We’ve all heard the unflattering stereotypes about today’s kids– their wastefulness, their unwillingness to leave the comfort of their consoles and explore their surroundings, and so on – and, though we don’t like to admit it, many of us have seen the truth in them. As eco-conscious parents, it can be a struggle to balance teaching our children to be aware of the environment with letting them have their fun with no conservational agenda. Listed below are a few activities which will help teach your children to be eco-friendly and get them interested in working to protect their environment without compromising on fun:
Recycle your own paper
Not only is making recycled paper a fun, delightfully messy activity which will keep kids entertained for most of a day, but they can use the satisfyingly textured products of their labour in craft projects – plus it’s a great way to repurpose old household paper instead of throwing it out. Good, comprehensive instructions can be found on RecycleZone: just remember to provide overalls and a waterproof floor covering.
Start a mini-garden
This one requires some effort – you’ll need to allocate and prepare a space in your garden – but the reward will be great. Plant a few foolproof staples – potato plants, some runner beans and a giant sunflower or two are a good bet – and enlist your kids’ help in maintaining the area, watching the plants grow and picking the produce when it’s ready. They’ll be extra keen to eat their greens if they’ve helped grow them, too!
Fly a solar airship
Teach children about the power of solar energy with these amazing toys; they’re so simple, yet so ingenious that even adults will be entranced! Several metres long and made of thin black plastic, they are filled with air and left outside. Once warmed by the sun they will begin to float, and can be guided like a kite up to 50 feet above the ground. Stocked by The Great Gift Company, they are reuseable and come with a leaflet explaining the science behind it.
Make your own terrarium
Get your kids to learn about photosynthesis and the water cycle by creating your own ecosystem. Detailed instructions can be found here, but at its very simplest a terrarium is a sealed glass tank containing earth, plants and water. This is not only fascinating science project but a fantastic way of teaching children that what we put into the environment influences how it grows and whether or not it thrives.