Celebrating Earth Day!

Two new activities for 2021 below!

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday. All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team

Recycled Rainstick

A rainstick is a percussion instrument that mimics the sound of rain when someone shakes it. In many cultures throughout history, people have
used the instrument to try to bring about rain when it is needed.

A rainstick is made out of a long hollowed tube that’s filled with small materials, and traditionally rainsticks were made from dead cactus tubes filled with tiny pebbles. Create your own rainstick using a recycled cardboard tube and use it to make music.

Supplies Needed:

Cardboard tube (think paper towel or wrapping paper roll)

Scrap or construction paper

paper or pencil



pipe cleaners

pasta, beans, or rice to fill your rainstick

Download Instructions for Recycled Rainstick

Recycled Flower Vase

Create and decorate a vase out of a recycled container to display the
beautiful paper flowers you make (see activities further down the page). You can display your vase throughout the year to remind you of Earth Day.

You can also use it as part of your decorations for Shavuot, the Jewish holiday recognizing the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mt Sinai during which some people decorate their homes with plants and flowers to remember the flowers that bloomed on Mt Sinai after the receiving of the Torah.

Supplies Needed:

Bottle, plastic food container, jar, or tin can

craft supplies such as sharpies, scrap or tissue paper, stickers, and glue

flowers – paper or real

Download instructions for Recycled Flower Vase

Earth Day

Did you know that this year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day? While the official celebration takes place on Wednesday, April 22nd we invite you to enjoy these hands-on activities with your family throughout the spring season!

These activities are inspired not just be Earth Day, but by our exhibit Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling. We hope you have a lot of fun trying out these projects in honor of the Earth, the season, and Jewish tradition.

Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome!

Download the full Celebrating Earth Day activity packet as a single pdf here.

Recycled Flowers

They say April showers bring May flowers, but why wait?

These beautiful creations are a great way to brighten up your room, the dinner table, or anywhere in your home. Make a whole bouquet and share with your family!

Supplies needed:

Magazines, newspaper or other very thin papers



Double-sided tape

Wooden skewers

Download Instructions for Recycled Flowers

Monstrous Hybrids

We learned about monstrous hybrids Dr. Inna Alesina at Stevenson University.

A monstrous hybrid is something that is made of multiple kinds of materials that make it difficult to recycle as-is. One way to face this kind of challenging item is to re-use or re-purpose it! In this activity you can decorate your very own monstrous hybrid tin can monster – we bet you can think of lots of ways to use your monster. (May we suggest a tin can relay race?)

Supplies needed:

Tin cans (empty and clean)


Glue or tape

Markers or sharpies

Download Instructions for Monstrous Hybrids

Download Sample Monster Label

Tzedakah Boxes 

Tzedakah boxes from the JMM Collections.

In challenging times such as these, it’s important to think about how we can support our community, especially those in vulnerable populations. One way we can help our community is through tzedakah – collecting money to donate to help those in need. In this activity you can create your own tzedakah box out of recycled materials!

Supplies needed:

Recycled food container

Knife or sharp scissors




Craft supplies (buttons, stamps, scrap paper, etc)

Download Instructions for Tzedakah Boxes

Bottle Cap Windchimes

Plastic bottle caps, JMM 2011.28.3a-g.

This Earth Day activity combines recycling with wind power! Create a windchime using bottle caps and other materials from around the house. Then enjoy the wonderful sound of your chimes throughout the day – try out different kinds of materials to see how they sound different!

Supplies needed:

Plastic lids (bottle tops, lids from jars and milk cartons, etc)


String or yarn


Hammer and nail

Download Instructions for Windchimes

Earth Day Extravaganza

This past Sunday we were joined by many families for a special virtual program in partnership with DBJCC and CJE to help get ready for Earth Day! Don’t worry if you missed the live stream because we’ve got a great recording of the program right here for you to follow along and participate with the musical performance. The supplies listed below will help you fully enjoy the musical portion of the program. Plus, we have a pdf below with more fun activities!

Supplies needed:

Plastic buckets or small trashcans

Plastic spoons, soft mallets, or drumsticks (children 6+)

Empty, cleaned out bottles (like water bottles)

Uncooked rice

Download Additional Earth Day Activities

Keep Discovering

If you are still interested in learning more about how we can better care for our planet check out some of the resources below!

Take a look at our Scrap Yard exhibit website here, and discover the stories of individuals who have worked in the scrap industry here.

Use your green thumb to make a planter out of recycled materials. You can use soda bottles, water bottles, tin cans, milk jugs, and more. Make sure to clean out your container first, create holes in the bottom for water to drain, and fill it up with the proper amount of soil and seeds based on the type of plant you chose.

If you’re looking for more ideas about how you can care for the Earth and for others, listen to this song about the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, which involves doing acts of kindness to help make the world a better place.

Watch this short, entertaining video from the Baltimore County Department of Public Works to learn why you can’t put items like plastic bags and clothes in your recycling bin.

Now that you’ve learned how to recycle better, help protect your local garbage and recycling workers and thank them for the important work they are doing during this difficult time. Help keep these workers safe by following some simple tips like tightly tying your garbage bags shut, putting disposable masks and gloves in the trash and not the recycling bin, and cleaning and sanitizing your collection bins and containers. To thank them for their work, write chalk messages on your driveway or leave a sign outside for them to see.

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