There are so many amazing things about this great big round ball in the sky that we call home. I’m sure you’re with me when I say I’d love to leave our gorgeous planet in a fit state for our children to be able to enjoy too.
Teaching children to be responsible beings that will hopefully grow into responsible adults, doesn’t have to be tones of hard work. We’ve just got to get a bit creative and think outside the box – it can actually turn into heaps of fun!
Today I’m going to share some ideas for how you and your family can protect our planet.
1. Turn them into superheroes. Tell them they are protecting the planet and explain how for a long time we didn’t look after our earth the way she needed us to, and now it’s time to turn things around. Instill a sense of heroics into them, and make it a quest. What kid doesn’t love a good quest? Also, if you teach them this when they’re young, they will pass this way of thinking on to younger siblings and other children.
2. Make recycling fun. If there is no recycling collection scheme in your area then create recycling stations at home. You can get a big cardboard box to collect plastics or cans in for example and get your children to decorate it. Get out those coloring pens and stickers! The more fun this can be, the more likely they are to remember to use it. While you’re at it, teach them about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Educate as you play, it’s the best way to learn.
3. Get in touch with nature. Let them play in the dirt. Plant things in pots or the garden. The more hands on they can be, the better. Go for walks, identify the plants that can be eaten, and the ones that can’t. Identify trees by looking at their leaves. Who can guess the most plants correctly? Turn it all into a game. Watch things grow. Play games like nature treasure hunts! Watch bees and butterflies pollinate flowers.
4. Stop using toxic cleaning products in your home. Though many of the cleaning products we use do a great job they also introduce harsh chemicals into the environment, which isn’t good for us, our health, or the planet. Instead make your own, and get the children involved in mixing things like vinegar and bicarb soda – watch it fizz like a science experiment! Pretend to be mad scientists protecting the earth by creating new formulas.
5. Lights Out. Once a month or once a week have a ‘lights out’ party where your family switches off all the lights and any extra electricity that doesn’t need to be on. For example, switching your TV off at the plug rather than leaving it on standby. Make a fun evening of it where you play board games by candle light and use flash lights when you move from room to room. Get snuggled up and go to bed early, or watch a film on an iPad that’s been charged by a power bank that’s solar powered. Guilt free power! Making children aware of the electricity that we are using is a great way to stimulate thought and get them to be as energy-thrifty as possible.
6. Manage your waste better! Plan activities like collecting your weekly waste, and analyze with them on what you can do better? Or before you throw anything, ensure they ask themselves if they can repurpose the waste in any manner?
Above all else, be creative, have fun. Before you know it your children will be coming to you with their own ideas for ways we can help protect the planet.