I’m a busy mom with six kids, but I’m never too busy to try to engage my kids in environmental projects. Don’t be overwhelmed at the thought of it – there are simple ways to get kids thinking about their environmental footprints and environmental stewardship.
My kids are big fans of recycling and are pretty much the garbage/green bin/recycling cops around our house. If anyone has a question about where waste belongs – just ask a kid. I like to quiz them sometimes – asking where weird objects like hair, gum and Popsicle sticks belong.Kids love a challenge, so why not introduce yours to the Gold Box program(www.mygoldbox.ca), or one like it in your area. If they were not very interested in recycling before, this program might be just the motivation they need.
My kids know that nature works in mysterious ways – ways that are sometimes cruel. They’ve found their fair share of dead critters that didn’t survive the elements or a predator. Although knowing the realities of life in the wild is important, I have to admit that my heart swells when they try to protect their little friends in nature. We recently had some robins nest in a very awkward spot right by our front door. Not to fear, my little nature lovers were quick to cordon off the area. They were concerned that mail delivery would be disruptive so built a new mailbox to put in a different location so that our little friends would not be disturbed. Building the mailbox was a day-long project and I was proud to see such commitment to our nesting neighbours. We are surrounded by lessons in springtime – use those opportunities to connect your kids with nature.
Let them plant:
Planting gardens gives kids the opportunity to care for something – they learn to take responsibility and care for their own little sweet spot on Mother Earth. My kids beam with pride as they tend their veggie patches. Although there are very few foods all six kids can agree are delicious, anything coming from their garden gets gobbled up by all of them. I don’t know if it’s the fresh taste or sheer pride that makes those veggies taste so sweet.
Julie Cole is the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc. (www.mabelslabels.com) and the proud mother of six. Read her blogs at www.mabelhood.com/JulieCole and www.thebabymachine.com. Follow her on twitter @juliecole