How to Teach Kids to be Environmentally Conscious

How to Teach Kids to be Environmentally Conscious

It’s never too early to be environmentally conscious. Kids will shape the future and that is why we must save Earth now for them. And it’s even better to tag them along so they will be adults who do not take the world for granted. In this article, there are a few tips to educate little boys and girls about environment awareness.

But before I start, you need to get kids interested about this lifestyle. Kids don’t actually want to know about the bad things that’s happening in the world they live in. And it’ll be so grim when you tell children that the world is in danger. They’ll just feel helpless and probably stressed.

Instead, tell them the world is changing and we must protect nature. There are a few things that they can be a part of and they can make a difference by doing eco-friendly stuff. You can start conversations once they notice something environmental on the news or the unusual weather. However, keep things positive, light, and understandable for them.

And if you have even younger kids, say toddler, you can start teaching them from early age, too. You can read them books about nature and environment. Read them books that talk about the importance of trees, recycling, and little animals like bugs.

You can also watch Earth-issues-related movies such as Wall-E and Arctic Tale with them so they’ll understand why it’s important to take care of the world. Letting them watch some environmentally-themed animated movies helps promote sustainability and environmental awareness even at a young age. To get a more favorable outcome, you can schedule a designated movie time for them so it won’t interfere with their other daily tasks.

Additionally, kids learn by watching and interacting with older people. So, it’s better to say and do eco-friendly actions to them. Try telling them to put trash into the recycling bin, saying, “So we can use it for something else.”

However, to ensure you teach your children the correct information about protecting the environment, you may also consider educating yourself about the environment and essential sustainability practices. There are reputable resource websites online, like Viable Outreach, that can help you become aware of multiple world issues prevalent today, including environmental issues. Apart from reliable information, they also provide tools and other resources that allow you to make an impact and inspire your children to build a better world

In fact, If there are kids around you who are big enough to understand what you’re saying and what you’re trying to teach them, great! You can do these tips to help them grow up into responsible human being.

Make a garden and tend it together

a girl holding a little pink flower

“Tending a garden?! Doesn’t that sound so old fashioned and boring?” It might sound that way to adults, but to plant a seed and watch it grow firsthand is amazing in a child’s eyes. It’s even more amazing when those “plants” end up on their plates. This is a good time to explain why it’s better to grow your own food instead of buying.

Then, give the kids tasks to responsibly caring for the plants. Teach them to water the soil when it’s dry, and leave it be when it’s wet. This will get them used to being responsible so that they can take care of bigger things in the future like pets. Moreover, kids will feel they’re important and mature.

You can also turn this into a fun scientific explanation and make them excited. Tell them that plants and humans have a symbiosis in a form of carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange, or other ways to make it more fun and less complicated. You can still grow plants in small houses, too! But if you have a large yard, consider planting a tree to make it more challenging.

Get them used to outdoors

a girl playing with a rabbit outdoors

In today’s world, all kids hold handheld gadgets all the time. There are pros and cons to this fact, but when kids spend more time outdoors, they will see the world right through eyes. With the right conversation and guide, this encourages kids to appreciate and love the world as well as the drive to protect it.

Other than that, you keep those kids away from gadgets in a gentler way. One of the ways to do this is to go for nature or country walks, or easy hiking with the children. Show them the true beauty of nature that will inspire them to take care of the planet they’re living. Here’s a few ideas of the pretty places you should visit.

Repurpose and recycle together

a boy holding recycling bin

Let’s say you have a lot of cardboard boxes. You can easily turn them into fun projects. Collect any size of boxes that you can find. Together, you can make swords, shields, crowns, staff, trees for theater props; dollhouse, spaceship, and even a maze for smaller kids or your pets.

If you still have some cardboard boxes left, then you can give them away to people who need it for free. Whatever you do, throwing these away–especially in front of the kids–is not a good action example to children.

Other paper-family thing that you can repurpose with kids? Toilet rolls. Because of their small sizes, toilet rolls are considered not really important or not really damaging. But when small trashes go big, they become a problem. Save your toilet paper rolls and turn them to be animal puppets, wall art, and other things. Simply let your creativity flow.

If you have any furniture that you don’t use (or don’t want) anymore, you can repurpose them into something new. Use picture collages, cap bottles, and many more. Making art from your furniture is also possible. Give kids freedom to create their own one-of-a-kind art pieces with paint and other unused items.

(Related reading: You can definitely turn trash into stunning art pieces)

Explain about generosity and donation

a girl giving a boy some flowers

Kids are sometimes possessive of their stuffs like toys/clothes or they simply grow attached to them. Gently explain that there are less fortunate kids who need those items more than they do. It’s even better if they can actually see other children’s happiness from their old stuffs, and they’ll finally understand about donating and being generous to others.

So when they finally understand about donation, take a time to sort out clothing, shoes, and toys that the kids doesn’t wear or play with anymore. Take it to local charity or to local children’s hospital so they can see the real impact that they give. All in all, donation helps kids grasp the significance of generosity and it teaches them to help the environment by finding ways to use old stuff.

Always finish meals

a girl finishing her cereal

Food waste is a big problem and you can prevent it altogether by stressing (and showing) how important it is to finish meals every single time. Make sure to have the right portion of meals that won’t make you and the kids too full. This way, you’re teaching them to appreciate food and eat things which are within their range or capacity.

You can give them a superstition just for fun. Tell them that if they don’t finish their meals, their future husband/wife will have a lot of incurable pimples (or maybe warts)!

Give them small eco-friendly tasks

a woman teaching kids to do some tasks

Aside of encouraging independence, small tasks will also train them to be eco conscious. Kids will feel that they’re taking part of an action and contribute to Earth’s welfare as well. Ask them to help you turn the lights off when they’re not used. Turning off the air conditioner when it’s quite breezy is also one of the many ways, especially if you’re living in hotter areas.

Do you have different methods to teach kids about caring for the environment? Don’t hesitate to tell us your experience in the comments below. Make sure to read this article to switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle so that the Earth will be a better place. Leave a like if you enjoyed reading this article, and have a good, green day!



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Click to access IMHP%20_TVO%20Tip%2028_Teaching%20Kids%20to%20Be%20Eco-Friendly.pdf

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