Today officially marks Earth Day! However, for young children, every day is Earth Day. After all, they discover something new and wonderful about the outside world each time they encounter it. It’s one of the reasons a walk with a toddler takes 30 minutes just to make it from the front door to the sidewalk. Flowers, leaves, rocks, grass, worms, butterflies, birds, clouds….there are so many beautiful parts of the environment that cause children to pause and investigate further!
While on this Earth Day it may be too early to introduce concepts of pollution, habitat, or species protection, it’s NOT too early to talk to children about the amazing things that the Earth can do. Children must first learn to understand and to love nature and the environment before they can be weighted with the challenge of trying to “save” it. At this age, just concentrate on establishing an emotional connection, awe, understanding, and respect for what nature is and how it works when its systems are working properly. Young children will naturally respond to nature this way!
Earth Day Activity: Composting with Kids
Composting is an ideal and child-friendly place to start teaching children about the environment! It involves dirt, digging, and water–three things children already love! And the idea that, left to their own devices, recyclable food and plant materials can turn back into dirt, and then grow more food and plant materials, is an ideal first lesson about why the Earth is incredible. Try this step-by-step composting guide specifically created with young children in mind:
Looking for more ideas on living green with kids? Check out our Pinterest Board.
Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer living green with kids (or trying her best!) in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.