Earth Day Encore: Revisiting Montessori Schools’ Earth Day Celebrations in 2024

Earth Day Encore - Blog Teaser - two boys gardening

Earth Day (April 22) is a beautiful reminder each year of the importance of connecting children with nature.

As Dr. Montessori once said, “There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony, and the beauty in nature.” Earth Day provides us the time and space to honor and celebrate our remarkable planet.

Whether it’s going for a nature walk and picking up trash, using cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper products, or saving food scraps for composting, Montessori schools all over the world are connecting students with nature and finding ways to safeguard our planet to fight for a brighter future.

We checked in on the AMS schools that we highlighted last year to learn about the engaging activities planned for Earth Day 2024. Check out how they are continuing to inspire their students to protect the planet!

Kirkwood Children’s House

Earth Day Encore - girl with chickenEarth Day is one of Kirkwood Children’s House (KCH) longest running traditions! They have been celebrating together since 1985. As Kim Hahn, KCH assistant head of school shares, “Earth Day isn’t just a day, it’s a way of life at KCH.”

KCH will continue their annual tradition this year of convening the entire school community at a nearby park and walking the half mile to school together. They will spend the day outside, planting in their three gardens and enjoying a special snack from things grown in the earth. Inside the buildings, all of the lights will be out; staff and students will use eco-friendly lanterns in their classrooms and a light up globe will illuminate the school’s foyer.

Head of school, Kerry Moran, shares, “This serves as a visible reminder of the important role we play as stewards of the planet as we strive to conserve energy.” Lastly, the children will make a trail mix which the Kindergarten leaders will sell to the school community to help raise funds to contribute to the construction of an inclusive playground being built for children with disabilities at a local park in St. Louis.

Staff and students alike remark on the joy and wonder of KCH’s annual Earth Day celebrations.

Aila, kindergarten leader, shares, “I love Earth Day because we walk to school, spend the day outside, and have a special snack all together in a big circle and talk about the earth.”

Assistant teacher, Linda Manzotti, notes, “Earth Day is so peaceful and an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our natural campus setting. I especially love that we turn the lights out and light our foyer with a small lit globe to save energy and celebrate earth day.”

KCH continues to serve their mission year after year, both on Earth Day, and beyond, of providing “natural education in a community of joy and peace,” bringing together staff, students, and families in partnership as stewards of the earth.

The Montessori School of San Antonio

The Montessori School of San Antonio (MSSA) is excited to be celebrating their fiftieth Earth Day as a community! This year, they will host the third annual campus beautification service day where their community will come together as stewards of their campus, planting native plants and trees, weeding flower beads, raking leaves, refilling bird feeders, and enjoying being together in nature.

Earth Day Encore - rolling playgroundHead of school, Emily Lund, was happy to share that the school has utilized the funds raised from last year’s annual gala to install phase one of their natural playground which has encouraged creativity and physical activity. The playground includes hills, two amphitheaters, an embankment slide, and a climbing wall.

Emily shares, “Our students have loved running up and down the hills, rolling down the hills, and have enjoyed dramatic play in the amphitheaters.”

Additionally, a musical garden was added to the primary playground consisting of a pebble harp, thunder drum, hand drums, pedestal pipes, and listening tubes. Two life-size chess boards and a labyrinth were installed on the elementary playground, providing an opportunity for play of a quieter nature. Emily remarks, “The labyrinth helps achieve a contemplative state, because while walking along the back-and-forth route, children lose track of direction and of the outside world, and thus become quiet of mind.”

Earth Day Encore - girl gardeningEarth Day Encore - boy gardening

The fundraiser also helped the school upgrade their school gardens with sustainable beds and drip irrigation, providing a hands-on learning environment that engages all students in learning about plants and nutrition. A local gardening company, Uprooted Gardens, transformed MSSA’s outdoor space and also provide biweekly gardening classes for students. On one side of the building, students have planted fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers; the other side of the building has a fruit tree orchard, herb garden, and blackberry bramble. While planting and maintaining the gardens, students have also learned about the insects and wildlife that impact the plants’ growth.

KCH, MSSA, and Montessori schools like them all over the world demonstrate profound commitment towards environmental sustainability, continuing their Earth Day celebrations year after year. These sustainability-focused traditions—on Earth Day and throughout the year—impact the schools’ overall environmental practices and serve as an inspiration to take meaningful action and preserve our planet for future generations.

Remember that every small effort counts. Happy Earth Day!

About the Author

Heather White

Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori coach and consultant, content creator, and educator for adult learners, as well as a moderator and manager for the Montessori at Home (0 – 3 years) Facebook group. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, in-home caregiver, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a school psychologist intern. She is AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I) and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Contact her at

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The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.

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