One of the main reasons many people fight climate change is to preserve the future for their children. But how can you get your children to look after the environment themselves?
As complex as climate change and its solutions are, getting your children to engage with environmental issues doesn’t have to be difficult, dull or apocalyptic. To get started, here are some fun tips on how to teach global warming for kids.
Games, experiments and museums
Learning about the science behind climate change in a fun and engaging way has never been easier. There are many games on the internet designed to teach children about the science behind climate change; light up houses using wind power or find out what materials you can recycle by throwing them in the right bin.
There is a lot that you can do beyond a screen too. Turn your home into an exciting science lab by running your own science experiments such as illustrating the greenhouse effect with a mini terrarium. For younger children, use creative ice cube moulds to illustrate how melting ice caps can raise water levels and increase flooding.
Another option when teaching global warming for kids is to organise a trip to your closest science museum and let your kids loose on the interactive exhibits.
Encourage sustainable habits
Lead by example and create an environment in which sustainable habits are easy to maintain and considered the norm. For example, you can ensure that all recycling bins and composting boxes are at the right height and easy to access for the whole family. Buying food with less packaging, re-using plastic water bottles and plastic bags are just a few simple ways that you can integrate sustainable living into your household and that will encourage your children to do the same.
The great thing about sustainable habits is that they often overlap with other valuable life skills that your grandmother would have approved of such as saving money and making things last. By encouraging your children to be frugal and to mend items, you are already doing your bit for the planet and its future custodians.
Get creative with recycling
Take one item, a plastic bottle for example, and set yourself the challenge of making as many different items as you can. Have a go at creating a bird feeder, planter or pencil pot. This will make your child realise that there are many other alternatives to throwing packaging away. You can also give your child examples of how plastic bottles can be recycled into other items such as garden furniture and drainage pipes!
Take a day trip to the zoo or wildlife conservation centre
Unfortunately the only place to see many endangered species are in zoos. While zoos were once places of entertainment, they are increasingly becoming conservation centres that educate visitors about the devastating effects of climate change on wildlife habitats.
Experiencing endangered animals first-hand is also a vivid way of making your children realise what the world will lose if they became extinct. Many zoos also give you the opportunity to get involved with conservation projects, allowing you to adopt an animal for example, and this is a great way to help your children connect with the subject matter more closely.
Changing the world through global campaigns
Get your children involved in fundraising events and charities that run climate change campaigns. Host a bake sale or go on a family bike ride that seek to raise awareness about green issues and provide education on global warming for kids. Campaigns like this will also help your children go beyond individual acts and help them see the bigger picture and understand that every section of society, from companies to governments, need to work together in order to find a solution to climate change.
By nurturing a few simple habits and organising fun days out, getting your kids to combat climate change can be a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.