We love a good Earth Day celebration, but there’s no reason to wait until April to celebrate our planet. Here are 11 lovely ways for kids to honor Mother Nature. Enjoy!
Make Rain Barrels
With all the rain we’ve been having lately, the dry summer months might be the last thing on your mind. But now is actually a great time to be planning ahead. You can order all the parts to make your own rain barrel for just $40 through the Cumberland River Compact.
Start a Compost Pile
Composting biodegradable kitchen scraps keeps soil balanced and healthy and every now and then you’ll enjoy a fun compost surprise.
This hugely popular paved greenway stretch begins at Shelby Park in East Nashville and extends all the way to the Percy Priest dam past Donelson. Depending on the age and activity level of your girl, plan an afternoon of walking, running or biking at a variety of distances. Don’t have a bike? Rent one at the Nashville BCycle station.
Tennessee’s topography and limestone geology are perfect for natural waterfalls, especially in the spring. The state parks website has a great list of waterfalls within a short drive of Middle Tennessee counties.
With thousands of tulips in bloom, spring is a glorious time at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Art Museum. Visit the renovated historic home-turned-art museum and wander around the property’s meticulously planned gardens, including the Japanese Zen Garden and the wild sculpture garden along the property’s outskirts.
The Warner parks are home to some of Nashville’s best hills for hiking and trail running. Both Percy Warner (in Belle Meade) and Edwin Warner (Highway 100) are free for visitors and provide plenty of parking. Percy has a few more hills and trails. Edwin is slightly better for younger children.
Pack a cooler with lunch and snacks, throw on a bathing suit and shorts, and leave the house early for a day trip of kayaking or canoeing on the Harpeth River. Several rental shops along the river have equipment available, but call at least a few days in advance to ensure a reservation. Google “canoe rental on the Harpeth River”.
Mammoth Cave, north of Bowling Green, Ky., was established as a national park in 1941 and is a great place to take your budding spelunker for a day trip or overnight / weekend camping trip. The cave system has several tour options for a variety of skill sets. The park also has miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, as well as camping opportunities ranging from rustic cabins to back-country.
Is it too rainy to get out of the house? Cuddle up with a cup of tea and wander down a YouTube rabbit hole of fun, educational science videos like the one above. Here’s a whole list of kid-friendly, scientific YouTube.
By Knight Stivender
Knight is CEO of Girls To The Moon. She’s also an avid cyclist and outdoorswoman who loves to hike, work in her garden, and explore nature.