Greening Your Kids This Summer

By Rita Cook   

How much do your children know about
green living -- here are some simple ways to turn an eco-friendly education
into fun.

Instead of spending time doing the same
old activities with your children this summer, get outdoors and teach your
tykes a little about the earth. Not sure where to begin, here are a few ideas
to get you started.

1. Create an organic garden in your
backyard and if you have time, do some composting too.  Backyard gardening is a great way to teach
your children about the importance of not only eating healthy, but also being

2. You’re probably already recycling at
home, if you’re not there’s never been a better time to start than teaching
your children how to do it too. Already recycling, have your children do the
sorting and explain to them just how much can be recycled every day. An
upcoming event in your area might also be a good way to obtain even more
helpful information.

3. Find a green organization and have
your child volunteer for a few weeks. How about a local group that plants trees
in the area – a good way to promote cleaner air. Visit and find an organization near

4. Head to a local nature center for
some outdoor quality time. Many nature centers offer a great place for children
to learn more about nature through educational programs, hands on activities
and outdoor trails. 

5. Send your child to a nature camp for
a week or find a day camp. Local Recreation Center’s offer all sorts of
eco-conscious nature friendly programs for children and it’s a good way for
them to make new friends.

6. Create a fun game that you can play with your
children outdoors. A nature game is a great way to get your child involved in
having fun – think nature bingo. Create a table of items for your children to
look for while visiting a nearby park or even on an overnight camping trip.
From a magazine cut out items from nature and as you spot each thing with your
child mark it off the list.  Examples
might be animal prints, nuts, seeds, flowers, bird feathers and local stones.

7. Set up a bird feeder in your yard and
have your children help you keep the food plentiful for local birds. As the
birds enjoy your yard you can discuss with your child the various birds you see
that live in the area and also talk about bird migration.

8. A picnic in the park is always a fun
time outdoors. Forget about the wicker and plastic and use old plates and cloth
napkins instead. Pack organic foods and then sit on the ground and teach your
child how to engage with the earth.

9. A trip to the local Farmer’s Market
can be educational and fun offering information about organic and local foods.
Even better, there are plenty of food samples for your child to try as well.

Photo credit: Russell Dandridge