In my little family, there are times where my kids’ appreciation is in need of a little CPR and right now is one of them. In the past two months, we have had an influx of visitors from out of town in our home and these visits have come with copious amounts of gifts and goodies. Plus, it was just my daughter’s fourth birthday. My two normally appreciative kids who typically come out of their skin at the gift of a t-shirt have actually asked someone coming into our home if they brought a gift for them. More than once.
With Earth month upon us, it is the perfect time to reconnect with what really matters, teach mindfulness, and minimalism.
Here are 5 ways I will be teaching my children about Earth month:
- Get kids out in the garden, weeding and planting: This is a wonderful way to get present, understand a bit more about plant biology and engage the senses. Sensory play promotes scientific discovery, cognitive development, and many more invaluable skills.
- Donate old toys: Donating is a great way for my kids to appreciate the value of their existing toys; it generates an opportunity to talk about people who do not have as much as us; our less used toys will avoid a landfill and end up in someone else’s home; and, in giving the toys to someone else, it will create less of a need for other people to go out and buy more. Win, win, win!
- Create an outdoor scavenger hunt: All it takes is a small list of things to find outside (I typically draw things like sticks, rocks, leaves, dandelions, and other common items). Getting outside and really looking for items in nature prompts more discussion and appreciation for some of the most basic aspects of nature.
- Plant a small indoor garden with your kids: All it takes is some empty food containers, beans or pea seeds (they grow quickly and are noticeable), some soil, sunlight, and water. Why do I love this idea so much? Not only does it teach basic botany, it also creates an opportunity for delayed gratification. It may take days before the sprout breaks through the earth. In having the plants inside for the first while, my kids can water and monitor their growth.
- Go around our neighbourhood and collect garbage: We will grab some disposable gloves and garbage bags and take to the street. After having a winter with snow, our pristine neighbourhood is in need of some love. And, I want my kids to understand the impact of littering first hand.
Finally, I am going to challenge myself to ditch my phone for all of these endeavours. If I am going to promote awareness in my kids, I want to be present to learn along with them.
I hope you enjoy Earth month by getting outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer too!