10 Ways Kids Can Thank Mother Nature This Holiday Season
I remember my English teachers in middle school gave us Thanksgiving related journal prompts. We were encouraged to dig deep and share what we were thankful for in our lives. Friends, family and security definitely make the list, but nature also needs our gratitude and blessings now more than ever. Here are some ways for kids to give back to our environment this season:
1. Make Some Art
Nature-themed art will not only allow children to express themselves creatively, but it will keep them looking to the wild for future inspiration. Here is my Pinterest collection of nart (nature art) ideas to get you going!
2. Eat a Local, Pastured Turkey
It’s a sad reality that the birds gracing most tables next week will have lived miserable lives. Today’s turkeys are force fed in over crowded confined feeding lots and filled with additives, antibiotics and GMO grains. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way! Bring the kids to the farm to pick out their turkey (it’s a great opportunity to talk about where their food comes from). Most local, sustainable farms are serving up free range, pastured heritage turkeys and love visitors. Yummy.
3. Feed the Birds
Winter is a tough time for a lot of birds. Yes they can handle it, but it’s nice to give them a helping hand. At 1 year old my daughter was glued to the window watching Chickadee flutter up to the feeder – it’s pure magic. Here is a great guide to feeding birds from Audubon.
4. Adopt a Spot
Choose some green space that matters to your family and help keep it clean! Don’t worry about it being an epic river or connected to an official program. Just choose an accessible outdoor area you care about and keep it simple.
5. Plan the Garden
If your kids have never planted a garden, don’t be afraid! A small garden that they can learn and participate in is not as hard as it sounds. Here is a great guide to starting an organic bed with kids. Also, order a few seed catalogs from Seed Savers or Baker’s Seeds this Winter to get going.
6. Go Outside!
Compared to the 1970s, children now spend 50% less time in unstructured outdoor activities. The more our children interact and experience nature, the deeper connection and motivation they will feel for caring for their environment. So get out there and feel the love!
7. Make a Thankful Tree
I’ve wanted to do this for a couple years, and we’re finally getting around to doing it. We include a wide-range of things we’re thankful for, but I definitely try to encourage my Wild Child to think of things we’re thankful for in nature. Here is a great post from Rhythms of Play on The Top Ten Thankful Trees.
8. Learn & Share
Introduce your kids to some incredible facts or animals in nature and encourage them to share their knowledge with others. Kids teaching each other about nature is pretty much as cool as it gets. Here’s one to get you started, it’s a video of the amazing Lyrebird – it can mimic just about any sound it hears! Watch here.
9. Start a Compost Pile
We take so much from nature that it feels wonderful to return something to her. Composting can seem scary, but really it is so doable! Here is a quick, clear guide to composting to help your family get started. Also, the Peppa Pig fans out there, here is their take on composting.
10. Kiss a Frog
By volunteering at a local animal shelter, rescue, preserve or sustainable farm (we can always use your help), children can develop a sense of responsibility and kinship with animals. Any fear, misunderstandings or disconnect they had with our wild brothers and sisters can melt away with just one afternoon of direct service.
So that’s our list, what are some ways you are going to thank Mother Nature this year? Let me know so we can try them out!
Your Woman Gone Wild,
ps. I’d also like to THANK YOU for supporting and tuning into Wilder Child – it is wonderful to have you here!