Our children are going to be the planet’s future, so it’s important they grow up knowing how to nurture it. By shaping their beliefs, attitudes and values from a young age, parents have the potential to forge little eco-friendly minds. Minds that will continue to love and protect our planet!
Growing green children who are conscious of the impact everyday actions have on the planet, and are proactive when it comes to taking care of it, doesn’t take a lot. While talking terms like ‘sustainability’ and ‘biodegradable’ might be a little too much for bubs to take in, there are numerous ways you can raise your kids to be eco-conscious from a young age. These simple, everyday activities give children the skills they need to be part of sustainable change
Get out in Nature
Getting out and about in nature is a treat at any age, and kids can learn a lot if you make outdoor time an adventure. Here are some ways to inspire curiosity and gets kids engaging with the natural world:
- Take them outside for an eco treasure hunt, looking for different leaves, bugs and flowers. Let your little one pick up, touch, feel and smell nature’s treasures, then put them back in nature’s treasure box - that is, exactly back where they found them.
Make it a game to watch out for birds, animals or insects in their natural environments.
- Collect the freebies nature leaves behind‑ think pinecone gathering and shell collecting! This will get them learning about all things natural.
- Engage in season-dependent play. In autumn, jump around in piles of leaves. In wetter months, bundle them up and have fun splashing through puddles.
Grow little green thumbs
Introducing your kids to gardening and the magic of growing your own food can be transformative. Besides, gardening is all about getting your hands a little dirty and what bub doesn’t love playing around with water and mud? Here are some ways you can grow those green thumbs:
Go for a daily walk around the house and get your little ones to help water plants (ideally, using recycled water).
Grow trees to create a sustainable garden. Native bamboo is an amazing eco-crop which grows well in most climates (did you know tooshies nappies and wipes are made with organic bamboo?).
With a windowsill and a bit of help, young bubs can plant and raise little seedlings of their own.
Simply spend time in the garden, perhaps eating freshly picked veggies or checking on how things are growing.
Turn trash into treasure
Foster a commitment to sustainability and creativity by getting your little ones focussed on reusing and recycling. Some ways you can give waste a new life:
Show your little ones that food scraps can be turned into something useful through composting.
Get hands-on by involving them in recycling. Sorting plastics, paper and cardboard into different bins can help show them not everything needs to be thrown away!
Allow young bubs to have fun by re-using old materials, like boxes and used paper, for arts and crafts activities.
Greenify your bookshelf
There’s no doubt reading aloud to your kids has many benefits— from language and literacy skills to developing imagination. Choosing the right books to read can also help develop their love for the planet.
Here are some of our favourite books to get kiddies interested in all things green:
The Fire Wombat by Jackie French.
Your Planet Needs You by Phillip and Laura Bunting.
The ABC Kids Guide to Loving the Planet by Jaclyn Crupi.
- My Green Day: 10 Things I can do Today by Melanie Walsh.
From the moment they’re born, your bub is ready to learn and grow. Helping them fall in love with the planet and form sustainable habits from a young age will help shape a sustainable future. Creating a greener world starts small.