Earth Day is just one day away, April 22. 2011.
Earth Day has a simple mission “To improve the state of the environment by empowering and helping Canadians to take positive environmental action.”
Can you really teach a 3 year old about Earth Day? Can you teach your 3 year old how to help and support the planet every day?
You can. My Top 10 list incudes direct actions I have completed with my son to GIVE back to our planet. At 3 he has not only done all of our top 10 ideas but does many of them automatically without being prompted.
If we teach our children they will be the champions of our planet’s future. Can we afford not to get involved? Can we afford not to teach our children every day?
Day 204: Give 204
The 365give Top 10 Ways to Teach a 3 Year Old About Earth Day
1) Recycle: A 3 year can learn the difference between plastic, glass, cans, paper & newspaper. Create special labels with pictures you design together (on a recycled piece of paper) for each recycling box that your city picks up weekly and educate them on the process of recycling at home.
2) Compost: Children love to cook and learn in the kitchen. Create a compost bin in your kitchen (we have a counter top version) and as you cook, talk about what can go in the compost, why and how it can help not only your garden but the planet.
3) Garbage Pick: Make a game of garbage picking. Go to your local park, beach or while walking around your neighbourhood. Practice counting to ten with every piece you pick up. Use is to teach the alphabet. G for Garbage / B for Bag / C for Can
4) Stop & Smell the Roses: An appreciation for plant life builds an appreciation for the planet. Stop and smell the flowers or sit and watch the grass grow! It’s an amazing thing to realize they are all living things.
5) Grow a Home Garden: Taking the time to plant your very own vegetables and fruits from seed. It teaches children about the earth, how plants grow, how we need to care for them and how the sun and rain help bring plants to life. The best lesson… patience!
5) Shop at Second Hand Stores: Kids want stuff! It’s the reality of having a child. Rather than adding more new plastic to the world and stuff our kids collect, make them proud to shop second hand. A great lesson on reusing and giving. When they are done with the items they no longer want give them back to your favourite not-for-profit Thrift Store. Imagine the money you will save that you could donate back to your favourite charity.
6) Water Conservation: What kid doesn’t like playing in water. Half fill the sink and let them play but don’t let them run the water for a half hour while you make dinner. Talk about the importance of water conservation and how precious water it is to our planet and our bodies.
7) Participate in Local Earth Day Events.: Every child loves a party. Take them to your local Earth Day community celebration. It will get lodged in their memory as a party to celebrate every year. The ultimate birthday party for the planet!
8) Road Trip to a Landfill: There is no better way to see how we directly affect the planet with our garbage then going to a landfill. Let your kids see what happens to all the “stuff” we throw away. It will be an image that will stay with them for a lifetime every time they open the garbage can.
9) Get Outside!: Go hiking, go to the beach, swim in the ocean, walk in a park. The more your kids learn to appreciate how beautiful our natural world is the more they will want to help preserve it. The exercise is great for the hole family and soaking in the beauty all around us will foster a love for the planet.
10) My Bag and Me!: This book was my son’s favourite at 2 years old. It is a story of a little boy that goes grocery shopping with his Mom and why they need to bring their own bags. How it helps the planet. It even comes with it’s own bag! My son at 3 now reminds me every time to bring our bags shopping. You may even find the book at your local library to keep it really eco-friendly!
If you want to find eco “games” to keep your children engaged online check out The Earth Day sight (EcoKids) to get the entire family involved in Earth Day every day.
Time Commitment: A life time of teaching