Earth Day offers us the perfect opportunity to educate your children by providing a very unique chance to share your appreciation for the earth with them. In fact, sharing a few simple lessons or experiences can help your children learn to value the earth just as you do. Use this celebration to make an impact. And if Earth Day has passed, you can still use the following ideas to begin to instill a healthy respect for the earth in your children.
Teach Your Kids About the Importance of Earth Day
- Visit Your Local Science Museum – Take your children to a science museum for the day. Many science museums offer special celebrations, exhibits and even pricing on Earth day. It’s a great way for the entire family to get out. And children will be able to engage with the exhibits and learn a variety of things about the earth.
- Plant Something – Earth day, April 22nd, is right in the midst of planting season. Your children can learn about the importance of Earth day by getting their hands dirty. Plant a tree. Plant a vegetable or herb garden. Or consider planting flowers. Use compost, organic fertilizers and natural materials to decorate your garden. The planting teaches children about what the earth can provide. Using organic and natural gardening materials provides you with an opportunity to discuss chemicals, toxins, and other things people do to harm the earth.
- Read to Your Children – If you have young children then the importance of Earth day can be communicated through stories. For example, The Lorax by Dr Seuss offers a profound message. There are many earth day books to choose from. You might combine reading a book on earth day with watching The Planet Earth DVDs.
- Take Your Children to a Landfill or Recycling Center (or both) – Landfills are depressing places. However, the experience of visiting a landfill will undoubtedly make a profound impact on your children. You may find when you return home that they become vigilant about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Speaking of recycling, ask if your local recycling center offers tours. Children can learn about the importance of recycling and what a difference it can make.
- Visit Your Local Water Treatment Plant – Visiting the water treatment plant provides you with an opportunity to teach your children about conserving water. If the trip isn’t a possibility consider an experiment with water. For example, grab four clean glass jars and fill them with water from four different sources. A river, a pond, your tap etc…Label each jar. Using a coffee filter, run each jar’s water through a different filter. Make sure you keep the filters organized so you know which type of water you’re looking at. Using a magnifying glass your children can examine the particles left in each filter. It’s an opportunity to discuss pollutants and have your child see firsthand what is in their water supply.
Earth Day presents many opportunities to educate your children about caring for our earth. Choose activities that you believe will resonate with them. Make sure they’re age appropriate. And above all make them fun. If learning about earth day is a chore, they won’t enjoy the experience or the message. If it’s fun, the message will have more impact.