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Today’s Natural Parenting and Earth Month Blog Hop subjects are all about teaching our children about the earth.
Kids need to know the importance of protecting the environment and what they can do from an early age. The girl knows all about recycling and why we use cloth bags when we go to the grocery store. We use cloth napkins and talk about how her recent interest in taking a shower every night is not so great for the environment because it wastes water.
We also read a lot of books about nature, science and going green. Here are a few green books for kids to check out if you’re interested in starting a conversation about the fragile nature of the environment and what we can do to protect it.
Arthur Turns Green by Marc Brown
The girl picked this book up at a bookstore when she was probably too little to understand what “turning green” meant, but it’s been a longtime favorite of hers.
The story is about Arthur’s class project in which the kids are tasked to come up with ways to help the planet. The call the project “The Big Green Machine” and when kids start turning up with green hands, D.W. begins to think this machine is out to get everyone.
The book ends with Arthur’s collection of 10 ways to “turn your house green” include reusing things, turning off computers and unplugging chargers when you aren’t using them, turning off the lights and taking short showers.
This book is a good place to start because it’s not as obvious as some other books in this genre.
Recycle Every Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
This is a fun one because the illustrations incorporate recycled materials. It tells the story of a little girl bunny who wants to make a poster for the community’s recycling calendar and she doesn’t know what to do.
As her family goes through the week they do various things that are good for the environment, such as donating old clothes and books instead of throwing them away, composting yard waste, recycling and using reusable containers for food storage.
The illustrations are cute and there’s still enough of a story here to keep kids engaged and to get them talking about which of these things you do as a family and what you could start doing as well.
Gabby & Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington
This one is similar in theme to Recycle Every Day! but feels a little bit more like it’s hitting you over the head, what with the little mice in the margins telling you more things you can do to help the planet.
Gabby and her grandma have a green day together, making their own cloth shopping bags (there are instructions in the back of the book if you want to make your own, too), going to the recycling center and the grocery store, buying local at the farmers’ market and getting books with save the Earth projects from the library.
What really takes this one over the top for me is when they have a picnic in the park and the girl says she wishes she could feed the ducks but she knows they “have their own pond food to eat.” Yes, white bread isn’t good for ducks and birds, but man, do you have to take the fun out of everything?
That said, this book still has some good ideas for things that help the planet, and if you’re interested in making bags with a child in your life, the basic pattern here is a good place to start. (Though I would machine stitch it to make it more durable.)
Do you read books about going green with your kids? I’d love to add your picks to my list!