Got newspaper, potting soil, and seeds? You can plant seeds in folded newspaper plant pots! My kids make multiples of these newspaper seedling pots with their PotMaker, but you can also fold a newspaper plant pot almost as easily.
Super-last-minute, no-prep shortcut: Use the seeds from a piece of organic heirloom (not hybrid) fruit or veggie–think apple, peach, watermelon, etc.–and a scoop of dirt from your yard to fill your newspaper pot.
Got flour and salt? You can make salt dough nature impressions! The recipe for salt dough is simple and kid-friendly to mix up, and you can use it immediately to make salt dough impressions from natural items found on a walk around the neighborhood or after a morning at the park.
Super-last-minute, no-prep shortcut: Make “fossils” by pressing a kiddo’s toy animals into the salt dough discs. Can your kiddo match the animals to their fossils after they’ve been baked?
Got paint? Adding items from nature into paint is fun, fun, fun for kids! Search around and find things like grass clippings to add to the green, a handful of dirt to add to the brown, violet petals to add to the purple, etc.
Super-last-minute, no-prep shortcut: Instead of finding something natural to use with every color, spend a few minutes collecting sticks, cutting small branches, and picking flowers, then use those items as natural paintbrushes for the paint.
Got a favorite white-flour cupcake or muffin recipe, and some natural food coloring? You can make Earth Day cakes! If you don’t have natural food coloring, puree some blueberries and mix into half the batter to make it blue, and puree some spinach and mix it into the other half of the batter to make it green. Then, make your prototypical rainbow dump cake or cupcakes, and I promise, they’ll all look like the Earth when they’re done.
Super-last-minute, no-prep shortcut: Instead of swirling the two colors of batter in every cupcake tin, just make half the batch blue and half the batch green. As an alternative, make your favorite frosting recipe, coloring half the batch blue and half the batch green, and then let the kiddos frost the cupcakes using the combination.