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Eco-Friendly Activities for Kids and Teens During Summer

Updated: Jun 7

Summer is a time for adventure, creativity, and fun in the sun. It's also a great opportunity to teach kids and teens about the importance of sustainability and taking care of our planet. Here are some engaging and eco-friendly activities that will keep young minds entertained while fostering a love for the environment.

Kids playing outside
Eco-Friendly Activities for Kids

My Journey to Eco-Friendly Fun

A few years ago, I planned a series of eco-friendly activities for my kids and their friends. One of my fondest memories is organizing a nature scavenger hunt in our local park. Armed with reusable bags and a list of items to find, the kids dashed off with excitement. Not only did they have a blast exploring the great outdoors, but they also learned about different plants, rocks, and insects. It was a simple yet powerful way to connect them with nature.

Encouraged by the success of the scavenger hunt, I planned more eco-friendly activities throughout the summer. The joy and learning that came from these experiences inspired me to share these ideas, hoping to help other families create similar memories.

Eco-Friendly Games

Nature Scavenger Hunt A nature scavenger hunt is a fantastic way for kids and teens to explore the outdoors and learn about nature.

How to Set Up:

  • Create a list of natural items for participants to find. Items could include a specific type of leaf, a unique rock, a feather, or a flower of a certain color...

  • Provide small, reusable bags or containers for collecting the items.

  • Consider offering a small prize for the person or team that finds all the items first or finds the most unique items.

This activity not only provides entertainment but also encourages participants to appreciate their natural surroundings.

Map for scavenger haunt
Scavenger Hunt

DIY Craft Station A DIY craft station is perfect for bringing out the creativity in kids and teens while promoting the reuse of materials.

How to Set Up:

  • Gather materials like old magazines, newspapers, cardboard, bottle caps, fabric scraps, and other recyclable items.

  • Provide scissors, glue, tape, markers, and other crafting tools.

  • Offer ideas and examples of simple crafts, such as making greeting cards, bookmarks, or small decorations.

This activity is a hit with all ages, allowing everyone to create unique souvenirs from their summer adventures.

One creative example is making natural crafts inspired by a fantasy game like Dungeons and Dragons. Kids can use sticks, leaves, rocks, and other natural elements to create their own game pieces, characters, and landscapes. It's an imaginative way to combine storytelling and nature.

Engaging Activities

Planting Station Setting up a planting station allows kids and teens to get their hands dirty and learn about the lifecycle of plants.

How to Set Up:

  • Provide a variety of seeds, such as herbs, flowers, or vegetables.

  • Set out small pots or biodegradable planting cups, along with potting soil.

  • Include markers or labels for participants to personalize their pots.

  • Offer a brief demonstration on how to plant the seeds and care for them.

Young gardeners will love the opportunity to plant their own seeds and watch them grow, fostering a connection to nature.

Recycled Art Projects Encourage kids and teens to turn trash into treasure with recycled art projects. This activity promotes creativity while teaching the importance of reusing materials.

How to Set Up:

  • Collect clean, recyclable materials like plastic bottles, cans, cardboard, and paper.

  • Provide paints, markers, glue, and other craft supplies.

  • Suggest project ideas such as making bird feeders from plastic bottles, wind chimes from tin cans, or sculptures from cardboard and paper.

Recycled art projects are a fun way for kids to see the potential in everyday items and understand the value of reusing and repurposing.

Mini basket made from paper bag
Upcycling paper bag

5. Beach or Park Clean-Up Organizing a clean-up event at a local beach or park is a hands-on way for kids and teens to make a positive impact on their environment.

How to Set Up:

  • Provide gloves, trash bags, and recycling bags for collecting litter.

  • Explain the importance of sorting recyclables and proper waste disposal.

  • Make it a fun competition by seeing who can collect the most trash or find the most unusual item.

This activity not only helps clean up the local area but also instills a sense of responsibility and teamwork.


Incorporating these eco-friendly activities into your summer plans will not only entertain kids and teens but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility for the environment. They will leave with a greater awareness of sustainability and practical tips they can incorporate into their daily lives. By engaging in these activities, you're not only having a great time but also making a positive impact on the planet.

Enjoy your summer and the lasting impression it will leave on the next generation of environmental stewards!

Eco-friendly and engaging activities
Summer Activities for Kids

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