If you celebrate Earth Day, it feels good to have your squad in on the action. Motivating the family to do their part in helping Mother Earth keep it 100 can be fun and exciting, but it may be confusing for little ones who don't understand what all the fuss is about. Considering how to explain Earth Day to your kids is the first step in raising the next generation of environmentally conscientious citizens, and a task that may be easier than your think.
Children get excited about learning new and interesting things, and they love to get hands on with their new knowledge. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to both educate and motivate your kids to make a difference in the world. Once your little ones learn all the ways Earth is being harmed, their compassionate hearts will empathize. Learning why Earth Day is observed and understanding how everyone can play a role in making things better is the goal when explaining this holiday to children. And even though some environmental issues are complicated, planting the seed while they are young will give them the framework to comprehend more as they grow.
Don't let April 22 come and go without having a chat with your kids about Earth Day. Use these seven ideas to get the conversation started and guide your little environmentalist down the path of conservation.
1. Start With The Basics
The first thing kids need to understand, is that we only have one Earth and it's our job to make sure it stays clean and healthy. Talk about all the different aspects of Earth (water, land, wildlife, atmosphere, humans) and how each play a role. Share some facts about the environment to show how earth is suffering.
2. Take Them To An Event
All over the globe, environmentally conscious people will be celebrating on April 22. Take your kids to an Earth Day event near you, and let them see first hand how everyone is working together to preserve resources and keep Earth clean.
3. Show How Change Matters
Watch a few short videos about why making positive changes for our environment matters. Kids can see the cause and effect of air pollution, acid rain, and protecting wild life by watching videos on these topics provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
4. Discuss The Year's Theme
Each year, Earth Day has a theme — an issue that is heavily focused on to inspire global citizens to learn more and find solutions. For 2016, the theme is Trees For The Earth, which is part of the Earth Day Network's plan to plant 7.8 billion trees by April 22, 2020, which will be Earth Day's 50 year anniversary.
5. Make A Plan To Help
Once your kids hear all the ways Earth needs their help, they are going to wonder how they can help. Help them brainstorm ways they can be active in making positive changes in the environment. Get inspired by reading the bios on Kids Are Heroes website, and maybe you child will be able to add their story to the site as well.
6. Start Small
Show kids that celebrating Earth Day isn't just grand gestures, but small steps make difference too. Save the Earth from all those excessive plastic bags by decorating a reusable tote bag or two, and making sure you always use one when shopping.
7. Lead By Example
The best way for kids to learn about Earth Day, is by seeing the adults in their life set a responsible example. Recycling in your home, not littering, and being energy efficient are all ways to blaze a path for your children to follow.