Kids are eager to give back to planet earth! Schools “plant the seed” early with environmentally-friendly lesson plans that raise their E.Q.—Environmental Quotient. So keep that good example going at home and nurture their interest in being real “planeteers.” Here are some common sense ideas for promoting eco-friendly habits.
Celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is tomorrow April 22. Your community may have activities and events happening all month, so check your local newspaper. For some kid-inspiring Earth Day activities, visit kidsdomain.com.
Read Up on the Environment. Check out children's books on nature and the environment. “50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth” is a great read for Earth Day and filled with earth-friendly ideas kids will enjoy such as making a bird house out of a milk carton, planting a garden to attract butterflies and other creatures, cutting back on non-recyclable materials like styrofoam. Environmentally themed movies like "Fern Gully" can pique even the youngest child's desire to protect the planet.
Make it Right in Your Own Backyard. Get ideas for planning a wildlife friendly yard at the National Wildlife Federation’s informative website. You’ll find tips on luring cardinals and other birds to your backyard, how to make a house for frogs and what to do for your backyard habitat this spring.
Plant a Tree. What better way to give back to the Earth—and future generations—than by planting a tree? Your local parks department may offer free seedlings in honor of Earth Day this month. Or head to your local gardening department to find a hearty variety that would love to spread its roots in your back yard. For a step-by-step guide to planting a tree, visit tree-planting.com.
Get the Buzz. Give a boost to the dwindling bee and butterfly populations by planting the flowers they love. Your garden center can recommend the right varieties to plant for your growing zone. Planting with a purpose like this can spark a child’s interest in gardening. Of course, bees come with STINGERS! So teach kids to respect their turf.
Scavenge Up a Nature Hunt. Gather a few families and create your own nature scavenger hunt. It's a fun way for kids to identify certain plants and trees, and notice the natural world all around them. Use a ready-made list at windstar.org, or create your own with local varieties. Celebrate your successful hunt with a picnic in the park!
Protect Your Local Watershed. What happens to the water that enters storm drains near your house? What can kids do to protect the health of local streams? For kid-friendly activities relating to watersheds, visit epa.gov.
Encourage Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. Help your children understand how their own behaviors can help the environment. Invite them to track your car trips for a week, then suggest how you might reduce your gas consumption. Involve the whole family in your home recycling efforts. Work as a team to pack up their gently used hand-me-downs for a local charity.