Part of ensuring that our world is a better place for our children and grandchildren is teaching them sustainable habits now.
Here are 4 fun ways to teach your kids about sustainability and to help them develop good environmental habits.
Plan and plant a garden with your kids
Whether you’re gardening in your backyard, indoors or on a balcony, your kids will love to watch something they’ve planted grow into a plant. Better yet, into a plant that they can eat. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about healthy soil and how what is in the soil ends up in our bodies. Also, it’s a great way to get them to try vegetables they maybe won’t try before.
Make something with your kids by repurposing or upcycling something that would normally be thrown away or recycled
You could make recycled journals (maybe a nature journal) with paperboard and other items from your recycling bin. You could make crafts with clothing you’re getting rid of, the possibilities are endless. Check out these upcycling ideas all from one pair of jeans, http://recyclenation.com/2015/05/5-upcycle-ideas-for-summer-style.
Encourage your kids to play outside every day
There are so many reasons to get your kids outside on a daily basis like, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), outdoor play builds healthy bodies, raises levels of Vitamin D and “improves distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness.” Need more reasons? Check out these Fast Facts about Outdoor Time and Children from the NWF.
- Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago.
- Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive, and show better concentration.
- Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children’s physical and mental health.
- The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. (Source: The National Wildlife Federation)
Take time to clean up a local park or playground with your kids
Make it a fun family clean up game. See how fast you can clean up the area and then enjoy the space with your children. This is an excellent way to make your neighborhood more beautiful while teaching your children about civic responsibility. Talking about why littering is bad for your community and for the environment is a lesson that is appropriate for any age.