How to teach your kids about sustainability
Children love the great outdoors. Whether it’s making mud pies, climbing trees or playing Pooh sticks, being outside does wonders for your children’s health and wellbeing. In fact, studies show that outdoor play stimulates learning and helps ensure a good night’s sleep. What's more, if your kids love nature, they're more likely to protect it. Here’s how to teach your children about environmental sustainability and why it's so important.
Get Them Growing
There's nothing better than hands-on learning, so give your kids a patch of turf to call their own and encourage them to use it for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers. It could be indoor herb pots or a small patch of your garden. Whatever you choose, you can use it to teach your children about important environmental sustainability issues, such as where food comes from, the importance of bees and bugs and the many things nature provides us.
Use Arts and Crafts
You can have lots of fun teaching your kids about sustainable living through cutting and sticking! For example, you could invest in a flower press and make cards or wall hangings from dried flowers; you can paint eggs for Easter or pick leaves and spray paint them. If you're near a beach, you can fill jam jars with shells and lights. Get creative here as there is so much you can make from what nature provides and this will really inspire your kids!
Go on Nature Trails
This is fun for the whole family and a great way to inspire a passion for nature! Pack a picnic, flesh-out a route and immerse yourself in nature by taking a long walk. You could make it extra engaging and interactive by giving your kids tasks like spotting certain trees, plants or wildlife that are local to the area. Get yourself a book and do some homework before you embark and then you can educate your children as you go.
Food waste is a growing problem and an easily preventable one. Teach your children the importance of limiting waste by involving them in cooking. Challenge them to craft something delicious from leftovers; ask them to select three ingredients and conjure up a dinner. And whenever there's food leftover, brainstorm ideas for how to use it the next day.
Practise what you preach
Finally, be sure to practice what you preach. Sustainable living includes recycling, reducing plastic waste and food waste and up-cycling where possible. You could even teach your children how to up-cycle their own clothes through sewing and knitting!