Every connection a child makes in and with nature is a building block to a strong, meaningful relationship with this beautiful planet we inhabit. It is only by encouraging and nourishing this connection that we can hope to raise a generation of children who will truly care for the Earth. Imagine the ripple effect that would make in the world.
Lately we seem to be flooded with national days - from Pancakes to Save the Dandelions , some of these celebrations can be fun, some are really meaningful, while others just feel purely commercial (I'm looking at you, World Nutella Day). But out of all these special celebrations one that we love and always get behind is Earth Day.
Started in 1970, Earth Day’s purpose is to expand public interest in environmentalism, and it has given people a reason, every April 22, to talk about the future of our planet. Earth Day is about making positive changes in the world. It reminds us that Mother Earth is alive in each of us, and needs tending and healing.
It is a wonderful celebration to share with our children, and the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and do something special together.
If you don't know where to start, here are some ideas for you.
Pick Up One Bag of Trash
Choose a special nature spot - a local park, or your favourite beach - to clean up. Grab some gloves, a pick up stick and a large rubbish bag and aim to fill it with all the litter you find.
You will be surprised at how much there is around! Children love cleaning up green spaces and this can easily become a family, school or community tradition.
Celebrate National Parks Plan and go on a fun outdoor family adventure. We are so blessed to be in a country with abundant wild spaces and wildlife. For example the Sunshine Coast, where we live, is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland. How amazing is that? Why not take the opportunity to explore somewhere new?
Plant with Purpose
Pollinators like bees and butterflies are essential to our ecosystems. Sadly, they become more endangered each year. One easy way to help sustain these incredible creatures is to plant their best food sources. Look for native plants or start with something small, like kitchen herbs and wildflowers. Whether you plant one seedling or a whole garden, it will be a rewarding experience for you and your child.
Throw a Birthday Party for the Earth This is a fun activity that can be easily done in your home backyard. Stage a birthday party for Mama Earth. Dig some mud, or scoop out some sand, and add all sorts of nature treasures to a pretend birthday cake. It's the perfect combination of sensory, pretend and messy play.
Adopt a Tree
Take a walk to a local park, nature reserve or even simply in your garden, and invite your child to choose a particular tree to 'adopt'. Spend some time getting to know your tree - using your senses of sight, touch, hearing, and smell. You can write a message of gratitude and love to hang on a branch. Bring a favourite book to read together under your story tree.
No matter how you celebrate, happiest 52nd Earth Day to you all!