Earth Day, Every day!
Happy Earth Day, everyone! We are so blessed to live on such a beautiful planet. That is why cultivating an appreciation for our Earth is such an important value to instill in our children. Taking care of our world is a huge responsibility and a complex concept for children to grasp. That is why it’s essential to lead by example and start conversations with children while they’re young.
Below are a few suggestions for starting the conversations at home.
Many children love animals! Teaching our children that we directly impact nature can really put things in perspective for them. We are fortunate to have access to many beautiful documentaries and videos that follow animals in their natural habitats, like Earth and March of the Penguins.
Being present and pointing out the nature we encounter every day is another excellent way to appreciate our planet. For example, many of us have dogs; we quickly teach our children that dogs cannot eat chocolate or they will get sick. Carry this over when out in nature. We don’t litter because it hurts our earth, and animals will eat things that can make them sick. To learn more about the waste that affects our environment, take a minute to read this article with your child. Inviting nature into your house can also build an appreciation for living things and teach responsibility at the same time. For example, have your child plant a seed and watch it grow or care for a caterpillar until it becomes a butterfly. Observing plants and animals through their growth process is a priceless way to cultivate a love for nature and our Earth.
There are various ways to take action and show our kids how to directly impact our Earth in a positive way. Instilling those values will naturally inspire your children to take action. Whether that means throwing away their trash or turning off the water while brushing their teeth, there are big and small ways we can actively care for our planet.
Recycling is another easy way to show that we care. As a kid, I remember poking fun at my mom because every time she would throw something away, she would scour the place for a recycle bin. As an adult, I now find myself doing the same thing.
Avoiding single-use products is another way to take action. Teach your child about the impact straws and toxic plastics can have on our planet early on, so they can take that knowledge with them for the rest of their life. Of course, there are hundreds of ways we can take action. Here are some fun Earth day activities that are family-friendly and instill those lifelong values that can make all the difference.
Advocating is something that parents are very familiar with, especially when caring for a child on the spectrum. We should be teaching our children that they can always advocate for our Earth no matter what age they are! When we take what we’ve learned and start advocating, that is when we can truly make a difference. Encouraging your child to stand up for what they believe in will make them natural advocates for themselves and the planet! We teach our children to treat others the way we want to be treated. We should apply this same concept to the earth we live on.
I hope this article inspired you to make a difference in your own life and your child’s. Earth Day is our friendly reminder to love our planet, so it can love us for generations to come!
Volunteering is a great way to instill these values! Here is a list of kid-friendly volunteer opportunities.
For more blog posts by SOAR Behavior Services, visit soarbehaviorwa.com/family-resources.