Here we go with Part 2 of the ABCs of Raising Eco-Friendly Kids series. If you missed the first part, be sure to follow the link to ABCs of Raising Eco-Friendly Kids Part 1. I really hope you are finding this series informative and fun. I know that going through the exercise of writing all of this information down and collecting all of these links has been extremely motivating for me. I have discovered new areas to explore and rediscovered some of my favourite things about leading an eco-friendly lifestyle. Off we go with Part 2…N thru Z. Be sure to check out all of our amazing Green Living Ideas for Families.
O – Outdoor Play – Obviously, I was going to say outdoor play for the letter “O”. The importance of outdoor play for children (and adults) cannot possibly be stressed enough. The best part about outdoor play is that it doesn’t need to be anything structured and it doesn’t need to cost one cent. Grab the kid’s toys and take them to your outdoor space…who says you can’t play with a dollhouse and Lego outside? The simple act of being outside, feeling the sun, breathing the air, and finding coolness in the shade is mood-altering.
Q – Quiet the Noise – I love the ruckus that comes when kids are playing. It can get pretty loud sometimes. With all that noise you can miss out on the sounds of nature. The next time you take the kids for a walk has a few moments of silence……..who knows what you might hear.
R – Readiness – Have you ever wanted to go for a walk in the rain, only to realize that your child’s rain boots don’t fit anymore. I have. Readiness is about being organized and prepared for the weather possibilities you might face. The sun isn’t always shining and sometimes the sun is actually shining too much. Kids love being outside exploring nature and playing, but only when they have the right clothing and equipment to have a great time. (check out this post about playing in the rain)
S – Scavenger Hunt – We love scavenger hunts. If your kids aren’t keen on going for long walks, turn your walk into a scavenger hunt. Grab a brown bag and write a list of items they have to collect or identify. It is amazing to see how kids’ attitudes change when you give them a fun job to do. (check out our Earth day scavenger hunt)
T – Taking the Next Step – I have said before that assessing what is motivating your desire to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle is the very first step in making some changes…but what’s the next step? Pretty easy actually…get your motivation working for you. Time to make another list. Take the “What motivates me” list and brainstorm any ideas for change that pop into your head. Think big and think small. Are your children’s allergies motivating you to make a change? Maybe your list of actions might include; moving to a warmer/dryer climate, removing all the wall-to-wall carpeting from the house or changing cleaning products. Some ideas might seem extreme and others will seem completely doable. Grab hold of those first small steps that will lead you down the road to a cleaner and greener life for your family.
U – Uniqueness of the Seasons – Live seasonally…embrace the seasons where you live and all that comes with your home climate. Knowing what fruit and vegetables are in season not only saves you money, but it helps you eat the best quality foods. As the seasons flow past celebrate the changes around. We can say that we don’t like winter, it’s snowy, cold and grey. What does that teach our children? We can embrace difficult climates and find ways to be resourceful and have fun no matter what season we are in.
V – Volunteer – We all lead busy lives, there is no doubt about it. However, we all know the importance of volunteering our time for a worthy cause. Last year our entire family volunteered to clean up our local shoreline and it was a blast. The girls were totally hands-on involved in the clean-up. They learned so much and met some amazing people at the event. What eco-group could you volunteer for in your community? Do a little research and you might be surprised how rewarding volunteering really is. (our shoreline clean up story)
W – Water Conscious – Water is our barest of necessities. We truly cannot survive without it. When I was a kid acid rain was the hot topic, now it was the scarcity of water. Children understand the joys associated with water…playing with water. But, it is also important for children to understand the ways that we can conserve water and protect our wetlands. Every drop counts. (check out our rain barrel post)
X – exploring the World – You don’t need a passport and a plane ticket…all you need is a library or a computer. Opening kids’ eyes to the way that another kid’s around the world live is incredibly powerful. Some great sites to explore are National Geographic Kids and United States Environmental Protection Kid’s Space.
Y – Young Leaders – Where does your child’s passion lie? What are they interested in at the moment? It doesn’t matter how young or old they are, kids can be the leaders. Follow their lead. If your child is interested in dogs – learn about dogs around the world. If your child is interested in Lego – figure out how to build a community completely, with power stations and water treatment facilities. Follow their lead, who knows where it will take you.
Z – Zero Time Left – There is no time like the present to start making small changes in your family’s life that will lead you to an eco-friendlier lifestyle.
The “ABC’s of…” is a web-wide series which involves over 70 Kid Bloggers sharing fabulous A-Z tips, activities and information about a variety of kid-related subjects. Raising Eco-Friendly Kids is part of the Mom’s Tips and Tricks segment of the series. Please, browse through all the incredible topics and blogs that are taking part…
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