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5 kid-friendly Earth Day activities in Charlotte

UNC Earth Day Celebration 2012
UNC Earth Day Celebration 2012Photographer: Devin Hatley Source: http://nineronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/new-earth.jpg

Earth Day is just around the corner and if you're looking for something to do in Charlotte, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities to fit the bill.

1. Attend an Earth Day Festival

Earth Day is a celebration to recognize the planet that sustains us. Celebrate with your kids by attending an Earth Day party. The Global Climate Convergence is hosting an Earth Day Festival in Charlotte on April 26. The event promises fun for the whole family, with live music, food trucks, face painting and kid's activities.

The free event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. in Marshall Park. But that's not your only option. There are several more Earth Day celebrations in the Charlotte area. The Museum of York County in Rock Hill, for example, will also host its annual Earth Day Birthday celebration April 26. Attendees can visit more than 30 education exhibits and a free petting zoo.

2. Visit a pick-your-own farm

Spring is in full bloom which means fresh fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking. Show your kids the value of the planet by spending some time outdoors at a pick-your-own farm. There are a couple options in and around Mecklenburg County that would make a perfect outdoor outing. The Hall Family Farm, for example, allows you to pick and purchase fresh strawberries straight from the stem. Although you can't visit the farm on Earth Day, it will be open to the public April 24.

3. Plant a garden

If you don't have the time to visit a local farm or are inspired by the experience, spend some time planting in your own backyard. Spring is the perfect time to start your own vegetable garden. It's also a great eco-friendly project for your kids.

Pick up some child-size shovels and gloves and let your kids plant their favorite vegetables. They can help water them each day and watch them grow. Once the plant yields its first crop, let your children help you cook and eat the fresh vegetables. Here's a list of plants that are easy and relatively quick to grow.

4. Craft with recycled items

Part of respecting the planet is minimizing waste. Teach your kids to turn trash into treasure by transforming your recyclables into fun creations. There are plenty of craft ideas for all age groups. An empty milk jug could become a bird feeder, old T-shirts can be transformed into a rug or a discarded coffee can be upcycled into a drum.

Don't want something structured? Give your kids a pile of recyclable materials, such as empty bottles and cans, old clothes and used paper and see what wonders they create.

5. Read together

The Concord Library is hosting an Earth Day Story Time on April 22 at 10 a.m., which will feature stories on nature and recycling. Kids will also have the opportunity to make paper flowers. If you're not interested in attending the event, you can always check out a few environmental books at your local library and spend time reading at home.