Did you know there are environmental awareness days happening almost every month? Wherever you are in the world, there is an event to mark to recognise our natural world and our impact on it.
These events, like World Wildlife Day, World Water Day and more, lend themselves really well to forest school activities and outdoor learning opportunities. For example:
- Go for a paddle in a stream on World Rivers Day (4th Sunday of September)
- Make popcorn over the campfire on National Popcorn Day (that’s a US holiday on 19 January but I think we can co-opt it for other countries too!)
- Make a home for bees for World Bee Day (20 May)
- Learn about natural habitats for newts on Reptile Awareness Day (21 October)
- Go on a nature walk through the woods on World Environment Day (5 June)
When you know what’s coming up, you can create an activity to do for pretty much any nature-related days to remember. The trouble is that there are literally hundreds of national days: anything you can think of has a day for it, and most of them are country specific.
We have a free printable to help with that.
Enter your email address in the box at the bottom of this article and we’ll send you a free PDF of the most relevant world/global days for forest school practitioners, as designated by the UN, with a few extra fun ones thrown in!
Do I have to mark the day on the actual date?
Not at all! We hold afterschool clubs in various schools across West Sussex so we aren’t going to necessarily be with each group of kids on the exact date for the awareness day. However, that shouldn’t stop anyone from marking the event. Simply do your activity and let people know that Earth Day, for example, is happening the next day.
We would recommend you do your activity to mark the day before the day happens. Saying, “It was World Nature Conservation Day last week so today we’re going to…” doesn’t quite feel the same as being proactive and finding the time to do a relevant activity on or before the day happens.
What can I do on an awareness day?
There are some ideas above, but basically any activity you normally have planned, whether that’s with your preschoolers, a youth group or in the classroom, could be made relevant. Art class could be on the theme of the awareness day. Check out Pinterest for loads of activities on a theme and use those to inspire you for your own activity planning.
Plus we have plenty of ideas on this website too. Here are some suggestions:
- Make campfire bread on a stick on Guy Fawkes Day (5 November)
- Download our tree identification guide and go on a tree hunt for International Day of Forests (21 March)
- Choose a book (like this one) to share on World Book Day (1st Thursday in March)
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt for World Habitat Day (4 October) and see what you can find in the habitats near you
Grab your free printable and see what events you are going to mark in the coming year for your groups!