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Green Activities for Preschoolers

Updated on April 11, 2013

6 Green Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers

Introduce the concept of being green and having a passion for nature from an early age with these green activities for preschoolers.

Looking after the Earth is so important, and after using up so much of our planet's resources, it is only right that we place it into the hands of a far more responsible generation by teaching our kids to love and respect nature, from the earliest age possible!

Earth Day, on 22 April, is a perfect day to start introducing green ideas and activities to your toddler. But don't wait for a special day - these and countless other green activities, crafts, projects and more can be used to ensure your toddler grows up eco-conscious and in love with the world around them!

Photo Credit: Copyright of the author

This work is the copyright of the author (2012). Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere either in print or online. Photos are copyright of the author or the credited sources.

Copyright of the author
Copyright of the author

To Turn Them Green, Get Them Keen!

It's Never too Early to Get Kids into Nature!

This is my daughter when she was around 6 months old. As you can see, she was very into nature from an early age!

She's two and a half now, and whenever we are out and about I point out and talk about the things that we see, from trees and flowers, to insects and birds. Consequently, she adores being outside. Even going for a walk up our road is a nature adventure - she stops at every bush to look for ladybirds, points out birds or ants or daisies, and can name numerous different birds on sight.

The key to ensuring kids are green is to instill a love of nature in them from the very start. It's easy to do that - just make the great outdoors fun, exciting and wondrous!

Photo Credit: Copyright of the author

The Earth Day Charity Challenge

Thank you! This lens was chosen to be in the final 40 lenses in the Squidoo Earth Day Charity Challenge.

Toddler Gardening - Copyright of the author
Toddler Gardening - Copyright of the author

Gardening with Toddlers

Green Activities for Preschoolers #1

One of the best things you can do with your toddler is to get out in the garden and encourage them to have fun with plants, soil and nature!

Little ones love to copy their parents, and my daughter is no exception. She loves to dig in the soil and help to put pretty flowers in the ground!

TOP TIPS:

* Give little ones their own mini gardening tools - my daughter has a little gardening bag with toddler-sized trowels and fork, and a mini watering can. She always asks for it when we go out in the garden!

* Point out flowers wherever you go and ask your child which are their favourites. Ask if they would like to grow their very own versions of those flowers

* Make a small border in the garden just for your toddler. Plant their favourite flowers, or some fun plants that are great for kids, like sunflowers and snapdragons. Create a sensory garden, with strong scents, unusual patterns, different textures and windchimes

* Involve your toddler in the gardening. Get them to help pull a weed out, or water the plants, and explain why you are doing it. Point out things like worms or bees and explain why they are good for the garden

* If you don't have a garden, you can still help your toddler be green-fingered by growing a miniature indoor garden in a tray. planting a windowbox, or growing herbs on a windowsill.

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Toddlers love having their own child-sized gardening kit to help in the garden!

A themed garden also encourages children to love gardening. Fairy gardens are always a popular choice!

Make a Children's Fairy Garden
Want to know how to make a Children's Fairy Garden? If you have a child who loves fairies, then why not turn all or part of your garden into an enchanted fairy paradise?

Energy Saving Fun

Green Activities for Preschoolers #2

Teach your preschooler the basics about energy saving early on, and they'll develop good habits for later in life!

If you make everything fun, and talk about it enthusiastically, then they will enjoy learning about it. Kids love to do things right and copy everyday things that mom and dad do, so remember to set a good example yourselves!

TOP TIPS:

* Turn the tap off during brushes when brushing teeth, and explain to your toddler that it is important to not waste water

* Switch lights off when leaving a room, and explain why

* If you put leftovers on a compost heap, show your toddler what you have saved, and then show them where it goes, and explain the basics of why and how

* If there is leftover water in their cup or your glass, ask them to help you not waste it, by putting it in a pet bowl or watering an indoor plant

* As your toddler gets older, encourage them to do more and more energy saving themselves with a star reward chart. They can collect stars for turning off the light, remembering to turn the tap off while brushing their teeth and so on

The Earth Book - Green Reading for Toddlers

This book is just the kind of picture book that is perfect for reading with young children, and sharing the ideas inside. Suitable for preschool and kindergarten children, this has fun and simple pictures each accompanied by child-friendly eco-ideas, like taking your own bag to do the shopping, or turning off the taps or lights.

Each page has lots of potential for questions, discussions or even activities based on the ideas. When it's time to brush teeth for bed, you can ask if they remember what the book told them was good for the Earth - turning off the taps between brushes - or asking them to think up ideas as to why it is good to use both sides of the paper - it's good for the planet, but also twice as fun, as they can draw more pictures, for example!

