Teaching your children about the environment can seem like a daunting task. They will have more than a few questions (since when don’t they have questions?), and you will need many answers to their inquiries. Taking it one step at a time and teaching them slowly but surely will result in your children respecting the environment as they grow.
Here are a few ideas to help teach kids to respect the environment:
1. Allow kids to participate in taking care of the environment
Whether it is planting trees, creating a garden, pulling invasive species, or picking up garbage—begin the stewardship mindset.
2. Demonstrate your own enjoyment of nature
Pointing out trees that you think are beautiful, or encouraging kids to smell flowers that are your favorites will show them that you also love and respect the natural world.
3. Upcycle and repurpose
Rather than tossing your recyclables in the bin, why not see what else you can make with them first? There are plenty of ideas online for this, but you can also allow your child to come up with things that they find useful for themselves. For bigger items, you can create a “recycled sculpture” with them. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to them about reusing and repurposing things rather than disposing of them when possible.
4. Download an app that will help teach your kids about environmental stewardship
Cupanion’s Fill it Forward tag + app promotes environmental stewardship through an interactive journey each time you reuse and scan your reusbale cup, mug or bottle. With the app your children can follow along on the Footprint screen to see how they are making a postive imapct on the environment. They can easily track their waste, emission saved, and how much ocean pollution they have prevented.
The app not only teaches the young generation the importance of the envrionment, it encourages them to drink more water and help bring access to those without it!
5. Turn to books and movies
Having a hard time getting your kids to embrace the emotional component that comes along with environmental stewardship? Embrace books and movies. The movie, The Lorax, teaches important lessons about taking care of the environment. And Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, is a good book to read to young children that will help them make that emotional connection to the natural world.
Teaching your kids how to respect the earth does not have to be overwhelming. By starting with one of these simple ideas you are encouraging them to appreciate and respect the earth, which is one of the most important things we can do to help the environment.
Is your family making an effort to involve everyone in doing their part for the environment? Tell us about your family’s experiences in the comments section!