“Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.” – Kenyan proverb
Each year the 22nd of April is celebrated as the Earth Day. It is celebrated to create awareness about protecting our planet and preserving the environment. Saving water, reducing pollution, protecting the wildlife, plants and trees, recycling waste are just a few means to saving our environment. Although only one special day is dedicated for this cause, it is the continuous effort of each individual including children that would really make a difference.
Children too can make a significant contribution in saving the environment. It is the right time for children to learn about the environment, how they can preserve it and why. Starting early can truly make a difference and inculcate habits they will carry on as they grow. Talk to children about the importance of a clean, green and a healthy planet. Practice those skills for the child to learn and follow. Tell children how important is their small effort in caring the environment. Appreciate the smallest effort they have made.
Teaching children about the earth can be fun. There are plenty of ways to involve them in keeping the world cleaner and
- Plant a tree – Help children plant a sapling and have them water it each day. Let the child observe the plant each day and see it grow.
- Explore the natural world. Take children out for visits, hikes, to the beaches, garden. It is the best way to bring children closer to nature
- Show children how they can save energy. Simple things like shutting the water while brushing their teeth, switching of the lights when not in use etc
- Combine a picnic or other excursion with clean up drive.
- Go for a long walk.
- Organize a fun nature treasure hunt. Give a list of items the children can pick up from their neighbourhood/garden such as leaves, twigs, etc. Help them use these materials creatively
- Talk to children about recycling materials.
- Design some banners, cards, or posters with children to communicate and spread awareness. Use recycled paper and organic finger paints or colorful vegetable dyes.
- Encourage the use of cloth and paper bags.
- Have children clean up their room, classroom, play area. Show then how to dump garbage Invove the kids in nature crafts, make bag holders, paper mache and Earth Day cards.
- Plan a recycle day at school. Get the kids involved in activities to help them understand the concept of recycling.
- Make a recycle bulletin board. Paste photos of items that can be recycled, list ideas and list where items can be taken such as books to the library, bags to the grocery store etc
There are innumerable ways in which a small child can make a difference. Make this Earth Day memorable day for children. It is the best time to teach children about nature and creating the awareness early in life.