Teach your child to be environmentally conscious
If you show your child from a young age what a wonderful world we live in and the sheer beauty of rainbows, flowers, butterflies and the sunrise, you will be developing a love and deep interest in your child for the natural world, that will remain with them forever. It is fun kindling a fascination and respect for the natural world in young children and it is something that you will find fun and interesting too.
Involve your child constantly in nature, not just with occasional trips to the zoo but with regular walks that involve looking at flowers, trees, wild birds, butterflies and insects. If you have a farm nearby, why not see if you can take a tour- there are farms to visit free of charge, even in Central London. Teach your children that walking and running is better for the environment than cars and buses.
Teach your children about the different seasons and the characteristics of each – children love tadpole spotting in spring and collecting autumn leaves for collages. Building snowmen in winter and spotting the first crocus shoots are special too.
enjoy outdoor activities with your children including cycling, fishing, hiking and camping.Taking a picnic to enjoy out in the open is great fun.
Look at wild animals with your child, many of the zoo websites have virtual tours you can take.
Get involved with your local conservation group – beach clearing and stream cleaning can be hard work, but great fun and it is quite shocking to see how much litter is carelessly discarded.
Teach your child about recycling and the importance of not wasting anything – especially food. Teach your child about the different coloured dustbins and also about litter in the streets, in the countryside and on the beach.
Tell them why plastic is so bad for the environment and get them into the re-using and recycling habit. Point out why you are taking your own cloth bag to buy vegetables.
Teach your child conservation. Don’t leave taps running- even when cleaning your teeth. Turn lights off when you leave a room
Even very young children enjoy watching mustard and cress grow or fruit appearing on a tomato plant so encourage their ‘green fingers’ with a grow bag on the balcony or their own part of a flower bed.
Teach your child about compost heaps and show them how valuable really good compost is – especially as it is made from domestic waste.
If you have a garden, why not get a bird table with feeder so that they can spot the different wild birds and learn how to care for animals. If you live in a flat, it is possible to get bird feeders that suction on to a window and this gives a really good view of the birds.
If you have a pet, teach your child how to care for it. Teach your child about pet food, grooming and changing bedding. Pet care is an important life skill.
Take your child out into the garden at night to admire the moon. See if you can spot a bat or a hedgehog to add t the fun.
Read some wildlife stories together such as – Hear Bear Roar by Eric Carle, The Very Busy Spider, Eric Carle and Baby Beluga by Raffi. Older children love such classics as Joy Adamson’s Born Free
As a great birthday present for your own child and for others, why not sponsor an animal? You can choose from exotic animals, protected animals and abandoned animals and sponsorship can be a modest price and usually involves a photograph of ‘your’ animal and regular newsletters – great fun!
Teach your children about trees; their beauty and the important role they play in the environment. Buy a small tree to plant in your garden and for your child to nurture.There are so many ways that you can teach your child to be environmentally conscious. Sew the seeds when they are young and the world will reap the benefits of having an adult that respects and cares about nature.