Earth Day Math Activities: Celebrate with 5 Engaging Centers

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with some fun and educational activities? These math games will help your children learn essential skills like counting, graphing, and sorting. They’ll have a blast doing hands-on work like stuffing the recycling bin or counting ten frames of bus passengers! So go green this year – use these incredible resources as your Earth Day math activities.

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Earth Day Lesson Plans

Stuff the Recycling Bin

Counting Sensory Bin

It can be hard to get kids excited about recycling. 


Most kids think of recycling as a chore, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With this pompom sensory bin, they can have fun pretending to recycle while learning counting skills at the same time. Plus, nobody can say no to a bin full of pompoms!


This pompom sensory bin is perfect for teaching preschoolers about recycling – each color coordinates with a recyclable material. Kids can pretend to stuff the recycling bin with these pompoms by counting the numbers on the card as they go. 


And if you want to add in some fine motor skills, just add some tongs with this Earth Day math activity for kids!


Sort & Graph Recycling

Earth Day Math Activities

Not sure if that plastic bottle goes in the recycle or trash bin? You’re not alone. Most people have trouble knowing which materials can be recycled, especially our preschoolers, who are just learning this concept.


Cue this graphing game. This recycling game helps kids learn the difference between paper, plastic, glass, and metal recyclables. 


Start by sorting the recyclable materials onto the graph. Tip: Use Velcro dots to hold the cards in place. Ask questions like, “Which recycling bin has the most? The least? Are any equal?”


Then, have students play the game (color-coded for beginners or just blue for kids who are getting the hang of sorting the recycling). Spin the spinner to see on which item it lands. Then, add a dot on the graph to show the type of recyclable material.


With a bit of practice, your preschoolers will be able to identify recyclable materials without any confusion quickly—the perfect way to get in the habit of recycling for Earth Day.


Take the Bus

Ten Frame Math Activity

A wise woman once said, “Always sit at the front of the bus.”


That wise woman is me (after years of motion sickness from not following this sound advice).


And finally, after years of sitting wherever I felt on the bus, I sat right behind the driver on our bus ride across Jamaica. And let me tell you, the woman in the back (who obviously had not learned this wise lesson) was thinking as she vomited, “Wow. She’s so wise to sit at the front of the bus.”


Anyway, enough with life lessons and onto our next Earth Day math activity: Take the Bus.


Your students will learn many wise lessons from this math activity, including counting, ten frames, subitizing, and number identification. 


Draw a bus card that includes a ten frame filled with an arrangement of people. Count the number of people, subitizing when possible, and add the same number of people counters onto the egg carton bus


Let me just stop to say that this egg carton bus is not only adorable and brings this whole activity to life, but it also gives the people counters the perfect tiny seats in which to sit. My organizational heart is happy.


Need a challenge? Try to place the counters in the same spots as the card shows.

Finally, punch a hole in the bus ticket to show how many people took the bus with this math center for Earth Day.


Earth Balance

Counting & Comparing Weights

Have you tried the teeter-totter as an adult? How about with a toddler on the other side?


The other day, I was at the park, and my quads began to burn on this torture contraption. Then, I dropped to the ground faster than you can say teeter-totter.


And that’s precisely how fast some of these items dropped when placed on the balance scale with our next Earth Day math activity. I’m with you, rocks.


Start by collecting some items from nature in a serving tray, including sticks, rocks, leaves, flowers (okay, mine are from Amazon), clouds (white pompoms), and water (blue gems). 


Then, count the items onto each side of the balance scale, watching as it teeters and totters. (Unless you’re me or rocks, then it will drop straight to the bottom.) 


After counting the two Earth-themed materials onto the balance scale, determine which side is the heaviest. And don’t worry, there’s a song for that. You know I can’t leave you hanging without a catchy tune that will play on repeat inside your head. Ding!


Collect the Rain

Making & Completing Patterns


A little rain never hurt, right?


How about a torrential downpour that turns into a flood? It was a simple choice, really. My dad fetched the canoe, and we all hopped in for a paddle down the streets. Let’s just say my mother was not amused. 


But all of your preschoolers will be amused as they make patterns to collect the raindrops with this next Earth Day math activity.


First of all, print these cards double-sided with the complete pattern on one side and the incomplete pattern on the other. Differentiation will be as easy as my decision to hop in that canoe. 


Then, students can place pompoms directly on top of the card to finish the raindrop patterns. Even better, bring on that flood of joy by adding test tubes in which to drop the pompoms, building the pattern from the bottom up. 


Color identification, making and completing patterns, and visual discrimination are all included in this Collect the Rain activity.


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With Earth Day coming up, it’s the perfect time to round up some of our favorite math activities for foundational skills. These activities are all about learning through play, from counting and graphing to patterns and weight. And the best part? Most of them can be done using supplies lying around your house. So why wait? Get started with these fun (and educational) Earth Day math activities today! And if you want the complete set, save 20% with the Earth Day bundle!

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