Earth Day is April 22! This time last spring, we were in the stage of the pandemic where I was looking for absolutely anything to do/celebrate with the kids. Each weekend, I’d look online for ALL of those National Holidays that might seem silly, but hey – if it gave me some type of theme that I could play up for a day of activities, I was all in. So when Earth Day came around, I knew we had to do something beyond our daily walks. (Seriously, in the 7 years I’ve lived in my neighborhood, I’ve never walked it as many times as I did in Spring 2020.) And since baking is up there in my favorite things to do … we made cookies!
If you read my previous cookie post, this recipe will look familiar! These truly are my go-to when it comes to cookie cutter cookies. Same basic recipe but with a little food coloring and heart sprinkles made for a perfect Earth Day treat. Read on for the cookies we made last year, plus some more Earth Day activities.
Earth Day Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Blue and green food coloring (I prefer gel)
- (Optional) Heart Sprinkles, or you could even draw on hearts with red frosting or red melting wafers
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat to incorporate.
- Turn the mixer down the low and slowly add the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. Mix just until it’s combined. Do not overmix.
- Remove half of the dough and place in a second bowl. Add blue food coloring to half of the dough and green to the other. Add just a little bit at a time as you really want just enough to give it a nice color. No one likes eating a lot of food coloring!
- Take a piece of parchment paper and place half the dough on top. Cover with another piece of parchment paper, and use a roller to roll the portion to about 1/4″ thickness. Repeat with the other portion. Then stack the rolled out dough and parchment paper on top of a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Pull pieces of dough from each color and randomly place them next to each other until you have a large rectangle. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll over top just enough to combine the pieces into a seamless piece of dough.
- Then, use a round cookie cutter or even a glass to cut out circles.
- Transfer cookies one at a time to your prepared baking sheets. Re-roll remaining dough and continue cutting until you’ve used all of the dough.
- Optional: If you’re adding heart sprinkles (I was lucky enough to have them in my cabinet from Valentine’s Day), add the heart sprinkle now.
- Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway.
- Place the baking sheets on a wire rack and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Then transfer from the baking sheet to a cooling rack to cool completely.
More Activities to Celebrate Earth Day:
Explore an Outdoor Destination
It’s the perfect time of year to get outside, and there are so many beautiful places to visit in the Bucks County (and nearby area). Besides the many parks and walking trails, one of our very favorite places to go is Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Attend a Local Event
While some annual events might still be on hold in 2021, the good news is that most Earth Day celebrations are outside anyway, so it makes it easier to social distance! Here in Bucks County, I found a few events happening either on Earth Day or on Saturday, a couple of days later.
Earth Day Clean Up Hike at Nockamixon State Park in Quakertown on Thursday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to noon
Middletown Earth Day Park Clean Up will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Get more information HERE.
Take an Earthship Tour (and a walk) at Silver Lake Nature Center in Bristol on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Snipes Farm in Morrisville is hosting a weekend-long Earth Day celebration. Visit their Facebook page for more info.
Go On a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make one yourself or there are tons of printable scavenger hunts on Pinterest. In addition to completing a scavenger hunt on paper, you could also bring along two bags. One for collecting pretty pieces of nature to make some type of craft at home. And a second bag (along with gloves) for collecting litter to throw away at home.
Read Books About Nature and/or Protecting Our Planet
Here are some Amazon links to a few books you might want to consider. (Though I’m pretty sure Earth Day will be the theme of our library trip this week!)
The Lorax: I mean, this one goes without saying.
Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration – We’re big fans of this adorable pup. (Although it drives Henry crazy that the main character is only referred to as “the little girl.”)
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.)
Do a Craft/Art Project
You can find tons of nature-inspired/Earth crafts on Pinterest, but last year, I kept it simple with our take on the cherry blossom trees that are so beautiful this time of year. I cut out a rough tree trunk and branches out of brown construction paper. The kids then glued their tree base to a piece of blue construction paper. Then, they dipped cotton balls into pink, white and red paint and dabbed it on their paper to make little cherry blossoms.