April 22, 2013: Today's a good day to remind our kids to be good stewards of the planet, says Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California, who suggests:
1) Get Your Hands Dirty: Even in a small space, potted plants can brighten up a room and help clean the air in your home. Although it may take longer than one day to see results, planting fruits, vegetables, flowers or herbs thrill children, and teaches them patience and how we all can contribute to the natural beauty of the world.
2) Pick up Trash: Help beautify your local parks and playgrounds...Afterwards, celebrate your hard work with a picnic...
3) Swap Your Car for the Bike: ...go on a bike ride or pack up a stroller with essentials and walk.
4) Go Take a Hike: Even in the most urban areas, natural beauty can be found ... point out birds, insects and plants... nurturing a love and appreciation of the natural world.
5) Teach Recycling: Teach little ones the value of recycling—newspapers, magazines, cans and junk mail are just a start. ...
6) No Gushing While Brushing: Teach children to turn off the water while brushing their teeth during the two-minute brushing time dentists recommend.
7) Lighten Up on Energy: Let a toddler/preschooler practice turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Help them open curtains and blinds to let in natural light..
8) Fresh is Best: Show a child how to pick out ripe seasonal fruits and vegetables...Letting a small child smell and feel the produce is also a great sensory activity ...
9) Use a Reusable Bag: On market trips, let children carry their backpack or bring reusable bags...perhaps ones they've decorated themselves for this purpose.
10) Trash into Treasure: Save empty food containers for craft projects... Egg cartons can be used as paint palettes, milk cartons as planters or bird feeders and boxes have infinite possibilities.