The EARTH Book
The EARTH Book

This eco-friendly picture book discusses environmental issues and conservation.

It has simple but smart ideas on how we can help the planet, but that relate to young children - such as using both sides of the paper to color, or turning the tap off when brushing your teeth.

Gorgeous little book that kids will love, with a die-cut Earth on the cover, an a gatefold poster in the middle with lots of tips and ideas. The book is also printed on recycled materials using non-toxic soy inks.

 
Nature Trail - Copyright of author
Nature Trail - Copyright of author

Nature Trails for Toddlers

Green Activities for Preschoolers #3

Little ones love adventures in the great outdoors! Take them on nature walks whenever you can, and take the time to look around and point out things that you see together. Name the birds, talk about how tall the trees are, rummage in the foliage to see what you can find!

TOP TIPS:

* You don't have to go far to enjoy a nature walk - explore your local area! We are lucky enough to have a pond and a small wood in our road, but even if we didn't, we still have had fun just walking up and down the road itself, hunting ladybirds in bushes, counting the different colors of flowers that we pass, spotting and naming birds, leaving welly boot footprints in the mud, and lots more!

* Learn about nature on the beach! Explore the texture of wet and dry sand, look for crabs, collect seashells, have fun listening to the seagulls!

* Visit your local park, some woods, or even a scenic field. Invest in some wellies and waterproofs for your toddler and go exploring come rain or shine!

* Talk about different animals and birds, and where they live, in your toddler's picture books, and then when you are out and about, you can play "who lives here?"

* Take a bag or basket with you and collect bits of nature - daisies, leaves, pine cones - you can take some home and use them in crafts, make leaf rubbings, or press some flowers

* Visit the woods in spring to see the bluebells, or go to the pond when it's very cold to see if it has frozen!

Photo Credit: Copyright of author

Here we visited the pond on a very cold day. We dipped a stick in to discover that the water had turned hard, and learned all about what it means when something is frozen, or melting.

Raspberries - Copyright of Author
Raspberries - Copyright of Author

Grow your Own Food

Green Activities for Preschoolers #4

Another excellent way to introduce toddlers to the garden (and encourage them to eat their fruit and veg) is to grow your own food! Depending on how much you already grow, you might like to start with simple things like strawberry plants or some potted herbs, or go for a whole veggie patch!

TOP TIPS:

* Start with things that are easy and fairly quick to grow, to keep your toddler's interest. Involve them in everything, from sowing the seeds to watering to harvesting

* Grow fruit or veg that you know your toddler likes, to teach them where it comes from

* Or, grow different types of fruit and veg, to encourage toddlers to eat more if they are fussy about their greens!

* Grow things that are funny shapes or bright colors, that will have appeal

* Grow things that are special, like a pumpkin for Halloween or strawberries for a cake

We have a few fruit trees and bushes in our garden so there are apples and berries to pick, and a wonderful cherry tree that yields this juicy selection of cherries!

Photo Credit: Copyright of author

Every year we turn the cherries into a delicious crumble with homemade custard or ice-cream that everyone in the family enjoys. Here's the recipe!

Best Ever Cherry Crumble Recipe
Cherry Crumble. The very name sounds delicious, doesn't it? This lens shows you how to make a cherry crumble with a step by step fresh cherry crumble recipe....

Do You Have a Green Preschooler?

Are you and your toddler eco-friendly?

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Wildlife Garden - Copyright of author
Wildlife Garden - Copyright of author

Animal Conservation for Toddlers

Green Activities for Preschoolers #5

Children love animals, so teaching them to help the animals is the easiest task of all! Encourage them to learn about different kinds of wildlife, big and small, from the back garden to the exotic wilds.

TOP TIPS:

* Involve your toddler in helping the wildlife in your garden. They can help you put nuts and seeds out for the birds, squirrels and other animals, or help you build or decorate a wildlife house or shelter. Encourage them to cherish all the creatures in the garden, including the ants, bees and spiders as well as the furry critters and birds!

* A trip to an animal park, nature reserve, aquarium or the local zoo will help your toddler learn about different kinds of animals. Farms are also great for teaching them where milk, eggs and other foods come from

* TV can be educational! And in this case, it's great for showing your kids the wildlife that they can't see in the garden or zoo, like ocean life, microscopic insects or Arctic wildlife

* Read lots of animal and nature books together, and talk about the basics of conservation, and why it's important to help animals whenever you can

Photo Credit: Copyright of author

After watching the real bears at the zoo, it's fun getting up close and personal with some pretend ones!

Earth Day Song

Be green AND get creative at the same time - after all, kids crafting is one of the best ways to recycle your household bits and bobs!

