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How to teach your kids to care for nature

Ways teach kids to respect nature

Teaching your kids how to respect nature and the environment around them will make them more complete adults and instill respect they can take into other parts of their lives.

There are multiple ways to give your kids these lessons, so get your son into his boys trainers or ensure your child has a coat on because it’s time to get your kids enthralled with nature.

Talk with them about caring for nature

The first thing is to have conversations. Talk with them about why we need plants and trees, why it’s OK if there are some bees in the garden, etc. This may seem small, but understanding something is the first step to respecting it.

Bees are a great example, as some children may be scared of them and even try to kill them. But they won’t choose to do this if they know why the bee is there and what it is doing for them.


Considering everyone should recycle, teaching your kids how and why to do it from an early age will build a lifelong habit. You can either put them in charge of recycling or even have a small recycling box in the house just for them.

For the first few weeks or months, consider giving them a small reward for filling up their box. Eventually, it will be something they do without even thinking about it.

Grow a plant

Growing a plant will give your child responsibility and also allow them to care for something that isn’t necessarily giving them the same joy as a toy. However, it is the end result that is important.

If the plant grows into something pretty or grows their favorite fruit or vegetable, they will begin to see that nature requires care and patience if you are to enjoy it fully.

Don’t let them damage plants, trees, or animal homes

One mistake many parents make is letting their children destroy plants, trees, or places where animals have made their homes. While it may be fun for kids, they don’t realize that they are possibly destroying a home or food source for an animal.

It is important that they know that nature isn’t there solely to benefit them. Everything exists for a reason. Therefore, destroying it is taking it away from an animal, insect, or plant that may need it.

Teach them about plants and animals

As mentioned already, it can be very hard for a child to care for something that they don’t understand. Therefore, teaching about nature using kids’ books or telling your own stories allows them to understand why it exists and what it does.

This can also help keep them safe. If you live somewhere with poisonous snakes or plants around, make sure your child understands they are dangerous and to keep their distance.

Watch documentaries and TV shows about respecting nature

There are tons of child-friendly documentaries and TV shows dedicated to helping kids get closer to nature and teaching them about the environment. These shows are also quite fun and allow your kids to learn without boredom.

If you remember the late Steve Irwin, he was incredibly passionate and informative but packaged it in a way that made many people feel the same love he did for animals.

Caring for nature: Make it fun

Most kids won’t do something if they don’t think it will be fun or if there isn’t a game associated with it. To change this, you can turn nature and environment-related things into a game they can “win.”

For example, ask them to find different flowers in the garden. Or to try spotting as many different birds as they can. This not only gets them outside but, once again, builds their interest and knowledge of their surroundings.

Give them responsibility

Many parents get a pet for their child as a way to learn responsibility. It’s not the only option, though.

For instance, they can either help you water the garden, plant a few flowers or be the one who changes the food in the bird feeder. The goal is to teach them the positive things they can do to help the creatures and plants living around them.

Do trash cleanups

Another simple task is to grab a couple of trash bags and take your child to do a clean-up. It can be on the beach, in the forest, or in a local park.

The goal is to get your child to see what happens if they don’t do their part. And how their efforts can go a long way to help the planet.

Picking up trash isn’t a fun job. Knowing that throwing your trash away properly in a bin and recycling can help prevent litter and environmental damage, and a cleanup outing helps kids learn that lesson.

Insects are friends

Finally, many children tend to love creatures and animals that are cute or look fun, such as dogs, squirrels, or something similar. However, many grow up not giving a second thought to insects and their place in the world.

Teach your child that trying to catch dragonflies or stomping on ants isn’t OK just because these creatures are small and seem insignificant to them. To care for nature, you must care for all of it, even the creepy crawlies.

10 thoughts on “How to teach your kids to care for nature”

  1. Great tips! My daughter already likes Octonauts (in the linked NYT article). Also she loves taking care of, and feeding the animals at her preschool. Those spiders 🕷️ on Robbie’s Inspiration post are interesting! Lots of them! I like the James and the Giant Peach quote on that post, too. 🙂

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