Talking to Kids About Climate Change

Ah, to be in the good old days, when the most dreaded conversation with your kids pertained to only the birds and the bees.

It's Hard facing the reality of climate change, but the good thing is you're not alone. A recent study by NPR concluded that while 84% of adults believe children should be learning about climate change only half are actually talking to their kids about it.*

So what are some strategies to address climate change with children, and what are the best ways to go about it, without scaring them?

  1. Start by talking about it. You might be surprised by how much your kids know, and how climate change is impacting them already. It’s always a good idea to brush up on some of the facts before these conversations, or discover them together as a family.
  2. Give them something to fight for. There are plenty of bleak scenarios and unanswered questions about the future of climate change on Earth. One of the best things you can do is go outside, explore nature, and give your kids hope. Although Covid has hampered many in-person movements, in the future there will certainly be increased community efforts and volunteer opportunities for everyone to participate.
  3. Begin by making changes at home. A practical application of principles and conversations is always the best way to go about instigating change. Talk to kids about behavior, and ways that change can happen at home. Whether it’s participating in meatless Monday, being cognizant about shower times, or even sorting recycling. Showing behavioral change is a great way to show kids how they can make a difference. We have some ideas for additional activities to do at home, to help in getting started!

Source: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/22/714262267/most-teachers-dont-teach-climate-change-4-in-5-parents-wish-they-did

Activities for kids to teach them about climate change:

  1. Create a bird feeder: Sadly many birds are impacted by global warming, including habitat loss due to sea level rise, more frequent and severe wildfires, flooding and droughts, invasive species, and changes in vegetation.* A great activity to do with kids to help our bird friends is make a homemade bird feeder! Here are some ideas, the most basic ones, include just bird seed, an empty toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and string. https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/diy-bird-feeder-ideas-4159491
  2. Who says science can’t be delicious? Want to harness the power of the sun, while also eating a sweet treat? Making a solar oven is a cool and interesting way to learn about how the sun heats the Earth, and what better way to do it than including a s’more! Learn more here: https://climatekids.nasa.gov/smores/
  3. Plant a garden. Planting a small garden, whether it be a patch with vegetables, drought-resistant plants, or flowers for bees is a great way to get kids involved and their hands dirty! It also provides a wonderful avenue to discuss composting, reusing, and recycling, as well as a way to attract biodiversity where you live. More info and ideas can be found here: https://www.realhomes.com/us/advice/creating-an-eco-friendly-garden

Source: https://www.audubon.org/sites/default/files/documents/gwandbirds.pdf