Cardboard tubes from kitchen towels and loo rolls, empty plastic bottles, spare buttons, bottle tops, cardboard boxes, sweet tins - all treasures in toddler world! Use them to make toys and art with your child, where they can explore painting, sticking, assembling and other skills, depending on their age!

TOP TIPS:

* Make a rocket, spaceship or other exciting vehicle using an empty plastic bottle. You can paint it or cover it with paper, then decorate it. We used one recently to make a GUP submarine from my daughter's favourite (eco-friendly!) ocean show, The Octonauts

* Use cardboard tubes to make instruments or funny people

* Click the image above to find a tutorial on making the pretty pillbox hat from a microwave dinner tray

* Use old jam jars to make containers for your toddler's pens and things, or fill them with different amounts of water to make musical instruments

* Keep scrap bits of paper, magazine clippings, bits of card, and so on, to make fun collages. Embellish them with buttons, sequins, flowers and other bits and bobs

Green Books for Green Preschoolers - The Perfect Picture Books, Activity Books and More for Teaching Green

Reading about animals, nature, helping the planet and more will help your child learn about the world around them and why it is important to help the planet!

More Green Activities for Preschoolers

This page will be continually updated and added to, so check back for more ideas and inspiration!

  • Eco Coloring - have fun with green-themed coloring pages, or recycle old crayons by melting down the old pieces to create new ones (see video below)
  • Waste Not, Want Not Game - have fun indoors or out by teaching your toddler how items can be reused so as not to create waste. Ask them how a certain item or food can be used so as not to go to waste - e.g. use an old plastic bottle to make a toy spaceship, or put the leftover bread out for the birds
  • Planet Rhyme - have fun making up eco rhymes, poems, riddles and songs
  • Eco Instruments - make your own musical instruments by re-using household items - think plastic bottle shakers and so on!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - involve your toddler in recycling ideas. Teach them to help you sort bottles, card and paper into the different recycling bins, for example, or explain how to reduce waste by using both sides of paper to draw on
  • Eco Toys - bring green issues into the play area with a fun recycling truck or similar toy to teach your child through play! If your toddler is a truckaholic like my daughter then they will love something like this interactive Flip N Tip Fred! Made by WOW Toys, they feature movement and action, but don't require batteries!

Green Activities for Preschoolers Video Tutorials

Photo Credit: Copyright of the author

Wellies and waterproofs are a must for nature-loving tots! Here are some other helpful accessories too...

Did you Enjoy these Green Activities for Preschoolers? - Leave your Comments and Feedback here!

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    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      I love gardening and these are some great tips to involve our kids too, thanks for sharing :)

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 3 years ago

      Great lens! You've covered so much!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Green activities for kids for Mother Earth Day, what could be better? Oh, for wishes of a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      My son always turn off all lights unless they are needed, he recycles everything possible as well.

    • attraction 42 profile image

      attraction 42 5 years ago

      I can see, that you love the nature. Thank you.

    • profile image

      swathymenon 5 years ago

      Great Lens and Great activity thanks for sharing this.. and a big thanks for sharing the cute girls photo...

    • SellClean profile image

      SellClean 5 years ago

      Great activities. Can't wait to get a few started with my son! Thanks!

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      Enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      Great lens! Kids should learn to love and take care of the environment at a young age and these ideas are great for them.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Blessings to you both - what a wonderful job you have done.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      These green activities for kids are great. Must try them all :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We need a generation that loves the environment. Thanks for your tips.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 5 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Lovely lens with great ideas for Preschoolers. Kids just love to get their hands dirty.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      These are great ideas. I'll add that our toddler is 42 years old. So these activities are a bit out of reach for us.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 5 years ago from Scotland

      I think it so important from a young age to make children so environmentally aware! these Green Activities are just great to get them started! Fantastic!

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 5 years ago

      I have little ones this age. I appreciate the ideas. My four year old is so excited to plant a garden soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Always good to get them going when young! Wonderful lens on a very important subject!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image
      Author

      Missmerfaery444 5 years ago

      @Lee Hansen: Thank you! That's wonderful, your granddaughter is the same age as my daughter. They pick up so much at this age (and are so enthusiastic about it!) - it's the perfect time for teaching them all these good green habits! :)

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image
      Author

      Missmerfaery444 5 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: Absolutely!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I did, and am so lucky to be able to now enjoy the same green crafts, activities and gardening joys with my toddler granddaughter. She is a genuine organic Vermonter, right down to putting recycling into the correct bins and papers into the woodstove kindling basket at just 2 and a half. Love this lens!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great ideas. It's never too early to teach conservation and self sufficiency.