Practical Ways to Teach Kids Earth-Care
On Wednesday the 22nd, the world will celebrate Earth Day. As adults, we know the importance of being wise stewards of the resources the earth gives to us and how to not be wasteful (even if we don’t always do perfect job!) However, those concepts are prety difficult to translate for younger kids. Here are some ways to make every day a learning opportunity about conserving and protecting our earth.
1. Observe the Earth
It’s hard for kids to feel the importance of taking care of their world if they are unaware of the environment they are occupying. You can buy simple journals at a Dollar Store or spring for sleek-looking moleskin journals and have your kids personalize them. Either way, spring is a great time to grab a journal, some colored pencils or crayons and spend a few hours outside observing all of the nature around you. If you’re neighborhood doesn’t have a lot of nature, head to a local park. Simply sit and have your kids write down or draw everything they see. Then ask: “What does this worm need to survive?” “What do you love about this tree?” to start encouraging a sense of appreciation in your kids.
2. Encourage Personal Responsibility
As parents, it’s easy to want to simply fix anything that breaks in our kids’ lives. However, this denies your kids a valuable learning opportunity about personal responsibility and ownership. Next time a toy breaks, instead of promising a new one, help your kids imagine a way to fix it or recycle it. And then, give them opportunities to earn some cash to purchase anew one. Even if they need a small subsidy to make the purchase, you can be sure that your kids will do a much better job taking care of the toys and possessions which cost them a few hours of play time and some hard-earned dollars.
3. Recycling Bin Search
Go outside, lay out a tarp, then dump out the contents of your recycling bin. Have your kids select 3 or 4 items each and then challenge them to create a more useful item out of them (after careful washing, of course!) Check out our FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Pinterest board for some inspiration.
4. Capitalize on Every Day Learning Experiences
It can be as simple as picking litter off the ground in the neighborhood, or starting a compost bin. Everyday, there are opportunities to show our kids how to take care of the earth. As all parents know, kids are great mimickers. Show by example how to reuse, reduce, and recycle in the way you treat your belongings and the world outside.
Happy Earth Day Week!