3 Tips to Raise Kids Who Love Nature

raise kids who love nature

My parents set a great example, and being good to the earth was a way of life and simply expected when I was growing up; I never thought twice about it. Today, as an avid environmentalist, I'm naturally drawn to pass on the message of green living to my son and to reach people through blog posts about sustainable and frugal living on my blog, Dagmar's Home.

I once attended a talk by Alex Shoumatoff — a famous American writer known for his nature and environmental writing — in which he recalled his idyllic childhood in Bedford, NY.

He recalled days of exploring the woods in his backyard with friends as a young boy, learning about local animals and plants, and knowing every corner of his neighborhood.

One thing he mentioned sticks with me still today: he said that if you teach children to care about nature, they will want to take care of it. So if we make sure that our children care about the environment, they will want to take good care of it and fight for it.

One thing he mentioned sticks with me still today: he said that if you teach children to care about nature, they will want to take care of it.

It sounds simple, and it is, but it's also a very powerful statement, and leaves parents with a large responsibility, which I'm personally happy to take on.

Especially in today's world, with the many pollutants already affecting our environment and our families' health, I feel it's my duty to teach my son about recycling, reusing, and conserving precious resources.

My 3 Tips For Raising Kids Who Love Nature:

Give Your Children the Opportunity to Experience Nature

Make a point to take to your kids to a nearby public farm often so your kids can see where the eggs, the milk, and the meat they eat come from.

Let them touch the animals, answer their questions, and take advantage of educational programs the farm might offer for children.

Our local farms offer summer farm camps, egg collecting, 4-H groups, and special events throughout the year like sheep shearing every Mother's Day. I fondly remember the weeks I spend on a farm every summer.

{ MORE:  Green Living }

Make Recycling, Reusing, and Repurposing a Way of Life

I grew up in Germany, and we separated trash into six different bins: glass (clear, green, and brown); paper; aluminum; compost; recyclable trash, and non-recyclable trash.

Involve your kids in the recycling effort at home and teach them that resources are limited and why. Find ways to upcycle materials like toilet paper rolls and cardboard or magazine pages into creative craft projects. A simple search for DIY upcycling projects on Pinterest will garner many ideas for fun projects.

{ MORE:  Inexpensive Rainy Day Craft Ideas }

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Buy Your Children Toys and Books with a Green Message

Looking for a new book or toy to buy for your child? Why not make it a book about recycling or a toy that has been made with recycled plastic? I recently compiled a list of 7 Children’s Books About Green Living and Healthy Eating, and I also really like the Toysmith green science kits for older kids that let them make a solar car out of a water bottle or a working clock with a potato.

My son knows I won't warm up the car in the driveway for him in the winter, he knows that we mostly eat organic food and why, he's part of a 4-H group, and he's the first one to remind me about turning off the light. I'm looking forward to seeing him teach the same values of green living to his children.

Do you think it's important to teach kids a love for nature? How do you accomplish that in your home?

What do you think?

3 Tips to Raise Kids Who Love Nature

Dagmar tackles motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green and frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She loves finding treasures in thrift stores and sells her handmade candles on Dagmar's Home Decor. Connect with her on Twitter (26,000 followers), Facebook, and Pinterest. ... More

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