By contributing writer Tabitha
Earth Day is coming up next week, and it’s a good opportunity to get kids involved in simple ways to help preserve our natural resources and teach them awareness of our planet. It doesn’t have to be a big political statement of any kind but just another way to involve our kids in the world around them.
Over the years that I’ve had boys in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, I’ve learned a lot about how to be more aware of our world and take care of it. They even have awards based on this principle.
10 Simple Earth Day Ideas
Keeping it simple is always good for me, because things aren’t simple around here with 10 kids.
Plant something. A tree is awesome, but not always possible. A garden is good, because it gets kids digging and learning more about plants.
Take a walk. Pick up garbage along the way and talk about how we can take better care of the world around us by not littering and by leaving places better than we found them.
Look around your home. Have your children identify problems that might waste energy or resources. This can include leaky faucets, items plugged in all the time that don’t need to be, windows that are cracked or areas that have a draft, lights left on, etc. Help them fix them or address the problem.
Find ways for your family to recycle paper, cans, and glass. Participate if possible. Talk about why it’s good to recycle.
Learn about the Earth. Knowing more about something helps us to respect and love it more.
Participate in any community Earth Day celebrations.
Learn about plants native to your area and how to keep the ecosystems healthy.
Find out what kinds of birds, animals, and insects are in your area, especially if any are endangered. Talk about how to protect those that can’t protect themselves. Start watching for birds. Build a birdhouse/feeder that would be appropriate for birds near your home.
Talk about how land and water can get dirty or polluted and how we can prevent this and help with cleanup when possible.
Visit a local organization that is focused on local plants or animals, like botanical gardens or a wildlife preserve.
Above all, show respect for the world around you and your children will learn from your example more than from anything you say.
I’ve found that learning and doing things together is one of the best parts of learning as a family. Enjoy your time together!