It’s a great idea to encourage your child to think about the environment. After all, they are the next generation… and one day, this world will be theirs! Here’s a few ideas to inspire you.
Our planet is in a worrying state. In fact, scientists believe we’re in the midst of one of the largest extinctions that the earth has ever encountered. Factor in the fact that many of our natural resources are running out, combined with global warming, diminishing rainforests, endangered animals – and it’s evident that we’ve got a lot to be concerned about.
As such, it’s clear to see that the next generation need to develop awareness about the natural world – and how to protect it. Although you might think that your child wouldn’t be able to make much difference, teaching them how to be environmentally friendly at a young age is enormously beneficial. By equipping your child with the skills to respect and preserve the environment, you’re helping them to create a better world for their generation…and beyond.
Understanding The Basics Of Eco-Friendliness
If you simply tell your child to turn the faucet off, chances are they won’t really understand why. After all, it’s fun, right? Playing with running water feels great, so why should they stop? This example illustrates perfectly the importance of explaining why it’s not good to waste water.
Here’s how you can help develop their basic understanding about key environmental issues.
- Role Play – Kids learn best through play; and incorporating a playful element into your teaching helps them to understand environmental issues much more effectively. Use puppets, dressing up clothes or figurines to explore what happens if it gets too hot, or what happens to animals if they haven’t got anywhere to live, because their habitat has been destroyed. This allows your child to explore potential solutions to the problems – in a safe, non-threatening manner.
- Experimentation – Small, controlled experiments help children to understand the devastating impact of issues such as global warming. Grow some seedlings, and demonstrate what happens if those seedlings don’t get enough water, or get too much. Alternatively, place some ice cubes in a tray, and show your child what happens if you heat them up with a hairdryer. These activities help kids understand issues like the polar ice-caps melting, or drought due to global warming.
- Conversation – Children love to be given the chance to explore big ideas through conversation. Invest in a book about the environment, and use it as a starting point to encourage your child to think about big ecological issues. Even better, take your child to the local woods or beach, and discuss problems like litter, plastic in the oceans or cutting down too many trees.
Teaching Your Child To Become More Environmentally Friendly
Once your child has a good grasp on the importance of caring for the planet, you can start to teach them about how they can make a difference. Here are some simple tips to help your child understand the importance of eco-friendly living.
- Plant A Garden – If you’ve got space outside, let your children have a patch of ground where they can plant some seeds and watch them grow. This helps them to understand about how to look after plants, and the importance of re-planting after harvesting to ensure a sustainable crop. If you don’t have outdoor space, an indoor Plant and Grow set is just as effective.
- Recycling / Sorting Games – Children are naturally drawn to sorting games, and allowing them to help sort out the recycling enables them to understand how different materials are made into something new. Make it easier for them by having separate bins for cardboard and paper, cans, glass and plastics. Illustrating the point can also be useful. For example, take them out into the yard and show them a tree, explaining how it shelters many insects, birds and animals. Then, show them some paper, and explain that most paper is made from cut-down trees. Even a simple lesson like this can have real impact!
- Beach / Wood Clean – If you live near some woods or the beach, take your child on a trip to clean up the area. Take a bag and collect the litter, whilst discussing how this helps the local wildlife. You can even turn it into a friendly competition, to see who can collect the most. It’s advisable to wear thick gloves for this activity, in case your child picks up anything sharp by mistake.
- Make A ‘Green’ Chart – Let your child create a ‘green chart’, which is full of environmentally friendly tasks for them to do – such as turning off the water when brushing their teeth, switching off the light when they’re not in the room, or walking to school rather than driving. Your child can tick off activities as they do them, then once they’ve reached a certain number you could treat them to a ‘green day’, where you head out into the Great Outdoors!
- Get Involved in Nature. Encourage your child to be outdoors wherever possible. For example, you could set up bird-feeders in your garden and buy your child a bird identification guide. Explain that many of the birds migrate from far-away countries, which gives them a sense of how the world is connected – and how their migration patterns have changed as a result of global warming.
Protecting the planet should be a top priority for us all. It’s our responsibility to teach our children how to act responsibly and to be aware of the impact their actions have on the world around them. The fact is, when our children grow up, it won’t be a question of ‘shall we choose plastic or paper’. Dwindling resources will mean there is no choice – and we need to ensure that they’re equipped to adapt to this.
Sustainable Toys At Kiddit
When teaching your child how to be environmentally responsible, it’s vital to lead by example. At Kiddit Toys you will find a great selection of sustainable and eco-friendly toys which is a great way to show your children that you’re dedicated to the environment too. To explore our selection, simply visit the Kiddit site today.