I once took the baby I nanny to the zoo, where I showed him an angelfish. Now, every time he passes a fish tank, he repeats over and over “Ahn-geel-feeesh” even when there are no angelfish. Kids listen to everything we say and, for better or worse, they mimic everything we do. So, it’s our responsibility to instill a sense of eco-consciousness in them.
Try doing some fun kid and green friendly activities with your kids that will make everyone’s lives a little greener.
- Grow a garden. Getting your kids to stick their little fingers in the dirt is a good thing. When I was a wee one, my dad and I would plant flowers in the front yard together. We would go to the nursery at home depot where he would pick out pinks and purples for me. For a couple years, we grew roses and tomatoes. Gardening is great hands-on way to teach your children to love nature.
- Make some recycled art: Soda cans, jelly jars, or milk jugs will do. You name it and kids will play with it. With some finger paints, googly eyes, and a pipe cleaner, an old egg carton turns into a beautiful caterpillar. There’s no need to spend $50 at the toy store to have some crafty fun. Get really eco-savvy and throw some nature in there like leaves, nuts and rocks. Go crazy in your recycle bin and backyard because, hey, it’s free!
- Build a birdfeeder: This one’s a classic. Take a pine cone, role it in peanut butter, and cover it with some bird seed. Hang it by a string on a low branch and, in due time, you’ll get to see some beautiful birds take a break for a nice meal. Not only did you use nature to make something fun, but your kids will have enjoy learning about all the different birds coming to feed.
- Recycle together: I stole this idea from an episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Spend a day teaching your kids about recycling. Have all the different recyclable products out on a table for them to touch because seeing and feeling the difference between glass and aluminum makes all the difference. Once the kids have learned about all the different products,
let them decorate individual recycling bins for each, preferably with pictures of key recyclable goods that will jog their memories.
- Cook with your kids: Whether you’re picking food from your garden (you know, the one you grew together?), or spending a Sunday walking through the farmers’ market, make eating healthy and organic more fun than going to McDonald’s. Teach them the value of a hearty, earth-friendly meal.
- Play with your kids: Ride bikes, go to the beach, play catch, go hiking, or fly a kite. Let your kids enjoy the fresh air!
Other Green Blizzard insights on healthy ways to feed your family while producing less carbon and reducing your carbon foot print: Benefits of Local Organic Produce, Carbon Impact of Meats, Coolest Kid at the Lunch Table, Growing Basil – Enviro Benefits, Gift Ideas For A Green Handyman, What is Phantom Electricity?, Green Cleaning Products, Savvy Green,Energy Efficient Windows, Water Conservation Around The House.