Tomorrow, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. As you renew your commitment to care for our planet, keep in mind that the absolutely greatest contribution we can make toward Earth’s stewardship is to raise children who care.
Children raised in a caring family environments have greater capacity for empathy not only toward themselves and others but their communities and world. Children tend to care more deeply about what their parents hold and express as family values. To nurture their interest in nature, children need a parent or another caring adult to take them outdoors and share in their curiosity and wonder.
It’s not enough to say you care for the planet — you got to live it and model it to your children.
So, get the whole family out into nature. Plant a tree. Pick up litter in the park. Construct bee, bat, and bird houses. Participate in citizen scientist pollinator or toad counts. Watch nature documentaries. Visit your local natural history museum. Go camping. Turn over a log to discover insects underneath. Go to the zoo. Watch the birds and squirrels. Take a walk. Go cloud-watching. Pick wildflowers. Wade in a creek.
Need more inspiration? Children who get unstructured playtime outside are healthier, earn better grades, and receive other benefits — learn more in this video from the Nature Kids Institute: