Trying to teach your preschooler about climate change, sustainability, pollution or GMOs might be a huge waste of your time. Most likely you will face a blank stare and your little one will lose interest in your speech in a matter of minutes. However, it is never too early to teach your child to cherish the environment. Help them develop a relationship with nature. This way when they get a bit older, they will be ready for more complex lessons. If you are wondering what the best ways are to teach your children how to respect nature, continue reading below for some strategies to help you get started!
This article is written by Grace Collins
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Incorporate nature into their life
Put a swing set in your yard and encourage your little one to spend more time playing outside. If you and your child love eating fresh vegetables and herbs, make a small garden near their play space. You can also build a bird feeder together and hang it up on a tree. Kids who spend more time engaged with nature are more likely to respect it.
Introduce them to the environment
Your kids won’t be able to connect with Mother Nature if you are constantly keeping them indoors. Instead, encourage them to get outside and get their hands dirty. Children usually love to play in the mud! So let them make mud pies and learn about the texture and moisture of the soil. You can also teach them how to make that loud whistling sound with a blade of grass. Or come up with other fun activities that help to bond your child to the nature around them.
Teach by example
It is a known fact that kids usually copy their parent’s behavior. That means they don’t do as you say; they do as you do. Therefore, lead by example. Show them how much you enjoy spending time outside, and how you respect Mother Nature. Show them your favorite types of trees, let them smell your favorite flowers, and allow them to watch you recycle while explaining why you are doing it. If you wish to take things one step further, teach them about recycled materials and clothing that is made from them. You can find more resources here. In addition, you can tell them how watering your lawn or garden only as much as necessary helps save water. Or explain to them why turning the lights off when you exit the room is important for the environment.
Let them assist you
After showing your kids how you are respectful to nature, let them participate in taking care of the environment. When you are recycling, let them sort out plastic and paper, or ask them to flip the light switch off themselves. Children take pride in helping out, so remind them not to leave the TV on when they are done watching it, or ask them to not leave the water running when they finished washing their hands.
Books and movies can help you
There are so many books and movies that can teach young children valuable lessons about taking care of the environment. You can turn to the grumpy yet charming creature the Lorax for help, or let your kids read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Take your little ones to the bookstore and pick out several books that can help them learn about the world that surrounds us.
Don’t let them kill all the bugs they see
Little ones are not as grossed out by bugs as grownups are, and they don’t have a problem with catching the bugs and squashing them. Therefore, teach your kids that these little creatures are a part of our world and have an important function in the natural environment. If they find a bug inside, help them carry it outside in a cup or a paper towel.
Now Go & Teach Your Children How to Respect Nature
By teaching your little ones to embrace nature, you will help them grow into adults who will respect and help protect our environment 🙂
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