It's summer and there's one thing parents hate to hear from the kids, "I'm bored!" While you're looking for easy ways to entertain the kiddies, you can also pass along important lessons on being eco-friendly. Here are my top five green ways to keep kids busy all summer long.
Have an eco-adventure
Eco-adventures don't have to be a daunting task. They can be anything you want them to be. A simple walk or hike is the perfect opportunity to learn about the trees, flowers and insects. Or, think bigger. National parks are affordable and filled with all sorts of adventures from camping to horseback riding.
One of the best ways to take care of the planet is to get more life from things you have. So instead of tossing out things like milk cartons, cereal boxes, or old T-shirts, show your kids how to transform them into something useful. Some crafts we love are making bird feeders, crafting T-shirt tote bags, and creating a kids' organizer from "trash."
Grow a garden
This activity is fun for parents. Watching children turn seeds into food is a thrill. They learn about where their food comes from, how to care for their crops, and get to eat their hard work. Plus, you'll know exactly what's in the fruits and veggies your family is eating. Give your kids a couple packets of seeds and a window box or planter full of healthy soil and let them have fun getting dirty.
Visit the library
Don't spend money or resources on new books and videos when you can get an endless supply at your library. Plus, most libraries have readings and presentations for every age group throughout the summer at no cost. If you're looking to check out books that teach an important environmental message, start with The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, which teaches children about the importance of trees. Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter talks trash and shows us why we can't keep adding to the garbage pile. And, Good Growing: A Kids' Guide to Gardening helps kids start a garden no matter how much (or how little) space they have.
An important lesson for all children to learn is to how to be charitable. This summer, don't let shoes, clothes, toys, bikes and the like sit around your home when there is a lot of life left in them. Donate old toys, bike, and even shoes.