Tips for raising greener, environmentally conscious kids
On Friday, April 22nd we will be celebrating Earth Day! It is an important day that reminds us to stop and appreciate the earth, and remind us that we need to protect the natural world around us. The best way to celebrate the day is to get outside and enjoy the local parks, huge community clean-up projects, free classes on sustainable practices, and spreading information about how to live a greener lifestyle.
Earth day is also a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the wonders of nature and to teach them about the importance of conservation! And since so many children have a natural inclination to get outside, run around, get dirty, etc. — they will definitely enjoy getting outside with you! To help you find fun Earth Day activities for kids, read on!
If you’re looking for how to celebrate Earth Day with kids, you really can’t beat teaching them how to garden. Start by picking out plants or veggies that your kids are interested in, and you can either visit your local nursery to pick up some young plants, or get seeds to teach them about growth from the beginning! Let your kids work with their hands to tend to the soil, water it, and watch as they grow! When plants get bigger, kids can see exactly how their food is made or how flowers and plants grow, and learn the importance of organic farming in the process.
Bird watching is an amazing and simple Earth Day activity for kids. Whether you and your kids are bird lovers or not, looking up at the sky or up in big trees is a really nice way to spend time together. You can even download a ‘cheat sheet’ of different birds for your little ones to spot and turn it into a game! To go the extra step, you can either find a local bird watching group to join, or do some research on local species in your area, and set out on a trail!
Clean Up Projects
Getting involved in clean-up projects may sound less exciting than the other activities but in actual fact it can be a lot of fun and is a super important activity. It is a great way to educate your children on pollution and excess waste, while also enjoying the outdoors. Pick an interesting spot like your nearest beach, a river or stream, or even a local park as a way to pique their interest. You can also turn it into a game of how quickly you can fill up bags of waste, and watch as they get excited over cleaning up the planet.
Talk to your kids about how composting works, and then build a small compost bin in your backyard, using scrap wood or a couple unused pallets. Fill it with organic kitchen waste (things like coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels, dried leaves, carrot tops, etc.), and once a week, get them to turn the pile using a shovel, and in about a month — they’ll have compost! Kids will be able to watch the transformation, as bugs and worms slowly eat their way through the food scraps. Show them how using the compost in the garden helps the plants and flowers grow!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
One of the most important lessons to teach your kids for everyday life is to reduce, reuse and recycle! Kids are at a perfect age to learn the value and importance of building green, sustainable habits, and this is a really important habit to learn for day-to-day life. Drive them to your local landfill to give them a glimpse into how much trash we as humans produce regularly. And then explain how we can reduce that waste simply, starting at home. Walk them around your house and show them which household items can be…
Reused: old clothes for rags, old jars for storage, used candle jars into mugs
Reduced: use refillable bottles for water instead of plastic bottles, use washable towels/ wipes instead of paper towels, bring your own bags to the grocery store; and
Recycled: cardboard boxes, newspaper and junk mail, glass bottles, egg cartons
Once you’ve celebrated Earth Day with your kids, they’ll be more connected with their natural world, and that will benefit them for a lifetime!
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We hope you have an amazing Earth Day, now get out there and enjoy!