When you want your child to care about nature, they need to have the chance to experience it first-hand. Those who are allowed to explore and enjoy their surroundings when they are little will continue to develop a connection with nature, caring deeply about animals, and always marvel at the sight of flowers in bloom.
Here is how you can help your children to keep caring, encouraging them to kindle their love for nature and watch them grow into environmental stewards with time.
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Let them develop a relationship with nature
Watching children play outside is a heartwarming sight at any age. Shrieking at the sight of a creepy bug, staring wide-eyed at the deer in their backyard, and gathering handfuls of flowers throughout summer; it doesn’t get more innocent and joyful than this.
While parents can encourage their children to care for nature and understand the importance of being kind to the environment, it’s a lot easier to make this happen when you allow them to experience it for themselves.
This goes beyond watching them play around in the garden, though, so head off on a camping trip a couple of times a year. That way, they will be able to observe, touch, smell, and explore the wildlife in safe surroundings without being limited to the shrubs and hedgehogs of your backyard.
Camping trips with small children are a lot of fun, but they can be a handful; make sure you stay warm and dry by checking out Tents and Camp Gear and find the kind of equipment that’s right for your family.
Talk about nature and people
Experiencing nature and developing a lifelong relationship to it is just the beginning. To children, nature is magical and intriguing, but it’s not always as easy for them to realize the connection between people and their environment. Talk about how the things you use in your daily life affect nature – and how it can affect our lives.
When you sit around the dinner table, for example, talk about what kind of natural resources you had to use in order to prepare it as well as the carbon footprints of the food you’re eating. By bringing awareness to their basic understanding of Mother Earth, you’re also triggering a curiosity for what can be done; how are people today destroying nature and what can we do to make it more sustainable?
By continuing the conversation when you’re outside, it’s easier for them to broaden their perspective and see the world as not just the present, but also the past and the future.
Nature tells a story about what it used to look like in the past, how it has evolved, and what it may look like with time. As your child grow up, they’ll be able to understand how the actions of humans affect our planet and consider possible futures if it keeps heading down the same track.
All children have a basic love for nature. The best thing you can for them, as well as our planet, is to encourage their interest and broaden their understanding. Give them opportunities to explore, find room to talk about the environment, and continue to kindle the care that’s already inside of them.