Being a parent can both be fun and tedious when raising energetic kids, and sometimes it shocks you what they learn from interacting with other people. Some things they pick up can be potentially damaging, and some can actually hone them into better individuals. However, it’s up to you to filter what should stay and what should go. Teach them good habits, including green practices to help them love nature more and learn to save Mother Earth.
Contrary to the belief that kids are too young to understand how recycling works, it’s actually possible through small and effective practices. Kids are naturally curious and adventurous; you can make them pay attention and be dedicated to new green chores by making them fun and exciting. Here are some habits and activities you can teach them to nurture their love and care for nature:
The magic of planting
Instead of watching them throw away scraps and seeds, inspire your kids to plant and start their own garden. If you have a lawn, make them help in picking up litter or watering the plants. You can make this fun by letting them wear costumes or making a game out of simple chores.
Kids are naturally competitive and love to win at almost everything; just make sure you have a good prize at the end of each challenge to keep them inspired. If they are old enough, you can slowly remove the concept of prizes and games, and they can learn gardening and planting by themselves. Just make sure the tasks are age appropriate. Not only will doing so help your kids become responsible and environmentally friendly; this also saves you more money since you’re growing your own veggies.
In your house, teach them to separate trash – glasses, cans, plastics, and papers. Dedicate a food-waste bin simply for food scraps. You can use this as fertilizer and help your veggies grow bigger and better. Show your kids the habit of recycling, and inspire them to continue doing so until they’re old. Teach and remind them of the importance of this action for the environment and how it makes a change.
Give them cute water bottles and silicone straws
Inspire them to pack their own utensils by making them customize their bottles, utensils case, and plastic containers. If you compliment them about packing their own reusable utensils, they will make a habit of it hopefully lessen their carbon print as they grow older. Teach them the importance of avoiding single-use plastic items through colorful picture books or a fun video. It’s important that you establish care and awareness about the environment while they’re young.
Plan camping trips
How else are you going to inspire your kids about nature if you don’t take them to beautiful campsites? Camping helps them become immersed in nature as well as explore various animals and insects. If you show them the beauty of the environment and remind them to keep it beautiful by tidying up whenever needed, they will carry the habit with them and will possibly fully fall in love with our planet.
Teach them eco-friendly hobbies
Instead of buying, there are some things that your kids can create for themselves such as arts, crafts and making toys out of used objects which could have ended up on landfills. Encourage them to pick up a sport such as cycling, which is not only healthy but also an eco-friendly way of transport. You can enroll them in cycling classes or hire a private coach. Buy them their first bicycle with a power meter,so they are encouraged to reach specific goals while having a sense of progress.
Get them to conserve energy
This is where you should be firm. If they leave the TV or lights on, call them out. Your kids will only assume it’s okay when they’re not called out on being wasteful, and they will continue to do good if you compliment them about conserving. On the first few days, remind them about it or ask them if they’ve done their responsibilities throughout the day. You can slowly stop after a few months if you see them turn lights off by habit, and hopefully they will carry this until they grow old. If not, reinforce the practice again when you can.
Get them a pet
They will feel more concerned about the planet and be more environmentally aware if you have a household pet. If you’re unsure how they would react to animals, take them to a zoo or introduce them to your friends’ pets. If they aren’t gentle, teach them how to handle animals first, and discipline them whenever you can. Only get pets when they are ready to take care of them without being scared or harsh. Give them ideas on how a dirty environment actually hurts their pets.