Teaching Your Children to Appreciate the Environment

Many parents today are concerned about the health of the planet. Most adults typically participate in recycling programs and other ways of protecting the environment. However, your eco-friendly lifestyle can include more than just you. If you involve your children in your methods of helping the environment, they will learn important lessons that will stay with them for years. This guide suggests a few ways you can encourage your children to become stewards of the environment.

1. Teach About Recycling: Teaching your children how to properly recycle will help them start a lifelong habit of recycling. When your child finishes a box of cereal, help them break the box down for future recycling. You can also enlist the help of your children by turning recycling into a game. Keep a bin in your kitchen so children can easily sort recyclable materials into the container.

2. Reuse Household Items: Although your children probably love opening new toys, help them make their own toys from household items. For example, you can use cardboard boxes from cereal to make armor for a knight or a crown for a princess. You can use empty juice or milk jugs to make a homemade bowling set. Old socks can become amusing puppets. Your children will start to see how they can creatively use old items that you would otherwise throw away.

3. Save Energy: Help your children understand the importance of saving valuable resources. For example, encourage your children to turn off the light when they leave a room and to turn off the faucet when they brush their teeth. When your children remember to do these small things, reward them with encouragement and praise. These small lessons will stay with them through their lives.

4. Enjoy the Environment: You can also help your children gain an appreciation for the environment by taking them outside to enjoy it. Schedule weekly walks with your family in the nearby hills and mountains. Consider taking your children camping for a fun weekend trip. Exposure to nature will help your children experience the environment in a completely natural way.

5. Education: You can begin teaching your children about the environment while they are very young. Choose age-appropriate books about the environment for your children to enjoy. As your children grow up, teach them fascinating lessons about the world around them. Encouraging your children to develop an early interest in science and nature will help them stay interested throughout their lives.

Teaching your children how to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle will significantly influence their own daily habits. By adding a few simple routines and lessons to your regular family activities, your children will gain a new understanding of the natural world.

[About the author: Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/. Image: Fountain_Head]

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