This article was submitted by Kayleigh Alexandra, a UK-based writer and editor with a deep passion for the environment.
It can be hard to keep kids engaged and entertained at the best of times, so this difficult year has been a particular challenge. Schools worldwide have closed for months and children have largely been unable to meet up with their friends. This is heavily impacting vital childhood years. What might the consequences be?
While we can’t see the future, we can do everything within our power to support kids in the midst of this chaos, and part of that involves finding them suitable activities. Video games can be engaging, sure, but it’s good to switch things up and try new methods of learning. It’s great to find eco-friendly activities so they can stay occupied and engaged and develop good habits (after all, when they grow up, they’ll be responsible for steering the world).
In this post, we’ll take a look at four eco-friendly activities for kids to enjoy in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic without taking too many risks or contributing to environmental degradation. Let’s begin.
Green Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts allow kids to be boundlessly creative, and all the technology in the world can’t replace the simple joy of picking up some crayons and drawing a person, creature or place that no one else has ever designed. And when I say green here, I obviously don’t mean that you should limit the color palette — rather, you should ensure that all the materials and tools used are responsibly sourced and built to be sustainable.
Using recycled paper and cardboard wherever possible is the way to go. Ensure that you buy from responsible manufacturers like Conscious Craft, and reuse any materials you have lying around. Be careful with paints and other drawing materials, and any tools you use (scissors, for instance), to make sure they’re being used as intended and not as a snack or to paint the dog. Do all of these things and you’ll be able to support a lot of enjoyment without spending too much money or supporting any actions that will be bad for the environment.
Homeschooling is something that most people knew little about before the strict lockdown measures made it a necessity, and now they see its true strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard work, certainly, and there’s a stability to conventional schooling that makes things significantly easier — but it’s also true that the flexibility of homeschooling can be a wonderful thing.
This is where make-and-play games become really useful, particularly through subscription services. A kids’ subscription box — such as the Sago Mini Box, which is designed to be used many times and eventually recycled — draws upon the tactile fun of arts and crafts while also providing guided educational experiences. If you want your child to learn about a particular topic, you can find a suitable game set – it’s a really strong option.
For the most part, kids love sports, and being unable to participate in school sports has been hugely frustrating for many. Now that various lockdown measures are being lifted and people are once again meeting up (while taking sensible precautions, naturally), it’s time to find ways to get sports going again — and the key is choosing the right sports.
Take something like tennis, for instance. Set up correctly, it can be completely safe to play in these times, even with no masks on throughout. Baseball is another solid choice. If you can’t get access to sporting facilities, then frisbee is a fantastic sports activity that fits into any park area (through it would be a good idea to have the kids wear gloves).
Sales of plants and seeds skyrocketed as COVID-19 spread, and for good reason: people who were spending more time at home wanted to do something with that time and get outside as much as possible. But this isn’t just something for adults, of course: kids can love getting into garden development, learning how plants grow and where food comes from.
If a gardening project literally bears fruit, then that’s a great result — but it isn’t necessary. Even if certain plants don’t really bloom due to old seeds or bad weather, all the actions that go into tending a garden will still be fun and rewarding. And learning about how difficult it is to grow food will make kids far more aware of how much we take our resources for granted.
There you have it: four eco-friendly activities that kids can pursue, even while enduring such a nightmarish year. There are many more options, of course, but give them a try and see what you think! They might be just what your kids need.
Meet the Author! Kayleigh Alexandra is a UK-based writer and editor with a deep passion for the environment. She is especially interested in helping young people develop a passion for the world around us, building eco-awareness into the next generation.