45 Ways to Make Going Green Fun for Kids
If you’re going green, it’s smart to get your whole family involved. After all, you can have a much bigger impact on the environment if you’re all working together to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
That means getting your kids on board with being environmentally friendly. Fortunately, going green can be lots of fun for kids. From activities at home to community events and recycled crafts, there’s so much kids can do to practice and learn about going green.
How Kids Can Go Green and Have Fun
From carpooling to school to going on energy patrols, these are small ways that kids can get involved in conserving at home.
- Donate old toys: Instead of throwing away old toys, encourage children to donate them.
- Walk or bike to school: Sitting in the carpool line wastes gas, but getting to school on foot or on bike only costs calories and causes no air pollution.
- Carpool: If walking or biking isn’t an option, consider carpooling with a friend. You’ll save gas and have fun chatting on your way to and from school.
- Patrol energy usage: Appoint a child to be the Energy Police, tasked with monitoring lights and electronics that may be left on when not in use. Their job is to turn them off if no one is actively using them.
- Carry a refillable water bottle: Instead of using a plastic water bottle at school or on the go, kids can use a refillable water bottle.
- Visit the library: Check out books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources from the library. Explain how this reduces waste, as you and others in your community share the titles instead of each buying your own.
- Turn off the tap: Remind children to turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth, and reducing shower time and other water usage.
- Collect rainwater: Place a pail or container outside to collect rainwater, then reuse the water for plants or washing items outside.
- Spend time outside: Go on outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, or even looking for seashells. This is a great way to develop a love for nature and the environment.
Environmental Awareness Activities
With these activities, kids can increase their awareness about environmental conservation and the natural world.
- Plant a garden: Learn about nature, sustainable food, and more with a backyard or community garden plot for children.
- Plant a tree: Kids can help plant a tree, learning about how trees generate oxygen and contribute to a healthy planet.
- Go on litter patrol: Kids can grab a bag, gloves, and a pointy stick to pick up litter in your neighborhood or public area.
- Make a bird feeder: Feed birds and recycle at the same time by turning old milk cartons into bird feeders.
- Make solar s’mores: Using a solar oven, you can make delicious s’mores that kids will love.
- Shop at the farmers’ market: Make a day out of buying food and products directly from growers at the farmers’ market, where kids can learn about how food is grown.
- Build a Go Green Playhouse: The Little Tikes Go Green Playhouse makes green living fun for kids with a rain barrel, garden, and more.
- Play The Recycle Games: Enjoy Olympic style games while learning about the importance of recycling with The Recycle Games.
Recycled Materials Activities
Make crafts out of materials that might otherwise be thrown away with these activity ideas.
- Make wheels from waste: Turn an old dish detergent bottle into a race car with this project.
- Build dollhouses out of boxes: Breathe new life into an old cardboard box by turning it into a toy house.
- Make music with toilet rolls: Use tape, bottle caps, old toilet rolls, and shaking materials to make toilet roll shakers.
- Turn dryer lint into the whole world: Gather some dryer lint, turn it into clay, and paint it to look like the Earth.
- Create a popsicle stick frame: Old popsicle sticks can quickly be turned into attractive small frames for photos.
- Create egg carton spiders: Kids will enjoy playing with and making these spiders out of egg cartons.
- Make an egg carton fire truck: Fire truck fans will love this truck made out of egg cartons.
- Make cork owls: Don’t throw away old corks! Add buttons and fabric scraps to turn them into cute owls.
- Turn popsicle sticks into a bird feeder: Instead of throwing away old popsicle sticks, glue them together to make a bird feeder.
- Create cereal box monsters: When kids are done eating cereal, they can turn the empty box into a kooky monster — any time of year!
- Recycle old crayons: Have a bunch of old, broken crayons? Don’t throw them away. Melt them down into new crayons with lots of colors!
- Paint stamp hearts with toilet paper rolls: Use toilet paper rolls to make hearts on paper for cards and more.
- Recycle spring flower pots: Turn recycled lids, cardboard, and popsicle sticks into flower pots.
- Make egg carton flowers: Paint egg cartons to create flowers for spring.
- Turn bottles into lawn bowling: Have bottles? You could turn them into bowling pins for a game of lawn bowling.
- Make a wheelbarrow out of a box: Get kids to help around the backyard with a wheelbarrow made out of a cardboard box.
Community Activism for Kids
Encourage kids to promote environmental activism in your community with these activity ideas.
- Coordinate a community donation: Children can coordinate a class donation, or ask birthday party guests to bring items that can be donated to a local shelter and reused instead of thrown away.
- Organize a cleanup day: Gather friends and others in the community to clean up a local park, school, or neighborhood.
Learn About Going Green
Want more? Kids can learn more about going green with these activity sheets, games, and more.
- KidsHealth: Be a Green Kid: Kids can take the Being Green Quiz on KidsHealth to learn more about going green.
- Recycle Roundup: Clean the park and sort trash, compost, and recycling in the Recycle Roundup game online.
- The Greens Activity Guide: Tackle these six hands on environmental activities for kids with this guide.
- Wee Recyclers: This activity guide is ideal for preschoolers learning about recycling.
- Recycle Rex Recycling Facts, Games, and Crafts: Recycle Rex’s guide offers fun activities and ideas for kids learning about recycling.
- Climate Challenge: The game from the BBC challenges kids to consider how they would tackle climate change.
- Recycle City: Kids can learn how to develop a sustainable community with Recycle City.
- World Wildlife Foundation Play with a Purpose: Play games and use apps from the World Wildlife Foundation that are fun and education about key conservation issues.
- The Adventures of Vermi the Worm: Join Vermi the Worm on an adventure tour while learning about worm bins and vermicomposting.
- Environmental Protection Agency Games, Quizzes, and More: Play games and other activities from the EPA.
Photo by Flickr user widnr