Have you ever been in a classroom with 5 year olds? They are curious, open to new ideas and full of energy. If you tell them the sky turns maroon when you flap your arms up and down, most of them will quickly start flapping because they are full of joy and hope. They embrace life and joy in their spirit. So when you think about what things we could do as adults to keep them excited, maroon skies need not be the only thing we think about.
The environment in which these children will grow up in is rapidly changing. Greenery is being torn down all over the world and despite efforts to keep many of our forests, they are being destroyed by both manmade and natural disasters. California has had massive fires that have torn through areas with trees that have stood for decades. NEw construction, though good in some ways has also led to the rise in uprooted forestry and natural greenery. Several years ago part of the green effect was still kept alive by people who have flower gardens or vegetable gardens. Now most people who grow any types of vegetables or produce are farmers who sell to our grocery stores and farmers markets. From time to time, you will see inner city schools doing their part and having urban gardens so the kids can learn what it’s like to grown your own foods and plants. Without the support of these same initiatives at home, it makes it difficult for kids to focus on these types of projects and understand the importance of being environmentally sustainable growing your own foods.
Children are our future and it would benefit us all if they saw saving the environment in the same curious, energetic way they see things when they are 5. To help them get ramped up and excited perhaps one can try these ideas:
- Pick up an urban garden if you don’t have an area of land attached to a house. You can get them started growing foods and imagine their excitement once they see their foods growing.
- Volunteer at their school or childcare program to start or help maintain a community garden.
- Schedule trips to nature trails and explain the ecosystems to them based on their age and level of understanding.
- Take them on a safe hike so they can see the terrain and plant life.
- Give them information on how animals need things in nature for survival.
- Start a compost if you have a safe place to do so and explain the why behind doing it.
- Check out environmental websites for kids to get them excited about helping to preserve the planet.
- Watch shows on channels like Discovery Channel and share your enthusiasm with them.
There are many fun things that can be done with kids. It may not seem like it is important today but think of their future and that may move you to change and action!
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