Saturday, April 7, 2012

5 Simple Ways To Help Your Child Love The Earth

Hello again! I'm Ayn and I am a Ga. Pre-K teacher, serving 4 and 5 year olds in an inclusive setting. I share my classroom adventures on my blog, little illuminations

Teaching kids to care for our earth is an enormous task. I confess that I am not nearly as green as I would like to be. We live in a disposable world these days and I know that it's easy to "talk the talk" about being green and not so easy to "walk the walk".  Today, I'm sharing 5 simple ways to help kids start to make environmentally friendly habits.

5 Simple Ways To Help Your Child Love The Earth

1. Take a Litter Walk
  Nature walks are always fun and help kids become aware of the world around them. Try turning that nature walk into a litter walk! We frequently go on nature walks and pick up any litter we may find. 

2. Create awareness 
  One of the simple ways I illustrate the effects of litter is to take 2 clear containers filled with clean water. I place some of the litter we find in one of the containers. After several days, the container with litter has very dirty water and the children can easily see the effect the litter has had. 
  Another activity I do is to make a fake "pond" with paper, a blanket or a towel. I invite the children to put some toy pond animals in the pond and talk about how happy they are to live there. I walk around the pond, and pick up various items of litter and carelessly toss them into the water as I stroll around. Soon, the pond is covered in litter. We talk about how this affects the animals and pond life. We then work together to "clean the pond".

3. Plant a seed, plant a garden
Although I don't have a green thumb by any means, planting is always a great Spring activity. This year we planted sunflower seeds in cups (next week, we'll plant beans in baggies taped to our window).

We also started a brand new garden this year, from the ground up. We hauled the bricks for the perimeter, raked and hoed the weeds and grass out of the patch and softened the soil. We then planted a variety of seeds and took turns filling the watering can and watering the garden. I'm excited to see how our garden grows!

4. Start a recycling bin
Kids are great little "detectives", searching for the recycling symbol on bottles, cans and containers. Why not let them make their own bin out of recycled materials, too?

Note the green recycle arrows and the happy earth!
5. Reuse and re-purpose materials
We use old containers and boxes in our home living center, we make props out of boxes that supplies come in, use coffee cans for  storage, instruments and sand toys. Old magazines become art supplies, scrap yarn goes in our "make a puppet" box and bottle tops become math and literacy manipulatives. 

Each small step helps build a lifelong awareness of caring for our environment. Start small, and let the kids help brainstorm ways they can help take care of our planet. 

Stop by and visit me anytime at or visit the little illuminations fanpage on facebook!


  1. Great ideas perfect for the weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It may seem little things, and they are: When I go for an excursion with my students (we have fun!) I teach them not to drop wrapping papers or plastic bags or cans abfter some meal.
    Sometimes one reminds another of picking up the waste and keep it for the garbage container when back to town.
    I believe each time I remind them of these things is like a new seed that will grow fruit: nothing is lost!
    Fernando Díez Gallego
    From beautiful Granada, Spain
    Teacher of English and teacher trainer
    Oh, I saw your blog in TeacherLingo. I contribute myself sometimes.

    1. Fernando~it's the little things, like you mentioned, that will make all the difference! Thanks for your kind comments! :)

    2. I agree, Fernando! I had to comment when I saw that you are from Granada. I spent a semester in Jaen and travelled to Granada a few times. Spain is a beautiful country and I miss it!


  3. Thank you for posting! I love it all! We also do a big garden and encourage all those things (recycling, etc.) Just this week we even studied plants in our "preschool"

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Miss Amanda! It looks like you've had a lot of fun! I love your wheat grass cups---in my class we call them "Hairy Harrys"! :)

  4. Hi Ayn -- this is fantastic! Thanks for all you're doing to promote awareness, caring and wonder.

  5. Great pictures! I love the "Erf" sign!

  6. I love your activities, Ayn! The fake "pond" is awesome ... a creative and memorable way to make a point! I pinned your post to my Kids' Spring Activities board at

  7. What a beautiful post! Thank you for the inspiration!

  8. I am so going to do the water experiment. Such an easy yet effective way for children to see first hand the effects pollution has on the ecosystem. Great job!


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...