7 Activities to Teach Your Kids Sustainability This Summer
One of the most relevant topics we can teach our kids about right now is sustainability.
If we take the time to show the future generation the need to protect the environment, they will play a vital role in making the planet healthier and more sustainable. In addition, involving children in these activities will allow them to build confidence in their leadership skills, creative thinking, and planning abilities. It will also engage them with their local community.
Check out this list of 7 activities you can do with your children to help build interest in sustainability and enjoy time together this summer.
Plant a Garden or Participate in a Community Garden
Plant a garden - Plan a visit to the local library to check out a few gardening with kids books, or do some online research, where you’ll find great ideas on what to grow with your children. They’ll have a blast choosing which produce is their favorite! Consider planting a container garden to add another DIY activity to the list. Bonus points if you use recycled materials!
Participate in a community garden - Did you know that in the United States and Canada, there are over 18,000 community gardens? You can check out the American Community Garden Association website >> communitygarden.org/garden to find some near your family.
Kids can work with community members and neighbors to grow nutritious and tasty fruits and veggies, all while giving you peace of mind that it came from a good source. And at the same time allow kids to give back to the community by sharing the goods with local organizations that assist with feeding the hungry.
PYO Fruits & Vegetables
If you don’t have the space to create your own backyard garden, or if there isn’t a community garden available, consider venturing out to a Pick-Your-Own or U-Pick Farm. A guaranteed good time will be had by the entire family. PYO Farm visits make for a great day out, which also allows kids to see and learn about where their food comes from.
Make a day of it by packing a picnic lunch, and don’t forget your camera! Frolicking through the fields with your kids will burn off energy and create magical scenery for those impromptu shots. And at the end of the adventure, they get to take home the (literal) fruits of their ‘labor.’
Make your own laundry products
It’s no secret that making your own laundry soap or cleaning products will save you $$$. But consider the impact store-bought products and packaging can have on the environment, and you’ll be in for a wake-up call. Now more than ever, it's important to consider the lasting negative effects of our modern conveniences and how we can combat them. Enter: DIY Laundry Detergent!
Tom’s of Maine has a DIY Laundry Detergent recipe that will make for a super fun and eco-friendly project with the kiddos. Check it out >> www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/natural-products/try-diy-laundry-detergent-for-a-fun-eco-friendly-project
Pick up trash in your neighborhood
If you have a lot of families with kids on summer break, consider organizing your own neighborhood cleanup! Picking up litter and debris is a fun, simple, and cost-effective way to get your kids outside and active. And trash pickup can show them immediate results of a job well done.
Once you have a date and time arranged, consider contacting your local waste management organization which may offer supplies and support for your effort. Don't have a lot of neighborhood kids? That’s okay! Make it a family project, and don’t forget to look out for items that can be recycled too!
Create bird feeders out of milk jugs
We imagine that, like most families, you’re going through a ton of milk. A fun and easy project for kids to make use of those milk jugs and create a welcome environment for wildlife - DIY Milk Jug Bird Feeder!
Crafty Little Gnome put together a simple tutorial for kids to do this summer. Observe the beautiful array of birds that will flock to your yard for their daily snack. >> www.craftylittlegnome.com/milk-jug-bird-feeder
Read a book or magazine about sustainability
Another great excuse for a family trip to the library! Take the kiddos on a journey of literary exploration, and let each of them pick out a book or two on sustainability or eco-friendly stories and activities. There are so many amazing children’s books with a focus on raising awareness about pollution, climate change, recycling, and protecting the planet.
And if you’re browsing online, be sure to check out the Fun For Kidz issues that get kids outdoors and engaged with the world around them. Here’s one great example >> Exploration Issue
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!
The most known tagline to help with sustainability! Here are 3 quick ways to incorporate each of the 3Rs into your summer routine:
- Start a compost pile in the backyard to help eliminate food waste.
- Replace plastic grocery bags with reusable totes.
- Avoid plastic packaging of produce, or visit a farmers market for fresh fruits and veggies.
- Buy reusable lunch containers for the next school year.
- Turn broken crayons into art projects or gifts for friends and family.
- Double down by using existing reusable totes and bags in your closet instead of buying new.
- Research what items can be recycled. >> mydisposal.com/kids
- Collect magazines/newspapers from family and neighbors to recycle.
- Create a recycle-only trash bin for your family to use each day.