April 22nd is approaching, and it’s time to inspire your family to do their part in helping our planet! Alongside all the fun and activities, the entire process will serve as a learning experience for children. Earth Day is a great opportunity for your child to learn about something new, interesting, and important.
Use Earth Day as a time to encourage your child to make a difference in the world and understand the ways the Earth is in danger and has been harmed. Encourage them to learn about the many ways they can play a role in improving the environment. While many environmental issues are complicated for younger children to understand, introducing the subject early and underlying its importance makes it easier for them to properly embrace as they grow older. Try our recommended activities this Earth Day for an educational and fruitful experience with your family!
1. Talk about the Earth
It’s good to build a base with your child. As they grow older, they will be exposed to more information regarding the state of the Earth and climate change, and we can prepare them to understand these realities better. Covering topics like recycling, waste, composting, and even consumerism from an early age helps kids understand broader and more important issues later in life.
A good way to do that is simply share facts about the environment- break the silence around climate change and its realities! Have a family discussion about the different aspects of the Earth- animals, plants, people- and what our responsibility to the planet is.
2. Educate yourselves on the yearly theme: Invest in our planet
Every year Earth Day selects a specific theme to focus on, and this year that theme is “Invest in our Planet.” Explore the Earth Day 2022 theme page together and discuss what you and your family think this topic means.
3. Plan steps to help the Earth as a family
Brainstorm positive changes you can make as a family that will help the Earth. Together, you can agree on rules that will make a positive change to your carbon footprint- such as turning off the lights when leaving a room, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, and setting up different recycling bins at home. You can all go through your clothes, set aside what you don’t want and what doesn’t fit anymore, and donate or sell those unused items!
This is also a great opportunity to calculate your family’s carbon footprint to properly understand your own impact on the environment. Check out Carbonbase to calculate and track your carbon emissions!
4. Have a plant-based meal together
Introduce your family to plant-based foods with a special Earth Day meal. Discussing what we eat and how different foods impact the environment is an important step of becoming environment conscious. Eating less meat is better for the planet and our bodies- encourage your children to explore new foods that they might not otherwise have tried!
5. Plant a tree or bush
This is an activity that can be done seasonally to improve air quality. Teach them about the importance of clean air and how trees contribute towards long-term economic and environmental sustainability. In just one year, a mature tree can produce oxygen for ten people at minimum!
6. Feed animals responsibly
As part of inculcating empathy for the other beings we share our planet with, help your child feed animals! Depending on where you live, you may have access to strays or wild animals in backyards, local parks, and ponds. Take your family to these places to observe the animals. Together, research the proper food for the animal- remember that frequently, “people” food isn’t good for wild animals! Read this article for the Do’s and Don’ts of feeding wildlife.
A great alternative to this (for those who don’t want to mess with wildlife!) is volunteering at a local animal shelter as a family. Go together, help feed the animals, and teach your children to treat other living beings with compassion and care. As parents, it’s up to us to help our children understand the world they are growing up in, and how they can make an impact on it.