08 Nov Part 1: Be Kind to the Earth
Be Kind to the Earth and Fair to its People is our motto here at Playfair Kids. If we could all teach our children these two things, I believe we would be leaving the world in safe hands. Here are some small ways I personally try and instil these idea’s in my children, and some ideas for any of you mum’s looking for way’s to create little eco warriors.
As long as I can remember I have been passionate about our environment, some of my very first memories are of making nests for birds in my front yard or feeding our resident pet lizard. In primary school my friend and I made “things” to sell and raise money for the Koala Foundation. Unfortunately we only made a few $ so spent it on lollies instead, sorry for the false advertising. I have followed this passion throughout my life becoming an environmental scientist, eco tour guide, high school biology teacher and now promoting and selling eco-friendly products for children. I am passionate about passing on my knowledge and encouraging my children and yours to care for our natural environment
I believe children are naturally drawn to and enchanted by the natural environment around them. We as parents can harness this and create a love of nature in our little ones that can be life long. Those who have a love of our environment are going to be more inspired to help conserve it.
Some ways to encourage a love of nature in little ones include:
- Go on an insect hunt with a magnifying glass
- Write out a nature scavenger hunt together and see what you can find in your neighbourhood, my children love this little adventure
- Find a duck pond and feed the ducks
- Encourage your children to help look after the family pet, this teaches children about responsibility and how to care for animals
- Play animal games- e.g. What animal is this? Provide clues until they guess, this is a great way to teach children all about different animals in a fun way. It can get more detailed as they develop their understanding.
- Make some binoculars out of toilet rolls and get your stuffed toys out and go on safari in the front yard
- We all stress about too much screen time, try occasionally to replace cartoons with docos. My two and four year old already love David Attenborough and Bindi the Jungle Girl
- Take walks on the beach, through the forest, wherever you can
- Hug a tree, everyone feels better after they hug a tree
- Buy or make a bird bath or bird house
- Grow a sunflower in a pot, encourage your children to care for it
Once you have them loving the environment here are some ways to teach them to care for our environment. Obviously keep it simple and age appropriate, but it is all about creating awareness from a young age. Be careful not to go on and on and nag or it may lose its appeal. Just grab the small teachable moments and run with it.
Some simple concepts to teach include:
- Don’t litter: make sure your little ones always put rubbish in the bins, explain what happens when litter ends up in our oceans. Talk about what happens if turtles or dolphins think it is food etc.
- Teach children about recycling, show them the logo and what bin to put things in.
- Reduce your waste; ask children rather than throwing this out how could we reuse it? Get them to grab the shopping bags to create an awareness of ways to use less plastic
- Teach them about ways to reduce water wastage, get them to turn the tap off while they clean their teeth for example.
- Save beetles from the pool, puddles, or the family dog. A thing like this make children feel really good about themselves and is teaching them how to show compassion to animals.
These are all small things you can incorporate in to your every day life. Remember we often form lifelong opinions when we are young, it is never too early to encourage children to be eco warriors. Feel free to share any ideas you have to teach young ones how to appreciate and care for our natural environment. I would love to hear some new ideas to teach my own boys.