Kids are the future, and with all the threats facing our planet today, what’s more important than teaching them how to take care of the world around them? For better or for worse, kids’ brains are like sponges, and how we raise them has a huge impact on their habits as adults – so it’s super important to help them be eco-conscious from the word go.
Here are 8 ways to get your kids involved in saving the planet:
Spend Time Outdoors
Kids are naturally curious and love to explore. Getting them involved in a whole range of fun outdoor activities will help them learn about nature and foster a love of all things outdoors, which means they’re much more likely to have respect for the world around them.
Make Recycling Fun
Get your kids involved in recycling by making it into a fun activity: turn it into a sorting game, or get crafting with scraps of cardboard. Learning through play is one of the main ways kids pick up new things and creating positive associations with recycling is a sure way to ensure they carry this habit through to adulthood.
Take the Bus
Taking the bus, train, or even walking can seem like a mini-adventure for little ones, so if it’s possible, leave the car at home and use a more eco-friendly (and exciting!) mode of transport. Getting kids used to not relying on cars from an early age will help them be more open-minded about public transport in the future, and you can use it as an opportunity to teach them about air pollution, energy, and emissions – or even just to practice some life-skills like buying tickets and navigating the world around them.
Learn Through Play
Use screen time to sneak in some environmental education. TV shows, games, or books that teach kids about the environment in a fun and accessible way are sure to get their attention and double up as entertainment too. Eco-friendly messages are much more likely to sink in when they’re made fun!
Spend Time with Animals
Kids who are brought up around animals from a young age learn the importance of caring for other creatures. Pets such as dogs, cats, or hamsters are great, but if you don’t want a pet in your home, take a trip to the zoo, or spot the creepy crawlies when you’re in the garden. Once they’ve learned to love animals, kids will want to protect their habitats.
Plant some easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables, like carrots, strawberries, or potatoes. Teaching kids about sustainable gardening and food sources is so much easier when it’s hands-on and they have the chance to get messy! You can even teach them about biodegradable waste and recycling by helping them create a compost pile. Of course, the best bit is the delicious produce – who wouldn’t want to save the environment if it involves eating a bowl of juicy strawberries?
Plant Some Trees
Deforestation is a major cause of climate change. Planting a tree or two in your local area will help reduce CO2 and air pollution, and it’s an easy way to get your kids engaged in nature. Take this opportunity to explain to them why trees are so important and why deforestation wreaks such havoc on the planet.
Involve the Community
Get together with other like-minded parents for play dates with an environmental twist. Kids are much more likely to want to do things if they see their friends getting involved, so arrange a community get-together where you can go on a litter clean-up, plant trees, or spend some time in nature. You could even bring some of your home-grown produce for a picnic – a perfect excuse for a catch-up with some mom friends, too.
When teaching your kids to be eco-conscious, it can be hard to know where to start, but the tips above should help you instill good habits in no time. I know that most parents already have lots to juggle, so don’t feel like you have to incorporate everything – just one or two small changes will equip your kids to grow up loving and taking care of the world around them and be a force for good in the future.
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