Conserve & Protect Our Planet on Earth Day

Each year on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day to help raise awareness about the importance of being good stewards of our planet and how integral nature is in all our lives. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to reduce pollution, mitigate climate change, and to participate in programs like recycling, planting trees, neighborhood clean ups and so much more!

Earth Day got its start in 1970 when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a day to acknowledge the state of our planet and try to make it a healthier place for us all to live. In its first year, over 20 million people nationwide rallied for Nelson’s cause! Since 1990, Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide with people around the globe conserving, protecting, and caring for our planet.

Keep scrolling for some thought-provoking videos, interactives, crafts and games to celebrate Earth Day. Then, check out the Learn Along Bingo sheets below, full of printable activities and everyday learning ideas for grades Pre-K – 2, and our line up of Watch & Wonder programs for Planet Protectors in grades 6-12.

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All About Earth Day

Check out these articles and videos to learn more about Earth Day, environmental stewardship, and how technology can play a part in protecting our planet!

How to Raise Environmentally Responsible Kids

Grades PreK-3
Talking with your child about the environment and ways to help take care of our planet can help your child establish eco-friendly habits that make a difference!

Gaylord Nelson: A Vision for the Earth | Wisconsin Biographies

Grades 3-8
In this PBS Wisconsin Education resource, learn how Gaylord Nelson had an idea for a day focused on the environment. That idea would become the internationally recognized annual event Earth Day. Born and raised in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, Nelson went on to become a state senator, governor of Wisconsin, and a United States senator. All along the way, he made the environment a priority by protecting natural resources through advocacy, policies, and inspiring greater awareness of the need to care for the earth.

Earth Day: A View from Above | STEM in 30

Grades 3-8
The people of Earth didn’t see a photo of our planet until the late 1960s. Photos of Earth changed the way we think about our planet. In this webcast we look at the beginnings of Earth Day and how a better understanding of our place in the universe has evolved through photographic discoveries.

The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change Collection

Grades 6-12
The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change highlights the effects of climate change in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, three high school students embark on a journey to meet local leaders and climate innovators in search of short-term adaptive strategies to extreme weather and long-term solutions to reduce carbon emissions. Explore this collection of resources that promote climate change education by inspiring students to make real-world connections within their own communities.

The Reality of Plastic | Engineering for Good

Grades 6-12
Plastic. It’s super useful but it’s also a big problem for the environment. Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the earth four times! The main issue is that plastic doesn’t break down, meaning it sticks around for a very long time. This video gives a quick overview of the scope of the plastic problem and what some people are doing to try to solve it.

Activities, Games, & More

Make Your Own Paper

Grades PreK-3
Children recognize that recycling is important, but do they know how easy it is to give “trash” a new life? Making homemade paper provides a hands-on example of how we can help save the environment, one tree at a time.

AJ’s Recycle Rescue Game

Grades K-2
It’s time to recycle and reuse items in this game from Hero Elementary. Your child can help A.J. clean up wood, rope and other items from the park and then reuse them to build new items such as signs and basketball hoops. How many different items can you make?

Mountain Scramble: An Ecosystem Game | Plum Landing

Grades K-5
Players strive to create a balanced mountain ecosystem in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, in this interactive game from Plum Landing. Players see how the different species of plants and animals in a mountain ecosystem depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.

Biome in a Baggie

Grades K-8
A biome is an ecological community like a rainforest, desert, or prairie. Create your own biome in this activity from Zoom.

Building A Biodiversity Timeline

Grades 9-12
Identify and evaluate solutions for reducing human impacts on the environment and biodiversity in this interactive lesson and corresponding interdisciplinary research activity from WGBH. As you create your own timeline, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of humans and the environment and the impact human activities can have on biodiversity.

Deciding Your City’s Energy Future

Grades 9-12
Learn about fossil fuels and renewable energy sources to help decide which type of energy should be used to power a city’s electric grid in the coming decades. In this interactive lesson, watch videos adapted from NOVA: Treasures of the Earth: Power and analyze data provided in graphs and maps concerning the availability, cost, reliability, and environmental impact of different energy sources. Then, use what you learn to make an evidence-based argument that supports your decision.

