The birds are chirping, the grass is growing and Earth Day is just around the corner! In honor of the cheerful spring season and Earth Day, I will be featuring guest posts by Lauren Kostantin on “Growing Greener Kids”. I know many of you are cloth diapering, babywearing gurus who are in touch with your “green side”, and others of you are just starting to make a transition to greener living– either way I think that we all can learn a little something. I just planted some seeds in a biodegradable egg carton with my toddler today, so I am trying my best to teach her all the things I am striving to achieve for a healthier, greener, more sustainable lifestyle!
- Take a sensory walk. Whether in your back yard or at the neighborhood park, encourage your kids to use their senses. Listen for birds, look for certain colors, and feel the grass tickle your hands. Of course, don’t forget to stop to smell the flowers.
- Visit a natural science museum, conservation area, or wildlife preservation. There is bound to be some place nearby where your kids can get “greened” … even a trip to the recycling center is going to get their little minds wondering.
- Think like a toddler. Well, more specifically, question like a toddler. In different situations, ask your kids thought provoking questions like, “Why do you think there are earthworms in the garden?” “Where does this plastic end up if you don’t recycle it?” It will show them that you are curious, too and let them know that it’s ok to ask questions.
- Point out alternate energy sources when you see them. Solar panels, wind turbines, even rivers and streams can open an outlet for a curious conversation.
- Create moments in nature. Whether you’re dancing in puddles, curling up under a tree for story time, or looking for constellations in the night sky making fond memories in the great outdoors brings us all a little closer.
- Show them your passion. Remember, children learn what they live. When your children see how you feel about nature and witness your own curiosity in action it is imprinted on them in so many ways. There is so much to wonder about. If both you and your children are open to learning, you’ll never need to search for a teachable moment. Spread the wonder.