Teaching kids about their environment


As the inheritors of our planet, kids have the biggest stake of all in preserving local and global habitats. They tend to respond better to playful, absorbing learning methods rather than lecture-style teaching, so making planet-friendly choices part of your life can have a huge impact!

Here are a few simple yet absorbing ways to teach them about their environment; from waste prevention to global warming for kids.

Get stuck in

Kids tend to learn most about the environment by interacting with it, so get out to your local park or woodland and enjoy those muddy puddles! Activities like spotting woodlice, birds or bats (best tried at twilight) make for a great day out, along with simple sensory experiences like the feel of different bark on the trees. Bring along a magnifying glass so that they can investigate up close for themselves.

While you’re outdoors, you can talk about what you’re seeing: robins are especially curious animals, for example, while ants can lift 20 times their own bodyweight. Then, they can draw or write a story about what they remember once you get home. Going on a local nature walk lead by someone who’s devoted their life to studying wildlife is another hugely enlightening option, and not just for kids!

Reuse, recycle

Learning the basics of waste prevention can start at a very young age. Ever noticed how kids are often more excited by playing with a cardboard box than the toy inside? Encourage this love of creative play by saving (clean) food and drink containers, loo rolls and even old scraps of curtain or carpet. These materials can be transformed again and again into spaceships, ancient tombs, jungles; their imagination is the limit! Ask older kids to help you sort through anything they don’t use for the recycling, giving them an idea of how recycling works practically.

Planting edible plants and herbs in the back garden is another easy (and delicious) way to prevent waste and bring food to the table with zero air miles and no packaging! To nurture their fledgling plants, challenge kids to collect scraps like vegetable peelings and coffee grounds to make a compost heap, which will miraculously convert kitchen waste to spongy soil!

Open discussion

Although a frequently contested topic, NASA’s latest figures show temperatures rising and arctic ice decreasing by 13.4% each decade, impacting habitats across the world. Most kids will have heard about global warming from one source or another, but they could be confused about what it actually is.

Talk the issue through with them, with the help of a global warming for kids guide or just your own knowledge. When it comes to talking through global warming for kids, it can help to focus on positive actions like deciding to walk or cycle more often. You may even want to involve them in big discussions about your own lifestyle choices, whether you’re thinking of buying a greener car or taking a train rather than a plane for your next holiday

Great Ideas For Enriching Your Child’s Life

If you are forever despairing at your kids for having the TV on or games on their tab, don’t fret. They may genuinely be picking up useful skills and information. Some kid’s shows wrap up education in glitz and glamor, but the core lessons are there. They are presented in volumes and quantities we could never achieve at home on our own. With the art of TV presentation, they also seem to have our little ones fixated for a full 25 minutes at a time!

 Games too may be more beneficial than you think. A lot of what we teach in the home might be little more than explaining something verbally. A game requires the child to interact with the concept and experiment with it to fully understand the lesson. Admittedly, the vast majority of games are mind numbing and provide no useful stimulation whatsoever. Try out some games yourself to pick and choose which show some promise.

 Banning the TV or console games completely may just put barriers up between you. But it is important to provide wholesome alternatives. All kids should have hobbies. They could be across a number of areas like homemaking, sports, music, literature and art. A good week of activity should include examples of each.

 Homemaking provides important life skills like cooking, hygiene, and repairs. Music feeds the soul and increases intelligence as well as providing your little ones with skills to communicate with others. Sports are incredibly important to maintain health and fitness later in life, but also to develop gross and fine motor skills in children. Socially speaking, team sports provide excellent skills for working environments as adults. Art and literature define us as a species. Kids should be encouraged to express themselves on the page in words and pictures, as well as discussing the ideas presented by others.

 If your kids are quite creative, they might like to try their hand at making decorated fabrics like handkerchiefs or tee-shirts. Buying them a sewing machine like one of those at www.grandmalikestosew.com will give them a creative outlet as well as teaching them important homemaking skills. If you have a budding musician, try enrolling them in a children’s orchestra where they will learn to work as a team and meet like-minded kids. Singing songs and playing guitar together is a good way to assess a child’s potential for music.

 6736792359_95844385a7_zThis picture is provided by Flickr.com

 Writing stories each week, or even just reporting on their week of activities gives their creative mind a boost when putting pen to paper. They could draw a picture to represent one of the things they did or saw. Try to expose your children to as many sports and physical activities as you can. Swimming, football, climbing and baseball, all provide great exercise. They also enhance balance, coordination, and problem-solving skills. If there are few opportunities for team sports in your area, try hiking together. You could buy a fun backyard trampoline to encourage exercise for children who are not keen on sports.

