When children have a sense of purpose, it can help them make smarter choices when it comes to drug and alcohol use. One way to do this is to involve them in activities that let them feel they’re making a difference in the world.
This is why one of the topics for this month’s Family Table Time is Earth Day. Celebrated every April 22 around the world, it’s a chance for us to remind ourselves of the importance of taking care of the environment we live in.
Five ways to participate
There are so many ways the environment has been threatened down through the centuries, and especially in recent decades, that the opportunities to make a difference are almost limitless.
Of course, schools have planned activities that center on Earth Day, but there are also ways you can celebrate Earth Day at home with your children.
- Take a nature walk in your yard, neighborhood, or at a local park. Point out the diversity of the living things you see and how they’re all connected.
- Plant a tree, and teach kids how trees help clean the air, provide a home for birds and squirrels, and reduce solar heating in cities.
- Go on a plastic scavenger hunt in your kitchen. Show them all the items that come in plastic containers, and help them brainstorm ways your family can cut back on plastic use.
- Let them participate in a local cleanup event. EARTHDAY.ORG provides an interactive map to help you find a cleanup event near you (https://cleanup.earthday.org/pages/find-a-cleanup).
- Have them take off their shoes and socks and walk slowly around your yard, the park, or the beach. Or just have them sit on the ground for a few minutes so that some part of their body is in touch with the soil or grass. This is known as “earthing,” and is thought to be beneficial for health. Some studies show it can reduce pain, relieve stress, and improve both sleep and mood.
For more ways to connect with your children and bring your family closer together, be sure to subscribe to Family Table Time. These carefully designed activity kits provide an agenda for family meetings, character-based conversation starters, quick and healthy family recipes, and suggestions for fun family physical activities.