Getting your kids to take an interest in the environment is a great way to instil a few good habits. But encouraging them to get more involved can prove tricky. To get you inspired, we’ve come up with a few ways you can teach your kids to be environmentally friendly – and have fun while doing it too.
Introduce them to wildlife
Inspiring your kids to take an interest in their local wildlife is a great way to get them thinking about natural habitats. Taking part in indoor and outdoor Wildlife Watch activities is a fun place to start, and your kids can also work their way towards achieving the Wildlife Watch awards. There are guides on everything from how to make your own compost to creating hidey holes for nature, providing loads of inspiration on how you can make your garden more wildlife friendly.
Local Wildlife Trusts also regularly hold events suitable for little ones, including sensory outdoor play for 0-2 year olds, pond nature sessions for pre-schoolers and Wildbeach Wednesdays for older children. These can be great opportunities to introduce kids to the environment and teach them about conservation.
Let them help with the recycling
Encouraging recycling at home can really help with creating an awareness of looking after the environment. Why not try putting your kids in charge of the recycling at home, or creating a rewards chart where they can earn gold stars for remembering to recycle?
On top of recycling, you could also let them get creative by upcycling old or unwanted household items. From turning tin cans into pen pots to making jam jars into little lanterns, there are some really imaginative ways to reduce your household waste.
Start walking or cycling from A to B
When possible, why not start travelling by foot instead of hopping in the car? Walking to the shops or to school will help to significantly reduce your household’s carbon footprint. If it’s not feasible for you to walk your kids to school, you could look to see if there’s a Walking Bus in your area, where children can walk in a group accompanied by volunteers.
Cycling is also a fun way to get your kids out and about, and is a great activity you can do as a family. If there are a few child-friendly cycle paths in your area, you could take the opportunity to go out on a cycle ride instead of taking a drive.
Get them involved in local projects
There are a number of organisations which let kids help with environmental projects, from cleaning up beaches to conserving natural environments. The RSPB allows kids to volunteer accompanied by an adult, and volunteering opportunities can involve anything from monitoring species of birds to managing nature in protected areas.
The Marine Conservation Society is also happy for children to get involved with looking after our coastlines, with thousands of Beachwatch volunteers helping out at beach clean events all over the country.
There are plenty of fun ways to teach kids how to be environmentally friendly, and with so many ways to get involved all over the UK, you’ll probably be able to find a great family-friendly opportunity right on your doorstep.