When children learn to appreciate the world from a young age, they are more likely to help protect our land for future generations to come. Generating a passion for the protecting planet early on makes a big difference in influencing children’s future environmentally-friendly habits. Parents can take a number of steps to teach children to protect the environment.
Teach Children To Protect The Environment
Create a backyard or community garden
Planting a garden is a great activity for children and their caregivers because it teaches lessons about vegetation, the earth and sustainable living. Almost any space with sunlight can host a small garden or plant. There are many DIY tutorials and hacks online for creating a simple garden space.
Having a conversation with your child about creating and maintaining a garden can help teach lessons about photosynthesis, soil composition and various vegetation. Gardening encourages healthy eating and respect for how the earth and its abilities. When children learn to garden, they will also learn lessons about about how the earth can provide food and more.
Explore and enjoy nature
Venturing out into nature with young children is an excellent way to help positively stimulate the senses and foster an appreciation of our earth. Arizona is the perfect place to experience a variety of landscapes including forest, red rock, mountains and desert.
The state offers many scenic views near and far. There are many simple and fun ways to enjoy a day outdoors like hiking, having a picnic, visiting the park and more. From the red rocks in Sedona to the park around the corner, there is a perfect destination for any family.
Work together in a garden or compost project
If you can’t, buy one plant for them to learn to take care of; it’s a fun way to learn how plants need sun, water and soil. Use your senses, and enjoy the flowers. Take them to a compost garden to see the worms in action. They will learn how the worms can decompose…say what??? Yeah, science and environment, they are an important part of the life cycle.
Teach them to close the faucet while brushing and bathing
Water is precious. Keep a water cup for brushing your teeth and a container to pour water to wash out the soap and shampoo. You can use stickers as a reward for remembering to turn off the faucet.
Nature Does Not Belong to You
We already teach children the importance of sharing, but mostly only enforce this idea when it comes to sharing toys or other material things. If we taught children that they share the Earth with every living thing on it, then conservation becomes a no-brainer.
When brushing your teeth, remember to turn off the water because you share that with animals, plants, and other people! Just because you like that flower doesn’t mean you can own it. Learning to respect natural resources and appreciate their importance, not only to yourself but to every other creature, is a lesson that can be extended all through life. The Earth is ours to share, so we want to leave it in good shape for the next users.
Teach children about recycling
Teach your little ones how to figure out which items are “re-do’s” (recyclable) and what’s a “bye-bye” (not recyclable). Make sorting the recycling a household chore worthy of a gold star or “check on the hand.” (See The Happiest Toddler on the Block for ideas on boosting good behavior.)
Teach kids about littering
Teach your kids that it’s not cool to be a “litter-bug.” When you go to the beach or the park, you can teach your kid about littering by having a race to see how many pieces of paper they can pick up in 2 minutes (supervise this activity to make sure the trash is “regular trash” like paper, nothing sharp or disgusting). Of course, have the hand sanitizer ready for a good cleaning as soon as you’re done. Responsibility and sustainability…two lessons for one!
(Remind older kids that trash often ends up in unwanted places, like the ocean, and can be dangerous for animals: “Don’t be a chump, use the dump.”)
Turn it off
When you are out of the room, your toys don’t need the lights on. You can order a free sticker to remind you to switch them off. Better yet, make your own sticker.
Read more: Benefits of Volunteering: Helping people and changing lives!