Green Activities For Educating Your Child

Loretta Jane

It's never too early to start developing the next generation of green thinkers. If the planet is to be saved, it's important to teach children the importance of developing green habits. There are many fun activities in which you can involve your child while stressing the reason for each exercise and why it's important to the future of the planet.

Here are five fun activities you and your child can do at home.

1. Make a Solar Oven

When you were buying solar panels for your home, your child likely asked you about their purpose and though you tried to explain, your child may not have entirely grasped the concept. You can demonstrate the concept of solar energy by creating a solar oven.

Take a box and cut a flap in the top for an oven door. Wrap the underside of the flap in foil and make it as smooth as you can. Use a glue stick so it stays in place. Line the rest of the interior of the box with foil, also gluing it down and smoothing it out. Cover the opening you created with plastic wrap.

Place a pie pan in the oven and cover the pan with graham crackers stacked with chocolate and a marshmallow to make s'mores. Put your oven in direct sunlight with the lid propped open and reflecting down on your s'mores on the other side of the plastic wrap.

Depending on the heat outside, your s'mores should be ready between 30 minutes to an hour. Explain how the rays of the sun are providing the energy needed to heat the oven to bake the s'mores.

2. Plant a Garden

Teach your child about sustainability by planting a garden. Have them help maintain it so they can watch as the fruit and vegetables grow and get closer to becoming edible. As your garden grows, stress the importance of how you are cutting out fuel usage because your produce doesn't have to be transported to you. This is also a good opportunity to talk about pesticides and the benefit of organic food.

3. Make Paper

Making paper is a great way to demonstrate how recycling works. Save your mail for several weeks so you have a variety of paper types. There are many different ways to make paper, but most are as simple as using paper and water. Look at several recipes and see which one fits best with what you have available.

4. Home Recycling Program

If you don't already have a recycling system in place, get your child involved in creating one. Designate an area of our home as a recycling station and set up bins to collect paper, plastic and aluminum. Have your child decorate the signs for each bin. As the bins get full, take them to your community recycling center and dispose of them in the correct collection bins there. With your child, discuss other ways your home can use less waste.

5. Make a Bird Feeder

A bird feeder is a great way to demonstrate upcycling to your child. When you upcycle, you reuse or repurpose an item so it doesn't end up in the landfill. You need just a few supplies:

  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • Peanut butter
  • Birdseed or sesame seed
  • Craft sticks
  • String

The Main Takeaway

Put two holes in one end of the paper roll and four holes at even distances at the other end. The two holes up top will be used to tie the string for hanging. The four holes at the bottom will be where you insert your craft sticks to give the birds a place to sit. Cover the tube in peanut butter and then roll it in the seed. Hang it outside and watch the beautiful birds come to feed.

Getting involved in teaching your children about sustainability can also provide more time for you to consider how your family lives and behaves in relation to the environment. While it's important to teach children about sustainability, it's also important to provide reminders for yourself.