Children are inherently curious, enthusiastic nature lovers. They are impressionable and eager to learn about their surroundings, and Earth Day presents a precious opportunity to teach them about the environment.
Here are 10 child-friendly activities to help you celebrate Earth Day with your children in Barbados.
Plant a tree, or start a garden
Let your children literally feel the earth in their hands by digging through soil and into the ground to plant a tree, or garden. If you lack outdoor space, plant an herb garden in a window box or on your balcony. These activities will enable kids to take pride in growing their own food or fauna, as well as giving them a sense of responsibility in caring for the planet’s offspring.
Explore nature in your area
Whether you simply take your children on a nature walk around your neighbourhood, or to the beach, get outdoors with your children and teach them to appreciate nature. We live in a tropical paradise and the beach is a beautiful space to explore! Similarly, the Graham Hall Nature Sanctuary, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Farley Hill National Park and the East Coast are also beautiful places to explore with your little ones.
Give away stuff you don’t need
Ask your children to fill a large bag with toys, books and clothing items they no longer use or wear. Then donate these items to local organizations. Note: Most libraries gladly accept children’s book donations. In Barbados, you can donate to the group Freecycle Barbados.
Go bird watching
…and then come home and build a birdhouse out of recycled materials. This will instill in your kids an affinity for our feathered friends that will spread to all wildlife. You can also visit the birds at Graham Hall Nature Sanctuary and birdwatch from the Animal Flower Cave.
Reduce Reuse Recycle!
Dump out your recycling bin and ask your kids to find ways to reuse the contents. Glass jars could be used as vases or frames, milk cartons may be made into birdhouses, egg cartons can be used as organizers for jewelry and other small treasures… their imagination is the limit!
Make Earth Day resolutions
Sit down as a family and make a list of things you’re all willing to do to save the earth year round. Go veggie? Switch your light bulbs? Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth? Write down your resolutions and post them where you may all be reminded of your new earth loving habits.
Hit the Farmers Market
There are various farmer’s markets to chose from in Barbados, on any day of the week, so take your kids to your local farmer’s market to buy fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers. They’ll learn to support their local farmers and they’ll appreciate how food gets from the farm to the dinner table. Encourage your kids to strike up conversations with vendors and farmers to learn more about their methods and crops. Our favourites are Hastings, Cheapside and Brighton Farmer’s Market.
Buy used books or borrow books from the library about animals, (The Hungry Caterpillar is our favourite!) plants, nature, trees, and the planet to add to your child’s book collection. Reading these stories on a regular basis will foster an ongoing appreciation for the world and all creatures. Read them on Earth Day and every day!