Local Ecological & Conservation Organizations

Take stewardship into your own hands! Help conserve the environment and protect wildlife with the help of these local organizations.

Lake Champlain Basin Program 

The Lake Champlain Basin Program coordinates and funds efforts that benefit the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources, in partnership with government agencies, private organizations, local communities, and individuals.

The Wild Center

The Wild Center is a natural history center in Tupper Lake, New York, near the center of New York State’s Adirondack Park. The experiences, exhibits and programs at The Wild Center are designed to open new ways to look into the latest discoveries made by natural scientists and their educational programming serves to engage learners of all ages in an exploration of the natural world.


AdkAction’s mission is to create innovative projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the natural beauty of the Adirondacks for all. Get involved with some of their initiatives like The Adirondack Pollinator Project, which helps promote the health of pollinators in our ecosystem and provides resources to become a pollinator advocate, and the Adirondack Compost for Good program, helping our communities turn food and other organic “wastes” into high quality compost.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Through their work they focus on innovative solutions to climate change, protecting and restoring forest, and helping communities build resilience. The Nature Conservancy has a local chapter in New York State focused on initiatives across the Adirondacks, Central and Western New York, and the New York Metro area.

Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center

The Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center is dedicated to fostering connections with nature for students, local residents, and regional visitors by providing outdoor recreation opportunities, experiential education programs, and year-round art exhibitions. Explore over 25 miles of year-round trails for hiking, nature watching, lean-to camping, and more! Stop in at the center for current trail conditions and day or season passes.

Watch & Wonder Programming

Check out the Mountain Lake PBS Watch & Wonder block, weekdays from 1-3pm! In honor of Earth Day, join us throughout April as we explore, celebrate, and learn about the planet we all call home.

Wednesday, April 17

1 PM: TED Explores: A New Climate Vision

The documentary looks at the encouraging growth of technologies that can slow or reverse climate change. While the effects of climate change are growing, so are the world’s attempts to reverse them. Hosted by Manoush Zomorodi of the TED Radio Hour, this special from the team behind TED Talks examines the rapid technological revolution underway and the real possibility of a better future for all.

2 PM: We’re All Plastic People Now

Introduced by actor and environmentalist Ted Danson, We’re All Plastic People Now investigates the hidden story of plastic and its effects on human health. In an era of throw-away ease, convenience has cost us our well-being. We’re All Plastic People Now asks the question, how much evidence do we need before we decide to take action?

Thursday, April 18

1 PM: Learning Wild

In the rugged backcountry of the Gila, Dr. Travis Perry of Furman University runs a unique field school, allowing biology and ecology students to live and work in this remote and challenging environment. See what happens when they interact with wolves, bear and other wildlife on their journey to become the conservation leaders of the future.

2 PM: Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species

Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species is an exciting and informative film by Westfield Production Company. The documentary introduces the concept of invasive species and highlights some of the species threatening New York’s environment and economy, while also showing some innovative ways that New York State is combatting these threats. Uninvited features the collaborative work of DEC and its partners including NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, the eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), New York State Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI), and more.

Monday, April 29

2 PM: Changing Planet: Coral Special

Every year over seven years, conservationist M. Sanjayan anchors a global storytelling effort to monitor seven iconic locations across the planet. In the third year of this 7-year project examining the issues facing the planet’s most threatened ecosystems, Dr. M. Sanjayan visits the Maldives to take an in-depth look at coral reefs and the urgent efforts to help them survive climate change.

Learn Along Bingo

With Learn Along Bingo, children can view, explore, and play as they learn alongside their PBS KIDS friends on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. We hope your family will use it to inspire learning each and every day.

This time, we’re protecting our planet! Children will learn that their choices can positively impact the land, water, air, and other living things.

Grades PreK-K

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

Grades 1-2

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

For even more games and educational resources for young learners, go to the Protecting Our Planet Collection on PBS KIDS for Parents.