7 Powerful 'Earth' Messages To Teach Your Child
This World Earth Day, teach your child the importance of nurturing and respecting our planet and Mother Nature, through these inspirational quotes and fun activities.
By Roshini S
“If you can’t be in awe of Mother Nature, there’s something wrong with you.” - Alex Trebec
Such true words! As a child, the one thing I was in complete awe of was how nature worked. I was simply spellbound by all of ‘God’s creation', as my mom called it. I used to ask my parents a lot of questions such as, ‘Why is this tree so big?,’ ‘Why do flowers bloom in so many colours?,’ ‘Can I climb that mountain?,’ or ‘Where does the sea end?’ As I grew up, I learnt more about nature, the environment and, of course, the earth. But, there is something that I still don’t understand - Why are we so keen on destroying something that has been so beautifully created? Do we really not care about our environment? It’s always painful to see people casually dumping waste on the streets, throwing plastic everywhere and destroying trees just so they could construct more buildings. How can this cruel act ever be justified? For many years now, humans have continued to destroy the only planet that is home to our species. Therefore, to create environmental awareness, US Senator Gaylord Nelson commemorated 22 April 1970 as World Earth Day. Since then, it has been celebrated as an annual event all over the world. This Earth Day, teach your child the importance of conservation by sharing with her these beautiful quotes and thoughts on our planet, our home.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
1. Message to be taught: Nurture nature
Yes, the Earth provides us with everything that we need to survive and yet we are greedy for things we don’t require. As parents, we should not only tell our children about how much we have developed as a nation but also tell them about how much we have lost in the process of development.
- Activity: Teach your child how to plant and nurture a sapling this Earth Day. Tell him how to find the right kind of soil to plant the sapling and how to water and care for the plant. This activity will help him become more responsible toward nature and you can encourage him to do this activity every month.
“How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk the planet Earth is destroying its only home?” – Jane Goodall
2. Message to be taught: Take care of the environment
We often tell our children to tidy their rooms and keep their home and surroundings clean. Similarly, it is essential we teach our children to care for and preserve the environment, and not damage it by littering waste and plastic.
- Activity: Take your child on a nature walk or to a fresh water stream, where she can have fun playing amidst natural surroundings. Ask her how it feels compared to playing on the street outside her home. This will teach her to respect the greenery around her and not take it for granted.
“Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” - Evo Morales
3. Message to be taught: Reduce pollution
In today’s world it is next to impossible to imagine a pollution-free environment. The best we can do, as parents, is to teach our children to make every effort not to pollute the environment further.
- Activity: Once in a while, go cycling with your child to nearby places. You can tell him how cycling, apart from being a good exercise, doesn’t cause pollution and is one of the most environment-friendly ways to commute.
“Sadly, it’s much easier to create a desert than a forest.” – James Lovelock
4. Message to be taught: Appreciate nature's beauty
This is a fact all of us know, yet fail to act upon. Teach your child to appreciate the beauty of the Earth and help her learn how to preserve it, so that she can enjoy a better tomorrow.
- Activity: Help your child make a scrapbook with the theme, ‘The Earth I Want To Live In.’ Ask him to make it look attractive by including pictures and crafts of how he wants the Earth to look like. This way he will realise how different the environment we live in actually is, and he’ll be inspired to think of ways to make our planet a better place to live in.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American proverb
5. Message to be taught: Work for a better future
We always tend to take extra care of things that we borrow from others. The thought of returning the item in pristine condition to its owner is the foremost one on our minds. Won’t it be great if we could think of our planet in the same way? Parents should make a conscious effort to give back to their children a better world than they have borrowed.
- Activity: Encourage your child to be a part of volunteer groups that help in cleaning up the city. Allow her to be a part of these campaigns so that she can contribute towards a safer and cleaner environment.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir
6. Message to be taught: Respect the elements of nature
Ensure your child understands that when one element of nature gets destroyed, it affects all other elements, including mankind. It is important that he understands the role played by each element of nature such as earth, water, air and fire, and how each of them contribute to making life on earth possible.
- Activity: Allocate a part of the garden, or if you have an apartment, the balcony of your apartment, to your child and put her in charge of it. Name the area after her and make sure she knows she is responsible for the upkeep of that area. Put potted plants in your balcony and teach her to grow her favourite vegetables in her section of the garden. Add other elements like a bird feeder or a small tent to make it more attractive. It will become her special place and she will understand the importance of how different elements come together to make a place beautiful.
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.” – Khalil Gibran
7. Message to be taught: Enjoy the gift of nature
It’s vital that we find time to enjoy the gift of nature every day. As parents, it’s important that we make the effort to spend time outdoors with our children. Simple things like going for a morning walk on the beach or in the park, watching the sun rise or enjoying a cool afternoon by the lake, can help our children bond with nature.
- Activity: Take your child out on a camping trip. It can be a day trip where you can enjoy activities such as trekking or hiking. Enjoy nature at its best and feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a day of fun activities outdoors.
As parents, it is our duty to teach our children the importance of co-existing with nature. We must set an example for our future generations by being responsible ourselves and nurturing the environment. Let us take an oath to educate our children on how to preserve what is left of ‘God’s creation.’
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