Monday, April 16, 2012

Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids about the Importance of Earth Day

Earth Day is a great opportunity to educate. It provides a very unique chance to share the importance of protecting our planet, from air and water, to plants and species of animals. With a few simple lessons and experiences you can help your children learn to value the earth too. When I was a kid, we went to an annual Earth Day celebration with live music, food, dancing, earth-friendly crafts, and lots of folks from many different communities came together to celebrate. It was so much fun - I looked forward to it every year. Use this celebration to make an impact on future generations!

EarthEarth (Photo credit: tonynetone)5 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About the Importance of Earth Day

#1 Head to Your Local Science Museum

Take your children to a science museum for the day. Many science museums offer special celebrations, exhibits and even pricing on Earth Day. It’s a great way for the entire family to get out together and do something fun and educational. And children will be able to engage with the exhibits and learn a variety of things about the earth.

#2 Plant Stuff!

Earth Day (typically April 20th or 22nd) is right in the midst of planting season in most areas of the U.S. Your children can learn about the importance of Earth Day by getting their hands dirty. Plant a tree. Plant a vegetable or herb garden. Or consider planting flowers. Use compost, organic fertilizers and natural materials to nourish and landscape your garden. The planting teaches children about what the earth can provide. Using organic and natural gardening materials provides you with an opportunity to discuss chemicals, toxins, and other things people do to harm the earth, and how you can successfully avoid them in your own garden.

#3 Take Your Children to A Landfill or Recycling Center (Or Both)

Landfills are depressing places. However, the experience of visiting a landfill will undoubtedly leave a profound impact on your children. You may find when you return home that they become vigilant about reducing, reusing and recycling. Speaking of recycling, ask if your local recycling center offers tours. Children can learn about the importance of recycling and what a difference it can make.

Cover of "Lorax"Cover of Lorax#4 Read Stories With Earth-Friendly Messages
If you have young children then the importance of Earth Day can be communicated in a fun way through stories. For example, The Lorax by Dr Seuss offers a profound message. There are many Earth Day books to choose from, and of course you can make up your own stories as well! You might also combine reading a book with a planet-friendly message with watching The Planet Earth DVDs - especially if you have older kids.

#5 Visit Your Water Treatment Plant

Visiting the water treatment plant provides you with an opportunity to teach your children about conserving water. If the trip isn’t a possibility consider an experiment with water. For example, grab four clean glass jars and fill them with water from four different sources. A river, a pond, your tap etc…

Label each jar. Using a coffee filter, run each jar’s water through a different filter. Make sure you keep the filters organized so you know which type of water you’re looking at. Using a magnifying glass your children can examine the particles left in each filter. It’s an opportunity to discuss pollutants and have your child see firsthand what is in our water supply.

Earth Day presents many opportunities to educate your children about caring for our planet. Choose activities that you believe will resonate with them. Make sure they’re age appropriate. And above all make them fun! If learning about Earth Day is a chore, they won’t enjoy the experience or the message. If it’s fun, the message has more impact.

Fun Earth Day Resources For Kids:
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