Eco Friendly Activities for Kids
From recycling and reusing junk materials to enjoying the great outdoors, eco-inspired activities add a whole new dimension to your child’s life.
Children learn best when they are having fun. Teach them all about nature by getting them outside. Here some healthy and eco-friendly activities that will give them a good experience of our natural environment, instill respect for the planet and create family time and memories.
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Turn recycled objects into toys
Nurture your child’s creativity by introducing him to recycling objects into things he can play with. For example, you can use a juice box, heavy paper (consider using junk mail), and a stick to help kids make their very own boats. Once the boats are made, head out to the lake or pond and let your kids sail them. Other ways to recycle include turning cereal boxes into magazine organizers by covering them in used wrapping paper, or paper grocery bags you decorate together. When you do this with them, explain the importance of reusing materials that still have a useful life, rather than throwing them in the landfill. You can also make a quick model of the solar system with clay and straws and talk about how Earth is the only planet we know we can live on, and why we all need to take care of our planet.
Play with mud
For once, let your kids enjoy getting their hands dirty – with mud bricks. Show your kids how they can make their own bricks using something that comes straight from earth. The beauty of mud bricks is that they can be made in any shape and size so in terms of design, the sky is the limit. Take your child outside and introduce her to different kinds of mud that can be mixed together (sand, topsoil, dirt-and-gravel, etc.). Mix the mud or soil together with dried leaves or grass in a mold. Leave bricks to dry in the sun for at least 2 days. Then try popping them out of their molds – your child can now play with them, and once done, they can just pour water over them and they become a part of the earth again!
Junk paper craft
Do you get a lot of junk mail, catalogues and basically a lot of paper spam? Before you throw them away, you can actually turn them into materials that can be used for an eco craft project for your kid. For example, you can cut interesting and colourful pictures from those catalogues and make a collage or scrapbook out of them. Or you can use those unwanted pages as materials for Origami, or folding them into party hats, fans and paper jewellery. There are really a lot of things you and your kids can do with junk paper. The internet will offer you plenty of ideas!
Plant and play
Working in a garden helps your child understand nature’s cycle of life while giving him the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature. Cultivate that interest by teaching your child how to grow something. Get crops that are suitable for the young gardener – they should be easy to grow, have short growing seasons and are fun to harvest. For example, sunflowers are highly recommended as they will sprout in 1 week, become a small seedling in 2 weeks, and should be 2 feet tall in a month. In 8 weeks, the buds will flower revealing hundreds of seed kernels. Your child will be thrilled to see these beautiful flowers bloom! Other good crops include lettuce, radishes, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums, carrots and pumpkin.
Go for a hike
Help your children connect with nature by taking them on a hike through forests or nature trails. Introduce them to the trees, birds, flowers and other natural elements that surround you. Hiking up a hilly forest also gives your kids the exercise they need while introducing them to the beauty of nature. If there are waterfalls or rivers nearby, take them there and let them enjoy the fresh air and sounds of gushing water. Additionally, simple things like looking at the clouds can be turned into an interesting yet simple discussion on how rain is made or finding a butterfly can lead to learning about its lifecycle.
Visit the zoo
Children love animals. But other than dogs, cats and goldfishes, you may not be able to get your little one to see too many different species in his everyday life. Parks and zoos can be the perfect learning ground for animal and plant life. This can be the ideal way to spend a day out and observing animals and birds at their natural best. It’s tempting to take your tot to see lions and tigers and bears, but these creatures hang in sprawling landscapes, making them tougher for toddlers to spot. If possible, take them to a petting zoo where toddlers can see animals up close and even interact with them. If not, you can head over during scheduled feeding times or animal shows at the zoo to guarantee a good view.