ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Getting Small Kids into Environmental Awareness

Updated on March 7, 2017

Respect Nature

A couple of days ago we were at a birthday party, which took place at a local Nature Center. Besides the fun my kids had there, I got the idea of summarizing some of the things that help getting kids into environmentally friendly behavior. A party can of course be a great way to reach a bunch of three to six year old kids at the same time and teach them something the fun way.

The first lesson they experienced was a very important one, namely to treat nature and all creatures with respect. After a detailed and very interesting briefing by the program coordinator, they were handed over nets and insect jars. Right away the message was, catch grasshoppers and other bugs carefully, try not to hurt them and at the end of it, the critters will go back to freedom. This message is important but is too many times not being delivered by parents: respect nature and all animals, even worms and bugs. Try to do no harm, leave it as or better than you found it.

Reuse the fun way

As another age appropriate activity they were making bugs out of all sorts of reused material. There were containers full of corks, popsicles, cut egg cartons (single or more cups), and packaging material like foam peanut, which give lots of nice options for bug bodies. Skeleton leaves or feathers make perfect wings, small twigs can be used for the feelers. Pipe cleaners and pom poms added a little bit of color of course. The point here is to show them how materials should and can be reused in a fun way. Try not to buy all new arts and crafts supply. Collecting materials like popsicles, empty paper rolls, plastic bottles of all sizes and bottle caps, bubble wrap, all sort of old packaging material is fun itself, kids love to do something useful and creative. Hubpages is a great resource for craft ideas with reused materials.

Reusing leads me to another suggestion. Both of my kids love to draw. They love it so much, they could easily use up 20 to 30 sheets of paper per day. Now what we agreed on is that they either use paper that has already been printed on one side, like scratch paper from our home office, or the backside of the colorful flyers and other mail that fills up our mailbox.



Another thing that always bugs me a little bit on birthday parties is the amount of trash that all those bottles, cans, paper plates, cups, etc., produce. Fortunately, I’ve seen it a couple of times that one very simple way is to let your guests know in advance if there is a water fountain available. Usually there always is, and it gives people the opportunity to bring their own bottle and refill it. One way to reduce plates and utensils is to make the cake out of cupcakes, seems to be less messy at certain ages, too. Cupcakes fit neatly in a napkin. Use finger food like small pizza slices, small sandwiches, chicken nuggets, spring rolls, etc.; the list is endless. In short, try to reduce the amount of waste you are producing.

Recycle with them

This brings me to the third of the three old ‘R’s, recycling. Show them where to recycle and where to put what. It helps to remind them and ourselves occasionally what happens to all the residual trash filling up the landfills – and we are back to respecting nature. If there is space for a composter (there are lots of compact models on the market) in your backyard, kids love to help take care of it and see things change – not to mention the earth worms. Walking the way to school, if possible (in our case it is an about ten minutes walk), is another very direct way to show them how to reduce exhaust fumes – and it’s healthy exercise.


Explore with them

Festivals are another perfect opportunity to show and explain things (if it comes from somebody else than the parent, kids sometimes tend to listen better:)). The Grow Hawaii Festival, dedicated to clean energy and sustainability through tradition, offered hands on activities even for little ones.

Board game at the HECO booth
Board game at the HECO booth | Source

Those few examples are just my two cents to Earth Day and the importance of its message. We need to teach our kids from an early age on, that they need to take better care of the planet than the generations before them. They are naturally interested in and connected with anything that has to do with nature and animals from an early age on, and the best way to support this is to get outside with them, show them and explain things. Almost all kids have that explorer spirit; they want to be useful, and be like little grown ups – be as good as a role model as you can be.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)