Five Fun Activities for Kids that Celebrate the Environment
Environment Day only comes once a year — but why wait? In a time when every other news article is about how global climate change will wreck havoc on our lives and the Earth, it’s never too early to instill in kids a value of nature and responsibility to the environment. They’re the ones who will be stuck with the planetary hot mess, after all, and who knows — early kids’ activities that teach environmental awareness might inspire them to find solutions as adults.
So, with the aim of avoiding climatic (and climactic) end times in this generation and the next, try out these environmental activities for kids.
Instill environmental awareness with these activities for kids
Take a trip to a nursery.
Spend some time appreciating all the different kinds of plants with your child. Tell him the names of the plants that catch his fancy, or ask for help if you don’t know your Delonix regia from your Dypsis lutescens (and who does?). At the end of the visit, consider gifting your child with a small plant — tending it can help him develop a sense of responsibility and a positive relationship with nature.
Explore recycling through crafts.
Recycling is a great habit to develop early in life. Get your child excited about it by creating a scrapbook out of paper that’s only used on one side: Simply bind the pages on one edge and use color pencils or markers to decorate the front, thus demonstrating how something new can be made from something old. Your kids can use the scrapbook for activities like drawing or note-taking. You can also explain how paper is made (using this video) and that recycling helps save trees. Not feeling crafty? Another way to encourage recycling is to use newspaper for wrapping birthday presents!
Get more craft ideas for kids.
Create fun, eco-friendly chores.
Assigning a household task with a fun name to your child will not only get her excited about eco-friendly living, but also help you out around the home. For example: Dub her with a superhero name like “Power Protector,” whose job it is to turn off lights and fans when someone leaves a room. Create a paper badge, assign the role for a week, and give your child permission to call out adults who aren’t following the rules. This will help her learn to be responsible for her actions and also remind you when you slip up. (And maybe lower that pre-monsoon electricity bill!)
Designate a “no waste” day.
Pick a day that is convenient to you and celebrate “no waste day” with your child by not consuming anything that comes in plastic, foil or paper packaging for 24 hours. This might mean making some snacks from scratch, but involving your child in snack-making can be fun and continue the education.
If you think he’s up to a further challenge, you can even suggest conserving electricity by not watching television or using the computer. Whatever you do, make sure you stick to the rules, too! At the end of the day, sit with your child and try estimating how much packing material your family kept from the landfill and how much of the same could be avoided if packaged foods were banned every day. He might not give up his favorite cookies right away, but the exercise might inspire mindful consumption.
Form a litter-fighting team.
Get several of your kids’ friends together to form a special, litter-fighting team. Whether around your housing complex, on a public beach, a public park, or elsewhere, compete to see who can pick up more pieces of rubbish in an hour. Before giving the winner a prize (consider a plant?), take a moment to talk about how trash often finds its way into our oceans and forests, and how that can harm animals and their ecosystems. You can’t change the hearts of all the people whose litter you just collected, but you can instill an environmental mindset in your own children. Just make sure for this activity everyone has strong gloves and bags.
You don’t have to be an extremist to raise a child who cares about the planet they live on. Every little step that inspires them to think about the consequences of their actions is work in the right direction. And what better way to get them started than with these fun activities for kids?