5 Ways To Encourage Your Children To Give To Charity This Christmas

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Children pick up their core values from their parents. If you don’t teach your children to be conscientious and charitable, they will never learn. As a parent, you act as a moral compass for your kids. They will come to you and ask what to do all the time. You need to have sound advice ready for them when they ask you big questions. This Christmas, teaching your children to be charitable is the best gift you can give them. Here are five ways you can do just that.

  1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Throughout the year, community centers and churches host soup kitchens for homeless people. For people on the streets, a meal in a soup kitchen might be the only hot food they get all week. It is always important to help people less fortunate than yourself. You need to teach your children the value of giving back to the greater society. See whether you can volunteer at a local church, such as Harvest Family Church, to help feed the homeless. On Christmas day, you could give just an hour of your time to give hot food to someone who needs it.

  1. Make Christmas shoeboxes

You likely buy your children a whole host of fabulous Christmas presents. Why wouldn’t you? Christmas is the one time of year when you have a free pass to spoil your kids just a little. Teaching your children how fortunate they are is vital to their self-development. Tell your children about other young people who don’t have as much as they have. Together with your kids, you can create shoeboxes to give to needy children. You should fill the boxes with toys and gifts for kids. There are many charities that accept shoebox donations during the festive season.

  1. Give the gift of sponsorship

Among the gifts that you give your children, why not include something a little different? You can buy sponsorship gift cards for people as presents. That means that you are giving money to someone who needs it as a gift for your kid. Your child will get regular updates about the sponsorship and what it means to the charity. For example, if you sponsor an endangered animal, your child will get cards and letters from the company. The letters will explain how they are protecting the animals.

  1. Give food to a food bank

For some families, Christmas is a genuine struggle. People on low incomes and unemployed people will find the festive season hard. Some people will even struggle to feed their family this year. Explain the facts to your children so that they understand how lucky they are. You likely have loads of spare tins in your cupboards. With your children, go through your cupboards and see whether there is anything you can donate to people. Take your spare tins down to your local food bank and donate them. People who can’t afford food will go to the food bank to pick up something for their family to eat.

  1. Sacrifice one present

When you give things to charity, you have to be willing to make a few sacrifices yourself. Children, usually, write a long list of presen to Santa and get just what they asked for from their parents. This year, make things a little different. When your children have written their lists, ask them to choose one present to discard. Tell them that Santa (you) will donate the money for the present to people who need it. Teaching your children to give things up for the sake of others is important and will make them better people.

Fun Educational Activities: Things to do With the Kids This Upcoming Half Term

The end of the school term is dawning once again. It seems that the kids have more holidays than adults! With the half term coming up, it’s time to plan what activities you are going to be doing with them during the week off. The weather is turning, and autumn is on its way. This can seem limiting for many people, who are unsure as to what to do with the kids when the rainy days are setting in. Fear not, there is a wealth of fun and educational activities that you can do the kids this upcoming half term. The week will pass in the blink of an eye.

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Planning activities is important. After all, it makes sense to have a plan in place for activities. You can download templates online to assist you with the planning of the half term. It shouldn’t be too regimented, but keeping the structure in place is important for children. This is especially true for those that have only just started school this year.

Halloween Crafts

With Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect time to spend some time on arts and crafts. You can make witches hats, bake scary cupcakes and make bat-shaped biscuits. There is a wide range of Halloween based things that you can do with the kids. The scarier the better! Carving pumpkins is a fun way to get involved with the Halloween festivities.

Get Messy and Learn More about Science

Conduct scientific experiments in the home. Undoubtedly, your kids have been learning about science at home. What’s more, you can perform your own mini-experiments at home with ease. Get in the garden with a sieve and sift for wildlife. Talk about the different plants and animals within your own backyard. Spend an evening looking through binoculars at the night sky and learn more about the wider universe. The Online Star Register can give you some great pointers as to what to look for. Science doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom. Engage your child’s scientific mind in the home too. What’s more, October is the perfect month to enjoy the last of the moderate weather. Take advantage of this and get in the garden.

Nature Walks

While the weather is somewhat more pleasant, take advantage of the countryside and go on a nature walk. You can even devise your own maps or bingo sheets. Get kids to mark off the animals, plants and birds that they spot on their walk. You can pick up cones, leaves and other objects and turn their nature walk into a fun arts and crafts activity when you get home. Nature walks are an excellent way to ensure that they are getting plenty of fresh air. It’ll do everyone a world of good to get out of the house!

Prepare For Christmas

With the dreaded C-word just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about Santa. You can write letters to Santa. Turn it into a fun poster activity. There is a wealth of things that you can, in regards to getting in touch with Santa. It’s a great activity, and the kids will love it.