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Want to keep the kids busy outside next week? Try some of these Earth Day activities especially designed for youngsters.

For the past 40 years, people have been taking one day out of the year to get their hands dirty and celebrate Earth Day with outdoor activities for the whole family. The EPA has some fantastic resources for parents looking to teach their kids how to keep the environment safe and clean.

1. Show them how to sort recyclables. This is a life lesson that will be especially important for this generation of children. Showing kids how to look for the recycle symbol on milk jugs and other plastic containers and setting up a sorting area in your house or apartment can make recycling a lifestyle, not just a hobby.

2. Make a jelly jar into ... anything. Recycling doesn't just have to include throwing plastics into a bin. You can recycle and reuse a jelly jar by converting it into a drinking glass, a cookie cutter or even a flower pot. Decorating the jars can mean lots of fun for kids too.

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3. Start your own energy patrol. Help your kids start their own energy patrol in their school, youth center or even your own house. Energy patrollers learn how to cut water and electricity usage to save the environment and your utility budget.

4. Don’t avoid spring cleaning. Hit two birds with one stone (not literally, of course ... this is Earth Day people) by combining your spring cleaning with some environmental fun. Kids might hate to clean, but bribe them to get rid of their old jeans and other junk by finding a unique way to recycle them into something else. This U.K. site has a million ways to reuse common household objects. By cutting down on how much junk you take to the curb in this annual tradition, you'll be more efficient and green.

5. Do a pollution puzzle. OK, so this is admittedly not an outdoor activity, but if you have a bookworm who likes puzzles, give them this environmental crossword puzzle to challenge their eco knowledge.

Enjoying Earth Day with your kids is fun, just make sure to keep them sun safe with these great sunscreens for the family.