How to Teach Children About Climate Change Without Creating Fear

Photography:Barefoot Wandering Photography

By Emily Folk

How do you talk about climate change with your kids? It may seem impossible, but it’s a topic you have to discuss. There are many different ways to approach the subject – and your tactics will depend on how your children learn. That said, you can use a few foundational steps to highlight climate change’s threat and solutions.

Here are five ways to teach children about climate change without creating fear. 

1. Encourage a Love for Nature 

It all starts with nature. If your kids have an appreciation for our planet, they’ll be inclined to advocate for its protection.

This effort can begin when they’re young, too. Try to expose your children to different places so that they can familiarise themselves with various environments.

It’s key to lead with respect, as well. You should talk about nature’s fundamental contributions to human and animal life. 

In other words, you need to show your kids that Earth has value. There’s a role that each organism plays. Plus, your kids can benefit from outdoor excursions in varied ways. A trip to your local park will be more helpful than you can imagine. 

2. Use Age-Appropriate Materials 

You should use specific materials to discuss climate change. An article from your favourite newspaper won’t resonate with your 5-year-old. Therefore, you need to take ideas from kid-friendly websites, books and other sources. For example, National Geographic offers at-home lesson plans for children ages K-12. You can learn about everything from natural disasters to caterpillar lifecycles in ways that they understand. 

Try to use a mixture of materials for your children so that you can help them learn and retain the information. 

3. Try Hands-On Activities 

There are multiple advantages to hands-on climate change activities. If you stop to collect litter on your way to a playground, your kids will mirror that effort. A similar idea applies to steps you can take at home. Explain to them why water efficiency matters as you set a rule for shorter showers and turning off the sink tap while brushing teeth. These actionable exercises allow your children to see that they’re able to make a difference, too. 

You don’t have to dive into huge tasks, but you should try to complete small efforts to teach your children about climate change. 

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