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10 Simple Ways Children Can Help the Earth

Happy Earth Day! For over 85 years, HABA has been valuing sustainability and longevity in our toys. We also believe that getting kids outdoors and inspiring creativity are the two most important qualities in creating future environmentalists.

There's a lot to do to make sure our planet gets some care, especially now. Instilling the value of protecting our world into our children is vital so that they will be lifelong stewards of this amazing place we call home.

Simple actions can create lasting change over time. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some simple and effective ways that you and your child can help take care of the planet every day of the year!

Here are 10 easy things to try with your children today!

1. Recycling Can Be Fun

There are so many ways to reduce your footprint but starting with recycling is a tangible one for kids. Help them understand what gets sorted and where it is stored and then where you take it or who picks it up. Keep your home's recycling station accessible so children can get involved in sorting. Bring your kids to your local dump so they can see this all in action and watch some pretty cool construction vehicles while they are at it.

2. Upcycled Art

Two kids creating a craft by taping empty bottles together

Let the kids dive into that recycling pile they just organized and make a recycled robot or design their very own game out of old cereal boxes or shake some maracas made out of milk jugs. Set aside egg cartons, toilet paper and paper towel rolls and jars from the recycling bin to use for craft projects throughout the year.

3. Reduce and Reuse

All of those disposable plates, cups, straws, and paper napkins really stack up. Invest in a few sturdy water bottles, metal straws, and lightweight plates and cups for picnics. Kids can help cut down the waste by sewing cloth napkins from old sheets or clothing that no longer fits. And if they get the sewing bug, they can even learn how to mend their clothes to add some extra life to their favorite jeans!

4. Libraries Make the World Better

Libraries are the ultimate models of reusability. And while there, check out some of the amazing books they have about saving the earth, animals, trees, solar power… the list goes on and on. Librarians love helping kids on a mission, so if there are new books you’ve heard about that will help your little earth crusader, ask them about it and I’m sure they will find a way. Librarians are magical!

5. Play Outside

Nothing encourages children to love nature more than experiencing it on a daily basis. As your children play outside, encourage them to look around and notice all of the beauty they see around them. Bring a kite so kids can see the power of the wind and watch the clouds. By developing a sense of awe and wonder in nature, kids begin to develop what environmentalist Rachel Carson termed, “their sense of wonder.” It is this sense that will help them to fight to preserve the beauty of the natural world.

6. Create a Nature Table

Bring some of that wonder and awe from outside in by setting up a nature table. Designate a spot in the house where children can bring their treasures from the outdoors in and connect to the season. Gather special rocks, cool pieces of moss, pinecones, shells, and more. Placing a magnifying glass or microscope on the table allows them to explore their natural treasures even more.

7. Feed the Birds

Birds are essential to keeping our world growing and blooming. And they are one of the most vulnerable to climate change. Encourage your kids to take care of the birds throughout the year by creating a pinecone bird feeder, a recycled milk jug feeder or simply hanging a traditional feeder. Start a bird watching journal and write down all the feathered friends that flock to your yard, noticing migration patterns and becoming a backyard scientist.

8. Start a Garden

Girl sitting in the dirt digging a garden

Whether you create a raised garden bed in your yard or only have space for seedlings on your windowsill, children will be in awe as they watch their seeds grow. Knowing how to make something grow from something tiny to something to munch on, is an essential skill that kids can use their whole life. Add some composting bins and you will add even more layers to their learning while cutting down on your trash output.

9. Switch Off the Lights

Talk to your kids about the importance of saving power. Turning off the lights when you leave a room does more than save money, it cuts down on fossil fuel use. Make this electricity saving extra fun by having dinner by candle light or reading bedtime stories in a fort with a flashlight. To extend this power saving, you can go on a “vampire” hunt. Many appliances are unnecessarily left on stand-by and this sneakily drains a lot of hidden electricity. Unplug appliances that aren’t in frequent use to stop them from wasting energy.

10. Join a Clean Up Day

Many local towns have their own clean-up days where residents help pick up trash around their neighborhood. Don't have one in your area? Take a garbage bag to the park or a beach and help clean up litter on your own.

 

There are tons of other small things you can do to help your kids develop their inner environmentalists this Earth Month and all year long. As John F. Kennedy said, "Children are the worlds most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." Now get out there and make the world better, it takes a village! 


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