Kids are the hope of the future, which means they are the hope of the whole world. If you think about it, that makes us the parents of this future hope. We share a big responsibility in loving the world we live in – and sharing this love with the next generation. I never thought about this until I noticed my oldest child’s passion to know a lot about Earth.
In fact, recently I have learned more about Earth – its science, geography and history – all while walking through the learning process with my young kids. And I have loved realizing its wonders anew.
My 5 year old loves to read, and lately he has been requesting a lot of non-fiction books as his own fact finding mission. In this process, his willingness to learn more about the world around him has amazed me. In February, when he came to me sharing his excitement to celebrate Earth Day this spring, I admit that I had to google it to know more about it. (In other words, I had no idea what Earth Day was… Although, as a mom of two young kids who has to pause to get my their birthdates right at the pediatrician’s office, can you blame me?)
It was in this moment, looking at his eager face, that I realized this incredible opportunity to utilize his willingness to learn a lot about things around him – starting with Earth Day!
To start things off, we read a lot of books about planet Earth, which has enlightened me with a great amount of knowledge too. Here are some of the exceptional books we discovered that worked well with my preschooler.
Thank you, Earth – A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre
This book is more of a kind of love letter to Earth, with a unique perspective that leaves the reader in awe of the planet. The pictures depicting everything from extremely minute creatures to incredibly large mountains leave the kids in wonder of the uniqueness of our world.
Earth – My First 4.54 Billion Years (Our Universe!) by Stacy McAnulty
This is a perfect book for kids aged 3- 6 years old. It is more like a biography that Earth narrates, and takes you down its entire history and time period. It is funny and entertaining, and at the same time enlightening by listing all the amazing things Earth has gone through to be what it is today.
10 Things I Can Do To Help My World by Melanie Walsh
Bringing the awareness of saving our earth, this book gives you ten easy things to do with young kids to help the world.
I Love Earth by Todd Parr
If you have never read your kids a Todd Parr book, make sure you read this one. The illustrations of his books are so simple and easily understandable for the kids. The book takes you through the ways to love your world – from planting a tree or using both sides of a piece of paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways.
The Usborne Book of Planet Earth by Matthew Oldham and Megan Cullis
This book is a world tour for young kids, as it takes you through the different landscapes of our planet Earth. From mountains, deserts and glaciers to oceans, this book has it all. The fascinating thing about the book is all the illustrated maps that kids can easily walk through.
The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson
This is a fiction book, unlike the other books mentioned above. It is the story of a snail that longs to see the world beyond the rock that it lives in. It tags along with a whale who takes the snail around the world through icebergs, volcanos and various other sea life. The snail is amazed and feels so small as it encounters the magnitude of the world. But in the end, this tiny snail saves the life of the whale and they set sail to travel around the world together with their friends. To see the world through the whale and snail’s eyes makes this book fascinating for young kids.
In addition to reading many books to educate ourselves, as a family we decided to make sure we were taking action as well, as we celebrate Earth Day! Here are some ideas we have come up with:
- Having a window sill garden, as well as other plants, in our apartment.
- Composting our organic kitchen waste.
- Reusing and recycling by using some of our trash into DIY projects with the kids. We’ve used cardboard boxes for all sorts of amazing imaginative play!
- Not wasting water while brushing our teeth and bathing.
- Keeping the lights off when there is enough sunlight, during the day.
- Walking and biking to school and to run errands during warmer days (and when we aren’t sheltering in place, of course).
- Using reusable shopping bags.
- Using refillable water bottles.
- Utilizing local farmer’s markets, when the time comes.
- Playing outside!
You can do so many things to teach these little minds about our wonderful world on Earth Day – a day set aside to show our appreciation, and possibly get into great new habits! Jivin, my 5-year-old, is very worried that his favorite animals – penguins and seals – are going to lose their home as the south pole continues to melt away at a rapid pace. In his words, “People are making the world nasty…” Oh, the directness of kids! But in those moments, I am able to tell him, “Maybe! But YOU can make the difference as you grow up!”
So tell me, what are some of your ideas to celebrate the beautiful world we live in? Happy Earth Day!