Eco-activities for kids

Photo: iStockphoto.com/David Benhoff

Want to get your kids enthused about the environment? Check out this list of fun activities that will help both you and your children connect with nature.

Community gardening
Growing your own food while building a community are two great ways to get active with your kids. Community gardening brings these two elements together in communal gardens where members grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. It's a great way to teach your kids about a whole host of environmental issues, from local ecology to conserving water. Growing food locally and organically does wonders for the environment, and in a community setting, it brings people together. Regular visits to your garden with your kids will help them develop an appreciation and understanding of the wonders of nature and will allow them to contribute healthy food to your home.
Plots can be organized privately or through your municipality. Check out Toronto-based non-profit FoodShare for more resources and ideas on where to get started today.

Clean-ups
Cleaning up your outdoor environment, whether with a community group or with your family, is a great way to develop an appreciation for our green spaces. Clean-ups involve picking a green space like a public park or river and spending a couple of hours beautifying the area by removing trash. Months of neglect can fill our public spaces with garbage and diminish the quality and health of the space. By cleaning up a green space, kids learn the value of these areas and acquire a sense of responsibility for their care. Many organizations and community groups organize annual clean-ups, which helps bring the community together and demonstrates to kids how the environment is valued and cared for by the community. Be sure to figure out in advance where to dispose of the garbage - there can be a lot!

by Patrick Draper