Four Inexpensive or Free Eco-Friendly Activities To Do With Kids
We’re pleased to introduce this guest post from Amy Williams. Amy is a mother of two and a former social worker. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.
We should look at ways to celebrate our planet every day. Eco-friendly habits are something that many of us want to instill into the next generation as second nature.
Eco-friendly activities can include crafts, games, and other stuff right in your home or school that are already part of your daily life. At Mercy Home, the girls and boys even engage in some great eco-friendly activities such as gardening, creating crafts, or playing sports as part of their day.
To get kids active in assisting the environment, we can start young and show them ways they can reduce their carbon footprint on our planet. Here’s four ways to get kids more involved without spending much money:
#1 – PUT THEM ON POWER PATROL
Putting children in charge of a project makes them feel more in control and also builds their self-esteem. Offer them small rewards or incentives for finding ways that your home is wasting electricity or power. If you have more than one child, it can be a contest to see who can find the most offenders in one month. Remind them of all the different ways we could be saving on electricity and watch them participate in the program.
#2 – Turn An Old Pizza Box Into An Oven
This is a great way to teach kids about recycling, saving energy and using solar power all in one easy, fun and inexpensive items. Most of the parts needed to build this reusable, miniature warming device can be found in almost any household:
- A cardboard pizza box from a recent delivery order or takeout trip
- Scissors or a utility knife
- Pencil or a pen
- Ruler or yardstick
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
- Black construction paper
They’ll need adult supervision to use the scissors or box knife, but this is a fun project to do with kids. For the complete instructions, visit the Home Science Tools page here. For a recipe on how to make some delicious S’mores in a similar oven design, visit Nasa’s Climate Kids website.
#3 – Plant a Garden
Even if you don’t have a big backyard, this shouldn’t stop you and your children from having a window sill full of herbs or some tomato plants on your patio. Buying a few packets of seeds, some fertilizer or potting soil won’t set back parents back too far financially or maybe a kids might want to contribute some of their allowance for their very own garden.
#4 – MAKE TOYS OUT OF RECYCLED OBJECTS
Perhaps the most popular plaything kids can make out of ordinary household objects is a boat. Turn an old milk carton into a sailing vessel for example. Google “milk carton boat” and watch videos or check out some articles on this simple task that will engage your child. Once your project is complete, take it to a nearby stream, lake or other waterway and set sail.
BONUS: From Imagine Childhood comes a concept on how to make tiny outdoor dwellings from mud, clay or other ingredients. All it takes is a little imagination and some fun out in the sun. Encourage your children to play with their handheld devices less often and go outdoors, which will also use less electricity and is friendlier on the environment.