut apart)


three seedlings in three different stages of growthEasy Bean Babies

Topic: Germination and Plant Growth
Activity: Dissect a lima bean and then germinate others in a "greenhouse" made from a plastic bag. 
Time: 12 hours to soak seeds, then about 40 minutes


Bumble bee on purple flower with yellow centerHealthy Plants Are Our Bees-ness

Topic: Pollination
Activity: Make like a bee and feed on nectar. Can you avoid the pollen? I think not! 
Time: 30 minutes


polar bear on iceberg in brilliant afternoon sunIce Cores: A Layer Cake of Snow

Topic: Climate Change
Activity: Make a model ice core, complete with layers that reveal historical secrets.
Time: 2 hours over 8 days


trowel in dirt next to potted plantsSoil-ology: Do You Dig It?

Topic: Decomposition
Activity: Get up close to the process of decomposition by making a compost jar.
Time: 40 minutes for the activity and 1 week to see results


donation box of clothes in the arms of a personStart with Reduce and Reuse

Topic: Sustainability
Activity: Contribute less to landfills with the first two Rs--reduce and reuse. R is for rockstar!
Time: 40 minutes


Other Earth Day Resources

Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Keep your eyes peeled for free programs presented by Ohio 4-H members at Ohio State Parks on Friday, April 22 and Sunday, April 24. Want to get involved yourself? For a list of participating parks and to apply click here. The deadline to apply is March 14, 2022. Contact Alyssa Yaple with any questions about project proposals. Winning proposals will receive recognition at ODNR’s Natural Resources Park at the 2022 Ohio State Fair.

Going Green: Learning to Live a Sustainable Life, a 4-H idea starter, ichock full of great ideas for being a better friend to the Earth. Make it your 4-H project this year or use it as a resource for club activities, family field trips, and more.