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Teach Kids About Protecting The Environment

Updated on May 31, 2010

As soon as a child can understand concepts they are ready to learn about how they can preserve the environment and why. Starting early can truly make a difference and start habits they will carry on as they grow

Reuse Instead Of Throwing Out

If you do not already doing so, instead of throwing out plastic or glass containers, consider keeping them around.

Talk to your toddler about trash and that there are only so many places it can be put once we are done with something. Instead of throwing out our trash, we can reuse some things and make new uses for them.

There are many different ways a toddler can see first hand fun ways we can take a plastic or glass container we are done with, and turn it into something new.

  • Baby Wipe containers can become closeable storage containers for smaller toys.
  • Baby oil, sparkles, and some food coloring can turn a 20 oz or 1 liter plastic soda bottle when filled in to a fun lava lamp type of toy. Or leave empty and add beads, marbles, or other small objects to make a cool noise maker. (use glue gun to seal lid shut to keep inside objects out of small hands. Always use toys undersupervision)
  • Tartar sauce or other small plastic containers can help protect playdoh that has been mixed together and no longer belongs into any one colors container.

Rinse and Recycle

So long as there are no sharp corners, your preschooler can help rinse out containers for recycling. Explain to them as they are doing it how they are helping the environment and how our garbage is broken down and then used to create new products.

Turn Off The Water

Until you talk to them about it, a young child does not have any concept of how important conserving water is.

"If you use all the water, what will the fishies swim in?"

Remind and help them to turn off the water when brushing their teeth, and to not walk away from running water when they are washing their hands.

Instead of playing in running water, if they love water play, fill up a clean sink or a short depth storage container with toys. Always supervise.

Turn Off The Lights

Conserving energy is not above their young minds. Teach preschoolers to turn off lights when they are not in the room. Talk to them about energy. Keep it in simple terms but a concept they can grab onto.

"Something has to be used from outdoors to keep our lights on, if we use it less, we have it longer"

Care For A Plant

Caring for a small indoor plant may be a great introduction for caring for the outdoors. Find a sturdy green plant or indoor flower that they can water and nurture.

You Must Stay Involved

Remember that teaching your young child lessons to preserve and protect the environment starts with your participation too. You can tell a small child something over and over, but if you are doing the opposite, they will notice and follow cue.

Show them that you are doing things to make a difference. Tell them when you turn off the water, or turn off lights why you are doing it. Encourage them to walk with you when you take out the recycle to the curb and talk about what new things your recycle may turn into.

Letting them see how important preserving the environment is to you, will make it that much more important to them.

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