Teaching children to care for the earth

April is Earth Month so it is a perfect time to start talking about conservation with your child. Earth Day is April 22, here are some fun activities you can do with your child during Earth Month and on Earth Day.

Enjoy Nature

One of the best ways to get children to care about nature is to help them love nature. Spend time in nature is a great way to help kids see the beauty of nature. You could go for a walk in the woods, to the beach, or to other nature areas near your neighborhood. As you walk around try to spot interesting animals, bugs, mushrooms, and plants. Point them out and talk about how they help the eco-system.

Try a nature scavenger hunt. You can print a form off our Pinterest page or make your own. Search for things like bugs, ferns, wildflowers, sand, trees, and more. You can tailor it to your area’s ecosystem and to your child’s age. This is a perfect time to talk about the impact even your child has on nature and the importance of taking only pictures and leaving only footsteps.

Bring a plastic bag with you on your explorations. If you see any litter in nature areas, pick it up. This sets a great example and gives your child a sense of accomplishment.

Try a science experiment

We found lots of cool science experiments for children of all ages to learn about the environment, pollution, and more.

Try taking some trash from your house that represents paper, plastic, and biodegradable food. Let your child pick out some products that he or she wants to see what happens to. Nail each product to a plank of wood and make a chart to show where each item is on the plank. Ask your kids what they think will happen to each item. Bury the plank in the yard. After a week or two, dig it up. Has it changed? This is a great example to show how some things we throw away stick around for a long time and how other things biodegrade.

Afterward, talk about how your family can reduce the non-biodegradable waste. Your child might come up with some great ideas.

Plant a tree

Planting a tree is a great opportunity for your child to make an impact on the environment. Before you start, talk with your child about how trees help the environment and how trees affect the air we breathe. Certain trees are better at sucking up pollution; ash, apple, birch, hawthorn, hackberry, maple, pear and peach.

If you are interested in planting a tree, but don’t have a yard, there are still options. Many cities have programs where you can donate a tree to be planted somewhere else or on public land. You could also look for a near community garden and plant a tree in your plot. Many gardeners have luck planting vegetables around young trees.

Planting a tree can be a rewarding experience for any child and it is really fun to watch your tree grow with you. It might be fun to take a picture of your child with the tree when it is planted and then every year after to see how your child and the tree grow together.

Help your child start a new program

If your child already loves conservation and wants to make a larger impact, you could help your child start a new program at your house or her school. At home you and your child could start a compost heap to cut down on what you throw away. If you don’t have recycling offered in your neighborhood, you could help your child start a petition to get it offered or start taking your household’s recyclables to the nearest facility.

Composting is easy and fun to do. You can buy a composting bin or compost for free by trench composting. Trench composting involves digging a hole, putting compostable materials into it, and covering it as you go. Composting is easiest when you put a bucket under the sink to throw vegetable scraps into as you go. Don’t put meat or bones in your compost or you can attract predatory animals.

If your child’s school doesn’t recycle, she can work with school management to pressure local waste management to offer recycling to the school. Many waste management facilities offer free waste audits to see how much the school is wasting and how it can improve. This often saves the school money.

Learning about Earth Day

Every child can learn to love our planet and conservation. Try some of these tips to help your children have a brighter future on our planet. Visit our Pinterest page for more tips on crafts, science experiments, and other Earth Day activities.



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