In previous posts, I have talked about climate change and age-appropriate activities to teach kids about climate change.
Climate change also has a strong co-relation with eco-friendly living and adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
Though sustainability is a relatively new idea, however, this idea can make a vast difference in preserving the environment and natural resources for future generations. In simple words, sustainability means adopting or following lifestyle habits that help in conserving natural energy resources and protecting animals, plants and the environment. It is also about fulfilling our needs without compromising the needs of future generations.
Sustainability is one of the best ways to save the planet and make the earth a better place to live for future generations.
It is a great idea to teach kids about sustainability at an early age. If kids develop a passion for following a sustainable lifestyle from a young age, then they will become a responsible citizen in future and will put their best foot forward in preserving natural resources to live a happier and healthier life.
Here are a set of some simple activities to teach sustainability to kids.
Age-appropriate Activities for kids to teach sustainability and make them involved !
Activities for kids aged 0-6 years (toddlers and young children)
For smaller kids, it is best to start with the basics. Young kids love to learn while having fun. So, try to keep a simplified and fun-filled approach while teaching young kids the concept of sustainability.
Start with explaining a basic trash sorting system and create one for your household
It has been said that every change should begin from your home. The same principle applies to sustainability as well. Explain to your kids “Why is it important to sort and categorized trash into different categories, (waste, recyclable and compost).?”. Create a system in your home and decorate bins to make this process enjoyable. Sorting the trash is one of the basic concepts that help a lot in adopting a sustainable lifestyle. If your child, learns this basic concept at a young age, it will benefit them a lot in future as well.
Play sorting games to make it fun
If your child has a hard time understanding this basic concept, then you can play an easy sorting or identify the object game with him. Ask them about a particular item, whether is it a waste or recyclable? And tell them to put the item in the correct bin. Reward and praise them for making the correct choice. Small kids will have loads of fun with this game and they will learn a basic concept of sorting objects as per their category, since at an early age.
Go for a nature walk and pick up the trash in the neighborhood
This one is another simple activity for smaller kids. You can go for a nature walk and pick up the trash in the neighborhood. While doing this task, explain the importance of keeping our surroundings clean.
Cultivate respect for nature and nature offerings (fruits, vegetables, flowers etc.)
Nowadays, when most of the food items come in packaging, smaller kids did not develop a proper understanding of natural things and forget to respect mother nature for its amazing offerings. As a parent, it is your responsibility to explain to kids that mother nature offers many blessings to us like trees, greenery, fruits and vegetables. And it is our responsibility to respect mother nature and take good care of natural things.
Encourage them to adopt a simple set of basic eco-friendly lifestyle habits (like shut down the light, avoiding wastage of water, etc.)
Smaller kids are like wet clay. We can easily mold them in any shape with proper effort. Eco-friendly living involves many principles but as a starting point, you can put focus on developing some simple eco-friendly habits in your kids. Ask them to shut down the light or other devices when they are not in use. Encourage them to avoid water wastage while brushing their teeth. These simple habits will create a sound foundation for the future and help them adopt a green living pattern with ease and comfort.
Make simple recycled art and craft projects
Kids love arts and crafts. It is a great idea to recycle various materials like cardboard, wood, and tin cans to make interesting recycled crafts. Kids feel great when they turn trash into treasure with their creativity and imagination.
Activities for kids aged 7-11 years (school-age children)
You can move one step ahead with kids aged 7–11-year-old and can introduce them to more complex principles too. Such as
Explain them basic 3 R: Reuse, reduce and recycle
This is the ideal age to introduce the kids’ basic 3 R (Reuse, reduce and recycle) concept. Explain to them why is it important to keep a 3R approach in our day-to-day life and how this concept can benefit us in saving the environment and natural resources for the future generation.
Composting is an interesting way to turn food waste into fertilizer. You can learn the step-by-step process with the help of educational videos and can make compost at home.
Involve kids in grocery shopping and explain the importance of making the right choices
Grocery shopping is another wonderful opportunity to make kids aware of making the right food choices. You should pay attention to both factors while going grocery shopping with kids. Select organic and natural products and choose one that has minimal packaging. Both are important criteria that kids should learn since at young kids to make the right food choices.
You can also visit a local farmer’s market to make this process fun.
Plant your vegetable garden
If your kids love gardening, you can plant your own vegetable garden to teach them some basics of growing organic vegetables at home. This thing will help them make healthy food choices and will cultivate a passion for natural things.
Many kids find “Worms” fascinating. You can make “Worm farm” to enhance their interest and keep their learning journey exciting.
Read books about sustainability
Books are the best friend and you can read books together as a family on sustainability to teach kids about this concept.
Activities for kids aged 12-14 years (pre-teens)
DIYs (create your cleaning products by using natural ingredients)
Older kids enjoy DIYs activities a lot. You can make your cleaning products (like laundry detergents) by using natural ingredients. Kids will have lots of fun and learning while doing this DIY.
Encourage them to use alternate modes of Transportation (like biking)
This one is the best way to reduce the impact of air pollution on our environment. You, as a family, can use an alternate mode of transportation. Walking and biking are the best activity that not only helps you keep fit and healthy but support a healthy environment too.
Kids aged 14 and above (teens)
Of course, kids age 14 and above can take part in the above-mentioned activities. Additionally, you can inspire them to volunteer in organizations or groups that promote a sustainable lifestyle. You can also make your home a “green home” by putting combining effort as a family. Your teen can understand its importance very well and can contribute to making this a success.
So, these are some amazing activities to teach kids sustainable lifestyle. what are your thoughts? please share with me!