Fun Ways Kids Can Learn about Ecology In the Garden
Why is it important to have a relationship with the Earth?
Encouraging the younger generations to form a relationship with the Earth is a mission that has been passed down for thousands of years in cultures around the world. The difference is that now it is more important than ever because of the changing climate and the danger humans have created in our ecosystems. We must serve as examples for our children to continue our work in the future. Building and nurturing a relationship with the Earth is just like having a relationship with a person, based on mutual respect, empathy, sacrifice, and the desire to understand one another. The Earth provides us everything we need to not only survive but to live happy and fruitful lives. In return, we are responsible for taking care of it.
Practice and play to build a better relationship:
The most effective way to build your kids’ relationship with the Earth is to get them engaged and involved. Here are some activities you can try together.
Geocaching is an activity in which people use an app and a GPS to hide and search for containers called geocaches. These containers are hidden all over the world. Going on an adventure with your children is like hunting for buried treasure and encourages them to get outside and enjoy nature. Try the Geocaching app by Groundspeak Inc. on your phone for your first treasure hunt together.
At the next family craft night, plan a nature-themed activity. You can paint flower pots with plastic-free paint, press flowers, or even build a birdhouse. A team of moms have created the perfect game Wildcraft board game. This game will teach your kiddos and you all about plants and herbs, which ones are not safe, which ones you can eat, and feed the animals. The possibilities are endless, and it’s an excellent opportunity to grow closer.
Plant flowers or veggies:
One of the easiest ways to give back to the Earth is to grow something in your backyard. Consider creating a small space for your kids to have their little garden. Fill it with their favorite flowers, and put them in charge of watering it every week. This not only builds their relationship with the Earth but teaches them the responsibility of caring for something.
Make seed bombs:
Have you ever heard of a seed bomb? They are made with just three ingredients: clay, soil, and seeds. The clay protects the seeds from animals, and the soil provides the necessary nutrients for the plant to grow. Wildflower seeds are among the hardiest and are therefore the go-to for seed bombs. Once they have been made, simply drop them on the soil surface and leave them to grow. No planting is needed.
Pollinators are the backbone of our ecosystem, yet they are dying at alarming rates. It is up to us to provide havens for them to work. Try growing a pollinator garden in your year, or even a small one on your balcony. All you need are some perennial milkweeds and wildflowers native to your area.
Host a “green” birthday party:
Encourage more kids to have a relationship with the Earth by hosting an eco-friendly birthday party for your child. Use biodegradable decorations, go to the park, have a scavenger hunt for local flora, or watch a movie with environmental themes.
Getting kids involved with the world around them from a young age encourages mindfulness, which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Be an example for your children, and they will grow into empathetic adults that treat our Earth with the utmost respect.