Teaching kids to take care of the environment starts with reading! Discover children’s books for Earth Day that can inspire your child.
I’ll be honest: I can’t always read news about the environment—at least the bad news. I don’t do this because I’m oblivious to the facts or I’m set on disregarding the planet.
Nope—I avoid bad news because it can depress me.
With every frightening hurricane or degree of heat, it’s easy to feel powerless in the face of these tragedies.
That’s why I like to focus on proactive news, especially the steps we can take to care for the environment. From sequestering carbon in the soil to the rise of farmers’ markets and Buy Nothing Groups, this kind of news inspires and reminds me that we can still do plenty.
Yes, we should support environmental groups and press representatives to focus on the environment. But it’s also empowering to remember that you and I can do a lot as well.
At the end of this article, I’ll share my tips on how families can help. For now, I want to highlight one of the best ways we can honor our planet: reading children’s books for Earth Day.
Children’s books for Earth Day
Reading these Earth Day books teaches our young environmentalists to be stewards of the planet, to appreciate what we have, and to be satisfied with enough. While we honor planet Earth and bring awareness to the environment on Earth Day, it’s important to sow these values not just once a year, but every day.
These children’s books for Earth Day show the beauty of the planet and inspire kids to protect wildlife and endangered animals. They learn about conserving Earth’s water and other natural resources. And that we have a responsibility and a desire to preserve what’s important to us.
I hope you and your kids enjoy these books as my kids have, and that they can inspire you to protect the planet:
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
(Check out more children’s books by Oliver Jeffers.)
Simple ways families can protect the earth
It’s tempting to ignore what’s happening to our environment. After all, our impact on Earth is sporadic, like sudden storms or heat waves we see as flukes.
Other times, changes are so gradual, that we don’t see how we’re contributing to them. Things like the slow melting of icebergs or the gradual increase in global temperature. Without a dire need to change, we’re less likely to maintain a green lifestyle.
Earth Day reminds us how much more we need to go. We remember that it’s the day-to-day decisions that matter and make a collective difference. Earth Day also pushes for initiatives that might not go through without public support.
You may feel like you don’t make an impact on our environment, but you have the power of choice. Think about all the things you do every day that put a vote towards helping or hurting the earth.
We’ve all heard about the three R’s: reuse, reduce, recycle. Here are a few ways we can do just that, plus two more important R’s: repair and refuse.
- Use hand-me-downs. These could be from friends and family or bought at consignment stores. Pass along your child’s outgrown clothes to your circle of friends, your local Buy Nothing Group, or a donation center.
- Pack utensils and use food containers. Does your child pack a daily lunch for school? Pack reusable utensils and snack bags instead of disposable ones, and buy a good container or Thermos for her main meal.
- Turn old art projects into new ones. Is your home packed with art projects? Turn them into new ones or use them for scrap paper.
- Use just enough water and electricity. Don’t fill up the kids’ tub—only use what you need. And turn off the lights in rooms when you’re not spending time there.
- Bike or walk to school. If you’re zoned for a local school, you more than likely live close enough to walk or bike to it. Don’t want to walk all the way, or feel short on time? Drive midway, park the car, and walk the rest of the way. Even once a week is helpful.
- Reduce consumption. Don’t buy so much, especially new items. Think about whether you can use something you already have, borrow from someone else, or make your own. If you do need to buy something, see if you can buy it secondhand.
- Leave a convenient bin in your kitchen for recycling. You can do the same in your bathroom.
- Recycle old baby gear. It’s tempting to toss old car seats or broken crib parts in the trash, but research local recycling centers that can take them off your hands.
- Teach your child to sort trash vs recyclables. Not everything goes in the trash—talk about what goes in the trash and the recycle bin so she can do this on her own.
- Fix items or toys that break. Don’t be too quick to toss a broken toy that could be fixed with a simple screw. I’m all about decluttering, but if your child truly loves the toy, think of how you can repair it first before tossing it away.
- Mend clothes. I’m not one to mend holes in socks, but I’ll sew a button back on or fix a zipper. Better yet, buy quality clothes (like these socks made from recycled water bottles) that last longer.
- Keep gifts simple. You don’t need to give your kids tons of toys (take a look at the downside of having too many). You can also choose to give the gift of experiences instead.
- Rotate toys. It’s natural for your child to grow bored of her current toys, but don’t assume you have to supply her with a new batch. Instead, rotate her current toys: put away a few she’s not playing with, leaving the rest for her to use. When she gets tired of those, bring out the stored toys and put away the ones she just grew tired of.
Get more tips:
- 7 Unique Ways to Care for the Environment as a Family
- Children’s Books About the Beach
- The Best Children’s Books about Gardening
- Why Earth Day Matters
- Children’s Books about Food
Free resource: Want even more book ideas? Join my newsletter and grab your copy of the Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below—at no cost to you: