Needless to say, children don’t really have a knack for turning things off or saving energy. Kids are motivated by fun and games, not the environment. It is difficult for children to show care about conserving energy, and you must show them not only that electricity is precious, but what even uses energy in the first place. Luckily, there are some key things that provide this knowledge while making it fun and educational.
Explain the Basics
First, before you can turn your kids into energy saving machines you need to explain to them what electricity is and why we use it. When you show them the outlets, tell your kids about the wires that carry energy. Energy costs money and once you have established that you can show them the difference between objects that use electricity and objects that do not. According to the site MoneyPug, which is used as an energy comparison site, you can give your children options and see what they think uses power. Show them an electric razor and a manual one to illustrate the point that one uses electricity. This is just one of many quiz questions that can get your kids to understand the concept of things that use electricity and things that do not.
Make it a Game
A great way to make the process of learning about electricity and what uses it is to make it all a game. Kids like to learn things through something fun. They like competition against their siblings. See who can turn the lights off, unplug their electronics, and catch the parents when they are using the thermostat too much. Providing a challenge to the kids will get them enthusiastic about saving energy. Some of these include opening the fridge once rather than multiple times, turning off the tablet or computer when they aren’t using it, and closing windows when the heater is on.
Challenge your kids to spend hours or even whole days without electricity. This doesn’t have to be a drag, it can be fun. Explain the importance of being outside, and tell your children that things that are good for us are often more organic and without electricity. Take a picnic to the park. Spend a day at the beach. Play board games by candlelight. Encourage reading more books and watching less shows.
Get them Involved
Another way to help your whole household learn about saving energy is to get the kids involved with energy-saving projects. Have them help you make a small wind turbine. Take them to the store to help you look for solar panels. Explain the difference between energy-conserving appliances when you are shopping for them. Bring the kids along. You can also show them the bills. If your children like numbers, they will get excited when they see that their efforts to conserve have paid off.
Set Ground Rules
Setting ground rules can facilitate your efforts to emphasize the importance of saving energy. For example, you can make a rule that your kids aren’t allowed to change the thermostat. Another rule could be that the kids can’t open the windows but have to ask you before they do. Prohibit your kids from doing laundry when you aren’t around. These simple things can show that you are serious about saving energy.
Teaching your kids about abstract concepts like energy can be difficult, but they will respond if you make it engaging. Kids want to be challenged and they want to compete. Making games out of something serious can get the point across without it being boring or too serious. Taking the time and making the effort can really pay off if you can get your children to think about saving energy. Slowly but surely you can explain the environmentalism of it all. It is possible to show your children that energy not only costs money but that it comes at a cost to the planet without making it overly political. The point is, you can do it. You can teach your kids about electricity, the money that goes into it, and the benefits of saving power. Before you know it you will have conscientious energy-savers on your hands.