This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of OPEI. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you follow my site at all, chances are you’re a mom who’s already pretty eco-conscious, or on a journey to get there and wanting to learn more. To me, one of the most important things that we can do as parents is to teach our children to be aware of the environment around them and the things that we can do to help protect it! When children are eco-conscious, they grow to become responsible adults.
The great thing about this is that it’s easy: basically it comes down to setting a good example and having lots of conversations with your kids.
Be a good role model.
This is perhaps the easiest way to teach your children to be eco-conscious. Children pay attention to what you do. If you recycle, reuse, and pay attention to how you consume, your children will grow up with that example. If you spend time outside as a family, kids will learn to appreciate the green space around them – especially in their own yards!
Look for learning moments to discuss why you are eco-conscious. For example, when you’re shopping you might choose to purchase an item at a flea market. Explain to your child why you’re buying used instead of new.
Help them explore outdoors.
Nature is what you’re trying to preserve and protect. If your child doesn’t get out and enjoy the outdoors, they won’t have an appreciation for the earth. This doesn’t mean that you have to travel to exotic places, it can be as simple as stepping into your backyard! There are always tons of things that you can learn by exploring around your own home (In fact, keep reading on to find some great resources to teach you how to utilize your yard!)
Make it a game.
Show your children how much water or electricity you use each month. Make it a game to lower your consumption. Turn off the lights when they’re not in use. Use water sparingly. Turn off all appliances. See how much you can reduce your electric, gas or water bill during the month. Then reward children for their efforts.
To make it super easy, Scholastic and OPEI have partnered up and put together some really fun and creative ways that you can do all of these things with your kids! Their site has creative activities, interactive Story Starter Tool, custom Storybooks, and a Student Contest that empower students and families to champion best practices in green space care by inspiring an exploration of backyard science, environmental activism, and outdoor activities.
Superheroes TurfMutt & the Outdoor Powers are on a mission to teach students, their teachers and families backyard science including how to take better care of the green spaces around them and the importance of living landscapes. With the activities in this new hands-on science program, you can help them save the planet one yard at a time!
Be A Backyard Superhero Contest
The Be A Backyard Superhero Contest was set up to encourage students to write a creative essay using the TurfMutt resources. The contest opened on February 5, 2016 and ends on April 6, 2016. Entry form can be found on the teacher and parent sites.
Parents and teachers can enter students in the “Be A Backyard Superhero” Contest. Students who enter will be tasked with creating an original short essay that describes how he or she is a “Backyard Superhero,” and along with TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers, and along with TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers, combats the environmental villains Carbon Creep, Dust Demon, Dr. Runoff, and Heat Freak and saves living landscapes everywhere. For students in grades K-2 the story should be between 25-50 words, and for students in grades 3-5 the story should be 100-150 words. Entrants will create an original picture to illustrate their entry using the character cutouts downloaded by the parent/legal guardian or teachers. You can enter here or read the Official Rules.
Two (2) grand prize winners, one where the submitting student was in grades K-2 and one where the submitting student was in grades 3-5, will receive a $5,000 grant from OPEI to improve their green space. One hundred (100) runner-up winners (50 in grades K-2) and (50 in grades 3-5) will receive a free book from Scholastic.
Do you have any other advice for fun ways to get your kids involved? Leave a comment and let me know!