tips for creating kids who care about the earth

5 Tips for Creating Kids Who Care About the Earth

With Earth Day coming up on April 22, I wanted to share some tips for creating tiny humans who respect the environment. It’s a work in progress with our children, but these are some ways in and out of our house that we teach our children about planet Earth and how to protect it.  🌎


TIP 1: Separate the Garbage

We’ve been doing this with our youngest since the age of two. We have our recycling, refundables, soft plastic, compost, and garbage. It’s enough to confuse the best of us, but from a young age he would ask where his garbage goes, and we would point him in that direction. Before he really understood what the different bins were for, he understood that not everything goes in the garbage. We explain what goes where and why and we do it again and again. Children respond to repetition, and they like to feel useful around the house. The simple act of teaching kids where our garbage goes and why leads to an automatic response as they grow. We’re creating mini recyclers and they don’t even realize it!


TIP 2: Turn Off the Tap When You’re Brushing!

This is a tricky one for us. My kids love to leave the water running when they’re brushing. I get it, it’s easy, but did you know that we waste an average of 5 liters of water when we leave the tap running? It’s a simple way to conserve water and a habit to start when kids are young. They’ll turn it off automatically if you start now and repeat the behaviour everyday.


TIP 3: Go on Adventure Walks

I love going for walks in the forest, but my kids are not as excited, so we like to turn our walks into adventure explorations. We get them to pretend they are explorers discovering the woods for the first time. They really observe their natural world so much more, noticing things they might not have otherwise. They ask what things are, and we take pictures when we’re not sure and look it up at home. When we draw our children’s attention to the natural world around us, wonderful things happen, they open their eyes and experience the wonders that exist all around.


TIP 4: Head to the Beach

This is a big one for us. We live on the ocean, so flipping for crabs is a favorite pastime. We flip over a rock, and they get their faces down close to what is living under it. Crabs scurry, snails, barnacles and sea anemones stick to the rocks and worms inch their way back into the sand. They experience a whole new world and it never gets boring. If you don’t live on the ocean, head to a lake, river or pond and take in the exciting marine life there. When kids learn to appreciate nature and all living things, they will protect it.


TIP 5: Lead by Example

Our children are little sponges, soaking up what we teach them, and observing our actions and behaviour. If they see you taking steps to reduce your waste, live a greener life, and show an interest in the natural world, they will too. By demonstrating this behaviour, you can be sure they will grow up with an interest in protecting our earth and teaching their kids the same lessons.   


Make plans with your kids for how you are going to celebrate Earth Day. A walk through the woods? A visit to the beach? Or maybe garbage pick up at your favorite park? Whatever it is you can be sure that when it becomes an important issue to you, it will be important to them.

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