5 Ways to Turn Your Toddler into an Environmentalist

5.pngEarth Day is April 22nd, and it’s a great time to start teaching kids how to take care of the environment! While preschoolers may be too young to fully understand the importance of maintaining a healthy planet, there are a few habits you can instill in them now to shape their views on nature and conservation as they get older.

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
    • As soon as they are tall enough, kids LOVE to flip light switches!  Teaching them to turn off lights when they are done in a room is a great way to get in the habit of saving energy (and also $$$).  Before you know it, they will be following you around and scolding you when you forget! 20170420_205519_1492769772780.jpg
  2. Take an active part in recycling.
    • Helping to clean and sort recyclable materials is an easy household chore for young preschoolers.  My 3-yr-old loves to rinse out bottles and carry the recycling out to the bin. When kids start recycling at a young age, it will become second-nature to them as they get older!  And recycling is important to reducing the amount of garbage that we need to dispose of in landfills (which take up lots and lots of space) or incinerators (which are bad for the air).
  3. Hug a tree.
    • I know it sounds hippy-dippy! But healthy trees are essential to our atmosphere because they clear carbon dioxide (a major Greenhouse Gas) out of the air and replace it with oxygen.  Most kids naturally love trees, and hugging them is a great way to get up close and personal!  When you are walking on a trail or playing in a park, encourage your little ones to investigate the trees… compare the bark on different trees, look for moss or lichen (the greenish silver stuff on the bark…it’s actually a living thing!), and point out the animals and insects that use the tree as their home. 20170421_124220.jpg
  4. Catch and release.
    • Let them catch worms, frogs, minnows and bugs (the non-stinging, non-biting ones, of course!).  Look at them (carefully! No squishing! Those tiny hands are always surprisingly strong).  Examine their parts.  And then let them go.  Teach kids to appreciate that these creatures should stay in their natural environment.  All living things have a job that is important to the earth!  Go to the library and check out some books to learn more about the amazing living things you found!
  5. Get dirty in the garden.
    • Planting and caring for a garden can help kids understand how earth, water and air (carbon dioxide, specifically) are essential for plant growth.  Plus, giving your toddler the responsibility of watering the garden or pulling weeds will help them feel some ownership over the garden (and hopefully make them less likely to pull out your garden plants!). For some great ideas about skill development, check out 10 Things to Teach Your Toddler While Gardening.  And if you don’t have room for a garden at home, you can make a tabletop one in a Soda Bottle Terrarium20170421_153127.jpg

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. onesagemama says:

    I love this post! I’m so glad I caught it on your Insta. If you’re into participating in link ups I would love it if you joined the one I co-host on Thursdays, FridayFrivolity. The girls would love these kinds of posts. Xx 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I definitely will! I’m pretty new at blogging so I appreciate the invite. 😊

      Like

  2. Misty D. says:

    Cute graphics! Funny because I was just thinking of writing a similar blog post. Lead by example – I’d add no littering (some reason that is a huge issue here) and water conservation – turning water off while brushing teeth etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are great tips.At our home,we have a recycle box to encourage our kid to recycle.We recycle his yogurt cups,milk tins etc and each month join with a recycle event in our neighborhood.We love planting too as a kid activity.. 🙂 Thanks for highlighting these tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray for recycling!

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  4. I love this, my three-year-old has to be the ones that turns off the lights at bedtime and absolutely loves digging in the garden, he gets absolutely filthy, but I dump is clothes in the wash and chuck him in the shower and it’s all good!

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    1. Lol…this time of year it’s baths every night because my 2 are always covered in dirt!

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  5. These are excellent ways to teach environmentalism. My son is really good at turning the lights off…and on…and off again…he’s almost 2 lol

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  6. I love that this generation is being raised to be eco-conscious. Even small steps make a huge difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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