5 Family-Friendly Activities That Teach Your Kids About Plant-Based Living
Sometimes I forget that the most enjoyable activities with my daughter are the ones where I can share my values with her. Having grown up vegan, I believe that a plant-based diet is a kinder and more sustainable diet to both animals and the planet.
Today, my family does eat meat here and there, but we try our best to live a balanced lifestyle and I still seek out ways to incorporate eco-friendly activities that make a positive impact into our everyday routine. Whether we're bonding as we turn kitchen scraps into a mini herb garden (more on that below!), or talking about sustainability while learning a new way to reduce waste, the moments we spend adopting a more conscious lifestyle double as family memories that will last forever.
To show parents just how easy (and fun!) it can be to add eco-friendly habits to your family's life, here's a list of kid-friendly activities that help you introduce the values of sustainability and eco-consciousness at an early age. Read on to get inspired.
1. Learn To Pickle
Teach kids about the different ways you can eat vegetables with this tasty craft. You’ll need fresh veggies like cauliflower, cucumbers, and carrots, and make sure they're at their crunchiest! Have your kids help by chopping them into large chunks or if they're younger, by placing chopped veggies into a recycled glass jar. Next, pour one part water and one part vinegar over the vegetables. Add fresh dill, salt, and garlic. Seal, store in the refrigerator, and revisit your vegetables in one month for homemade pickles without any of the preservatives that come in the store-bought stuff.
2. Tie Dye With Fruits & Veggies
Tie-dying the natural way is a great alternative to using chemical dyes (textile companies are also discussing using similar methods for more sustainable production). Start off by giving your kids a mini history lesson about how items like turmeric and beets were once used for dyes. Then, let them get creative by asking which items they think would make the brightest, most vibrant colors.
If you have beets, berries, or dark leafy greens, you can boil them and then use the water for colors like pink, blue, and green. Turmeric can be mixed with a little water to make a rich orange. The result will be a rainbow of colors sourced straight from the earth. Once the color has set, wash your new tie-dyed creation separately with All® Free Clear Pure. It's biodegradable, gentle on skin, and it's a great opportunity to teach your kids about the environment.
3. Make It A ‘Documentary’ Night
Movies don’t have to be cartoons or fictional stories for kids to enjoy them. Why not make one night of the week a time for engaging documentaries that teach new things about our planet and its species?
There are plenty of animal and nature documentaries narrated by famous actors that are created to captivate and engage young minds. Snuggle up on the couch with a film that's just as educational as it is entertaining, and don’t forget the popcorn! If you’re usually one to reach for a bag, try popping corn kernels the old fashioned way on the stove top as a fun alternative that tastes great.
4. Create A Garden With Kitchen Scraps
Let's start with a trend that seems to be on everyone's social feed these days: Regrowing produce in your kitchen! It's a fun way to teach children about planting their own garden, and you can get started by cleaning out the fridge together and asking your kids which foods they think they'll be able to regrow.
As the expert during this activity, you can tell them that vegetables like celery, scallions, lettuce, and carrots will all begin sprouting roots within weeks if you place the scraps in a small bowl of water, and rosemary and basil are two herbs that regrow well even quicker. In addition to the scraps, this activity only requires water, a bowl, and (later on) a pot and dirt.
5. Design Your Own Nature Walk
Whether your nearest park is within walking distance or a short drive away, spend a free afternoon giving your family a breath of fresh air in nature. First, visit your park’s website to see what local plants, birds, and animals you’re likely to see. If there’s a print-out available, make your own bingo game by spotting specific animals and plants. Your kids will love exploring a new environment, and everyone will gain a new appreciation for the world around them.