Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day With Your Kids Everyday
The world is changing at unprecedented rates due to technological advances, our ability to communicate instantly, and unfortunately, climate change.
And while we want to protect our planet so that future generations can thrive on it, it’s important that our children are a part of that change. Teaching them to become future stewards of the earth will develop them to have the capability to design solutions to make their communities healthier and more sustainable.
Positively changing our world is going to take work from every single one of us - adults and children - as a global community
Earth Day is not addressing a one day problem, so we need solutions to address this global problem everyday.
It’s a virtuous cycle that will give you fulfillment along the way, and give the planet healing.
The benefits for children
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children
Children are born curious natural learners. And when sustainability becomes a part of explaining the world to them, you empower them to develop knowledge and values around appreciation of the environment and its relationship to their world.The benefits for teaching children about the environment are many:
- They learn to engage with and care for their environment and develop a connection to their community.
- Learning in nature helps them develop their mental and physical health and well-being.
- In nature, children develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
- Children learn resilience in and around nature.
- Children are more motivated to learn when it is interactive - turning everyday learning about the environment into a cycle of - teach them, show them, lead them - is a system that works as a parent and for the child.
Educating children about the environment helps them engage with the world around them in a more meaningful way and grow up to become an adult with capabilities to contribute to solving the climate crisis.
School programs like the Children’s Education Literacy Foundation - who was a part of the recent Kidizen Rewear giveaway - are currently helping to bridge that gap in schools.
But this is also a task that parents can take on, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming.
Everyday climate action ideas for teaching kids
The last thing any busy mother needs is another project on your plate. But as a conscious parent, it’s relieving to know that we can weave important messages about sustainable living into our everyday lives.
There is always something we can do to protect the earth. It doesn’t have to be heavy or complicated. Starting small is great, and you can start at any age.
Teach your sustainable habits along the way.
When you’re turning off unnecessary lighting, water, or appliances in your home. Explaining “I’m turning off the kitchen lights because no one is in the room. That’s how we save energy. Saving energy helps protect the earth and everyone who lives on it.”
When you recycle or compost your trash.
Explain where it goes and why you are doing it.
Investigate sustainable facts together.
For older kids, turn researching facts on plastic waste, dangers to ocean life, and microplastics into a research project you can do together.
Use nature as the teacher.
Go for walks and their natural curiosity will prompt them to ask questions and develop their connection to it (important to becoming an adult who wants to protect it.
Show them what not to do.
When encountering trash on the street, pick it up and explain to them why it’s wrong (letting them know “it’s dirty and can make the fish and animals here very sick.”
Go on a hunt together to find things that are a one-time-use item that could be replaced with something reusable or recyclable. Things like paper towels and sponges, dryer sheets, and plastic bottles are easy targets. What else can you find together?
It’s a chemistry experiment and environmental lesson all in one!
Protecting our planet together
It can be overwhelming to think about the changes that need to happen to reverse climate change. But experts have shown that it’s not impossible, and involving our children to become future stewards of the earth is an essential piece of the puzzle.
Our kids are paying attention to our actions as parents. They will follow our lead. And having them as your accountability partner (they are watching!) your actions will become their actions as they grow up.
Together change is possible. Positive change that make you and your family healthier while you create change for the planet.