Summer is the best time to engage your child with the natural world. If you’d like to help your kids learn the importance of caring about the planet, here are some activities you might want to try based on their age and personality:
- Choosing a summer camp with adventure outdoor program
- Enrolling to environment educational summer program
- Making outdoor activities a constant part of family plans
- Involving the child into your own green lifestyle
1. Choosing a summer camp with adventure outdoor program
Search for a summer camp with lots of outdoors activities. Choose a combination of outdoor trips and sports with water activities (swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing). Many of the overnight (sleep away) summer camp are located close to natural lakes and rivers and can be really healthy options for a green summer. Just forget about city routine and chlorine water pool. Consider the camps located at farms as well. Why are overnight camp experiences considered as an essential aspect in green education of young people? It is a place where kids live without parental supervision and the things they’re dealing with are rated higher in their life value scale, as it is their own choice. That’s why nothing can be better that a couple of weeks of such eco adventure during summer for you kids to build connections with the nature.
2. Enrolling to environment educational summer program
Search a local community green activities, e.g. planting trees program, environment learning classes in libraries, etc. It’s important to remember that the best way to learn for kids, especially in the summer time, that they considered as efforts-free time, is through fun. So choose the educational activities that are presented and organized in a way your kid enjoys it. Never force the child in this direction to avoid the opposite effect.
3. Making outdoor activities a constant part of family plans
Take your kids for a hike or a weekend camping trip regularly. During camping trips please leave computers, TVs, and electronic games at home. Explore water trips as well. Don’t forget about a bike ride out in the woods! Talk with your children about the plants and animals you saw while you travel, encourage them to explore more and writing it down is even more fun. It’s even a better idea to keep a journal in which you can encourage your kid to write down everything you did everyday.
4. Involving the child in your own green lifestyle.
Summer is a great time to take your kids to:
- a community garden or a farm where they can learn how others grow fruits and vegetables and why they taste better when they are locally grown. Apart from learning, pick-your-own activities are fun for the whole family, as well as fruit pizza and salad cooking from farm fresh berries and apples.
- a local park to pick up litter. Don’t forget hand sanitizer, rubber gloves and garbage bags. You can discuss reasons why it’s not a good idea to litter.
- a recycling center to see the new things made from the old items. Getting children excited about composting or recycling starts right at home.
- your backyard to build a birdhouse, plant seeds, care for them and watch them grow. your backyard or a park to find and observe different animals. Even if you live in urban area, there are a lot of creatures living right under your nose and children can have fun spotting them.
During the summer time, kids are happy, hyper, and very energetic; therefore it’s wise to offer them to try some green creative projects and ways to give old things a new life.
Overall, the best we can do for kids to help them understand the importance of green living habits is to constantly demonstrate it with our own examples in everyday life.
It might take a bit of your effort to help your child to become a ‘green person’, but the deep respect to the environment formed in childhood will be a valuable contribute to the healthy future of our planet.