Green kids aren’t born, they are made. They are taught environmentally friendly habits by their parents and peers. Sustainability lessons for kids come by the way of science teachers and scouting troop projects. Eco-friendly kids are molded by those around them and should be encouraged and rewarded for their hard work.
For Earth Day and every day, get kids involved in planet-friendly activities. If you aren’t sure exactly what type of environmental ideas would work for your children, here are a few that might be fun.
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Now is the perfect time for Sustainability Lessons
When my children were young, spring and summer vacations were filled with educational opportunities. We took field trips to the zoo, got educational books out of the library, and found other ways to prevent summer brain drain.
I researched environmental projects for kids that would get them excited about learning and then we dove head first into some serious fun.
I spent a lot of time supplementing my children’s education. We chose lessons that focused on topics that I felt were important. Art, music, the environment, and science are losing focus in our elementary schools and those are all subjects that my husband and I are passionate about.
Want to supplement your child’s education? Are you homeschooling and looking for more hands-on activities? Get your kids involved in the sustainable activities below. Remember, eco friendly kids are not born, they are nurtured to become that way!
Environmental Project Ideas for Kids
The key to successful educational projects for kids is that a hands-on lesson plan is WAY more fun. Look for fun environmental projects that will let them get involved, get their hands dirty, and give them a final project that they can be proud of. Keep your eco-projects age-appropriate and hands-on. Frustrated, bored children won’t learn much.
Learn How to Build a Toad House
There are a number of reasons you want toads in your yard. Basically, toads eat bugs. And bugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare. If you enjoy gardening, consider building your own toad house.
Check out GardeningKnowhow.com for directions for a DIY toad house. If you don’t want to build one yourself, head over to Amazon and check out their selection of toad houses. Your kids can still do a lesson about amphibians and head outside to check out your latest neighbor.
Build a Wild Bird Nesting Box for an Environmentally Friendly Yard
Teaching kids about birds is easy because they are literally EVERYWHERE. You can include a diverse array of topics from anatomy and physiology to the physics of flying to geography as you research migration patterns.
If you don’t have a collection of wood laying around to make your own birdhouse, check out the birdhouse kits on Amazon. Read my recent post about adding wild bird nesting boxes to your yard to ensure you bring as many birds to your yard as possible.
Teach Kids How to Plant a Butterfly Garden
Butterflies (and most other pollinators) are declining in numbers rapidly. By planting butterfly-friendly plants, you can do your part to help boost the survival of a species. If you are looking for DIY environmental projects for kids, this one will be a ton of fun for years to come.
Teach your children about different sorts of plants and their anatomy while you choose which vibrant colors you want to include in your yard. Talk to them about how butterflies and other pollinators play a part in our food system. Teach kids what butterflies eat and drink and encourage their questions. Hang a butterfly feeder and make your own butterfly nectar together.
Once the butterflies arrive and lay eggs and/or build their cocoons, you can talk about the butterfly life cycle. Check out my post on planting a butterfly garden to get started or print out this butterfly lapbook in my Etsy shop. Then, consider building a honeybee watering station that butterflies will love, too.
Go on a Nature Walk
Nature walks are a great way to teach your children about the world right outside their front door. Strap on your shoes and grab a bag to collect your samples. Encourage your children to get dirty, look under rocks, climb trees and explore small streams.
The most memorable lessons you teach your children will be the ones where they had FUN while they learned. Buy a nature walk journal to record your findings or encourage your children to make one from a recycled cereal box and some scrap paper. Encourage them to find a way to use their discoveries in a few nature crafts once they get home.
Participate in a River Cleanup With Your Child
Want environmental projects for kids that also give back to the community? Check out the National River Cleanup program through AmericanRivers.org. This is a great way to support your local community while also teaching your kids a few valuable lessons.
Talk about pollution, recycling, and our trash system. Discuss the chemistry of water and how oil, detergents, and other chemicals affect it. Depending on the age of your children, incorporate a few water chemistry projects at home to enforce the lesson.
Set up a Worm Composting Bin for Kitchen Waste
Need environmental protection projects that will also benefit YOU? Try vermicomposting! Worms are a bit high on the ‘ick factor’ but they are very important in our natural world. They are also hugely fun for kids to play with!
Teach your children about their life cycle and how worms and other decomposers help rid our world of unneeded organic material. Set up an indoor worm bin or put it in the garage or outside if it isn’t too hot or cold.
Decorating a Rain Barrel is a Fun Environmental Project Idea
Do your part to conserve water and decorate a rain barrel with your kids. Rain barrels are a great way to help reduce your water bill as well. Lesson plans that go along with your rain barrel will, of course, include the water cycle.
Discuss things like erosion, evaporation, condensation, and other similar topics. Decorating a rain barrel is also a great fundraising idea for scouting troops, schools, and other children’s programs. Decorate the rain barrel and hold an auction to raise money for your group!
There are so many environmental activities for kids to help get them excited about the world around them. Include major academic knowledge and skills that are required by your state and local government or educational institutions. The best way to raise green kids is to start them off young.
Show kids how exciting nature really is and they will strive to protect it when they get older! Do you have any other environmental projects for kids to suggest?
Looking for other eco-friendly activities? Check out my post on Sustainable Family Activities for more ideas. Or pick up a few of these Earth Day Books for Children. Check out my Etsy shop for Environment Worksheets for Kids.
I encourage parents to approach their children’s schools with an eye on sustainability. How green is your kid’s school environment? If you aren’t sure how to get started, check out my post on environmental ideas for schools for suggestions.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.