Teaching your kids about the importance of supporting and caring for the environment does not have to be limited to Earth Day. Being aware of how their actions either protect or harm the earth can be a lesson that is learned daily, no matter their ages. From activities they can enjoy over the summer to a weekend outing that allows them to learn and enjoy themselves, there are several environmental projects you can do with your kids that may help teach them the importance of protecting the earth.
1. Create a Butterfly Garden
Attracting beautiful butterflies to your backyard might be simpler than you think, and this project can teach your kids about how the rapid decline of many butterfly species are affecting the environment. Begin by taking a trip to your local nursery, where the specialist there can help you pick out a wide variety of flowering plants that attract butterflies, such as milkweed, hollyhock, and Queen Anne’s lace. These plants can help support butterflies throughout their life cycle. Remember to add a watering station and shade to make your garden guests comfortable.
2. Build a Honeybee Watering Station
Honeybees are a vital part of the ecosystem, especially because of the role they play as pollinators. However, honeybee numbers are declining, and building a watering station with your kids can help them understand why protecting these insects is so important.
Building a watering station is simple and allows your kids to observe the bees’ daily behavior safely. An old birdbath or any other wide, shallow container can be used to create the station. Have you kids fill the container with several inches of water, then place small raised rocks or sticks in the water so the bees can land to drink without drowning. You can place the station near your garden so the bees can drink and pollinate at their leisure.
3. Rainwater Harvesting
Setting up a rainwater harvesting system with your kids can teach them the importance of water conservation, especially if you live in a desert climate. The setup is simple and does not require a great deal of financing. The collection, storage, and distribution of rainwater can all be part of an important lesson for your kids, especially in a culture where water waste is common.
If your kids are elementary-school aged, you may want to build a simpler model to help them understand the process. You can collect rainwater from your home’s gutter into a collection tank, and use a metal filter to help purify the water. Have your kids measure how much water you collect after each rainfall and then discuss the best way to use it. Visit the Cadiz Water Project twitter page for more information about how to conserve water.
4. Nature Walk
Going on a nature walk near your home is a project the whole family can enjoy. Supply each child with a small notebook and a pencil so they can record what they see on the walk, including different types of plants and trees. Taking walks near small streams or creeks can give your kids the opportunity to observe birds, small mammals, and amphibians. After the walk, talk to your children about what they saw and do a crafting project during that time, such as making the animals they saw out of felt or having them write or draw a story about any animal they saw.
Teaching your kids how to protect the environment can help shape their attitudes about the role they will play in it as they get older. From giving bees and butterflies a safe haven to learning how to conserve water, these entertaining projects can help your kids learn about how they can have a positive impact on the world around them.