Talking about sustainability with kids is incredibly important to do. However, it can be really tricky to know where to start. First, we need to help our kids understand what sustainability is. While a broad concept, sustainability basically boils down to understanding the impact that we have on the earth, and what we leave for future generations.
We know that sustainability can encompass a number of things, from recycling to gardening, and in being resourceful with products and items that we use. We can teach these to our children through hands-on activities and by involving them in acting sustainably as well! Below is a list of 20 activities that will teach kids about sustainability:
Create and label recycling bins with your kids at home, so that the process is easier for everyone.
2. Pick up trash.
Go on a ‘green team walk’ with your kids and bring along some gloves and a bag. Kids will enjoy feeling the impact that they have on the earth as they help clean up their own neighborhood or street.
3. Sort the garbage.
Many items that are often put in the garbage are compostable. Composting allows food to decompose naturally into fertile soil.
4. Plant a garden.
Growing your own organic food helps save on the distance food has to travel to get to you. Plus, teaching kids to garden is such a beneficial experience!
5. Make laundry products at home.
Kids love to scoop and pour. Whip up some homemade detergent to use at home.
6. Reuse items for crafts.
The recycling bin is a great place to turn for craft inspiration! Here are some ideas to get you started.
7. Make homemade art items.
From paintbrushes to paint and even stamps, here are some art materials that can be made at home.
8. Play outside!
This simple activity goes a long way in teaching sustainability. Sharing in and appreciating a love of the outdoors will inspire kids to care for the earth.
9. Make homemade instruments.
Make your own maracas and drums for a pretend marching band!
10. Collect rain water.
Kids can water plants or fill up a water table with rain water that has been collected outside.
11. Read books about the earth.
Books are great for young kids to begin to learn about the earth.
12. Make your own paper.
Kids can use recycled paper scraps to make new paper!
13. Make a compost bottle.
Here is a great hands-on activity to help kids see the process of compostable material breaking down in the soil.
14. Make an air pollution science experiment.
This activity gives kids a visual of the pollution surrounding us in the air.
15. Plant a tree.
If you don’t have the space for a large tree, planting even a small tree in your backyard is one of the best things you can do for the environment.
16. Make a worm farm.
Worms are so efficient at breaking down leftover kitchen scraps and turning them into rich fertilizer.
17. Do a water pollution experiment.
This simple activity helps kids understand that water pollution exists, even if not completely visible.
18. Make your own cloth napkins.
This is such a simple way to cut down on waste and help the environment. Bonus: for older kids, this could be a great beginner sewing project!
19. Make some seed paper.
Use scrap paper, add seeds, and plant it! Kids can see the value of recycling and make the world a bit more beautiful at the same time.
20. Make a mini greenhouse.
Start your organic garden indoors with these great mini greenhouses (and don’t forget to recycle the cup when done!)
There are many more ways for kids to learn about sustainability so that they can leave the earth better than they found it. These 20 activities are a great place to start!