When Kai, my young lad was just a baby, I started to take him out to my garden to watch as I tended to my plants. I believed that by watching me care so much about the earth and environment, he would want to do the same. Even up until now, we still have a great time getting involved in different activities that focus on caring about the environment and the eco-friendly world. It has also provided creative ways for me to sneak lessons for an even richer experience.
If you’re a parent, and you’re trying to find eco/nature things you can do with your children in January and really at any time of the year, here are 8 helpful ones to get you started.
Visit a Farmer’s Market
A memorable experience at a farmer’s market is an easy way to get your child excited about healthy locally-grown foods. Fresh and healthy foods from crisp, tangy kale to sweet, juicy berries can be found in bountiful amounts at farmer’s markets. One of my personal favourites to visit is the FARMA approved South Kensington Farmer’s market. You can give your child money to make their own purchases, as they are even more likely to eat what they choose. Counting dollars and cents also provides real life math problems to solve as they go.
Continue the eco activities with some fun in the kitchen. It’s a great way to spend even more time together, learn new cooking skills and teach my son about the importance of reducing waste. If your children are old enough, let them choose any ingredient they want, and come up with a meal you can prepare together using it. Another fun eco-cooking activity is to try cooking with leftovers, making use of some of the local ingredients you purchased at the farmers market.
Children love to collect stuff and pick things up. There are so many things to collect on your walk from pine cones to acorns and twigs. You can teach them about each new discovery too. Carrs Wood, near Bath offers interesting sights of Brunel’s railway tunnel, and a woodland play area your kids would enjoy.
Visit the Beach
The beach is one of nature’s top eco-friendly activities. Your children can learn all about the ocean, and creatures that live in the water. Captivating beaches like Barafundle offer endless fun for kids with sand dunes and hidden caves. We also enjoy swimming in the sea and sometimes I just sit on the sand and watch Kai have fun building a sandcastle.
Visit a Museum
Look out for some great museums in your area that you can visit with your children. They will be able to see, feel and interact with different fascinating objects. They’ll get to learn more, and the attendants can answer all of their burning questions about nature and the world around us.
Play a Nature Game
Guess my animal is a simple game that requires no equipment at all. Little Kai loves this game and it is amazing because I never know what we’ll end up talking about in the end. To play, one person simply thinks of an animal while the other asks questions to figure out what it is 20 questions style. It is also a great way to teach classification of animals by habitat, size, skin colour, and so on.
Build a Bird Feeder
I love the sound of birds at my window in the morning when I wake up, and a bird feeder is a great way to invite birds to come pecking and tweeting. Building a bird feeder with your child is a fun activity he or she will love, and if you’re like me, there’s the plus of singing birds! All you need for this activity is a one litre tetra-pack, some bird feed and a thin rope. On one side of the pack, cut out a semi-circular hole of about 3 inches. Run the rope through a tiny hole on the upper part. Scatter some bird feed in the pack and place it on your window grill.
If your kids love to play in the dirt, then gardening will come as a welcome activity. Get them involved in planting vegetables, flowers or a tree in your yard. You don’t even have to go too far for this one. With proper care, your efforts will live long enough for you and your kids to remember.
These simple activities will make green living a real part of your family life. Which one is your favourite?