Just as important as nurturing our children, is preserving their environment and teaching them to do the same. The many factors and concerns influencing earth today is surely a large concept for a small child. But, fundamentals like recycling, minimizing waste, conservation, and respect can be instilled in your children through a host of fun activities and adventures!
Earth day was established in 1970 in an effort to stress the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. Since then, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in the holiday, making a promise to help the environment and make positive changes within their communities. There are so many ways to minimize our own carbon footprints that your children are sure to find an activity they will enjoy!
Start a Garden
Spend a day with your children browsing local green houses for plants they find an interest in, and start your very own garden! Beginning with a mix of seeds and pre-sprouted plants is a great idea, so your children can see their plants and also watch others grow.
Perfect for your newly sprouting garden, is a compost! Start with “brown” materials like dead flowers, fall leaves, straw and shredded newspaper. Then, gather “green” materials, like grass clippings, vegetable peels and fruit rinds. Section off a 3 feet wide by 3 feet long section in your yard and start with the brown materials, covering the area with several inches of material. Then cover the brown materials with a layer of green materials. Next, add a thin layer of soil, and cover with another layer of brown material. Next, moisten with some water. Continue to keep your green and brown materials in mind each week, collect and add them to outside buckets, eventually adding them to your compost pile. This will be some seriously prosperous soil for your garden!
Reuse with Arts and Crafts
A great way to teach children the value in re-using and reducing, is by example. Take your coffee tins, paint them and make them into drums! Or, grab some cans and make a wind chime for the back yard- there are so many great arts and crafts projects inspired from recycled items. Do some research and have some fun!
No one likes a litterbug and it’s important to make sure your children know why. Littering is disrespectful to our environment, parks and other outside areas created for everyone’s enjoyment. Even if your child is far from a trashcan, or pre occupied by fun and games, it’s crucial to teach them the importance of making that walk or effort. A great way to instill the value of the anti-litter bug, is by pointing out the yucky garbage at some of their favorite places. It’s best to show them by example and never litter!
Have a special recycling can in your home, one that is in a high-traffic area and easily accessible for all, to further promote its use. Together, you and your child can create a poster of what goes in the blue recycling bin. Check your counties recycling regulations, and either create or print out images of what is to be recycled in your home. This way, your children will learn what makes it in the blue bin, and the rest of your family can be reminded, and keep track, thanks to your kid’s crafty creation!
Enjoy and Appreciate the Outdoors
If your children spend most of their time in front of a television or computer screen, their love and appreciation for the outdoors might be slim, lessening their respect and value found in planet earth. Make weekly efforts to get your kids outdoors to share in the magic that is our planet, so they develop their own appreciation.
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