It’s important to teach kids about the environment and environmental justice. Use these resources to make learning about the environment fun for all ages. This post is sponsored by Inmar as part of #InmarIdeasThatMatter. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Two topics that are important to talk about with kids are social injustice and our environment. As with many things in life these two issues are also very deeply connected.
All of us need clean air and water to live a healthy life. Sadly, not everyone has access to clean air and water. And the burden pollution puts on populations is not evenly shared.
“A study published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA shows that even though black and Hispanic people in the U.S. are exposed to more air pollution than white people, these groups consume less from the industries generating much of that pollution.” – Minorities Breathe More Than Their Share of Polluted Air
Future generations understanding these issues and ways we can make change is essential for us to fix these issues. There are many ways to teach kids of all ages about environmental issues and how they impact all of us.
How to Teach Kids About the Environment
Read Books About the Environment
There are a lot of great books written for kids about the environment. Find reading materials that are geared to the ages of your kids and be sure to make time to talk about what the kids read or what you read aloud.
You can also read this article about environmental justice to get a basic understanding of pollution and how it unfairly impacts some people more than others.
These are some books to read together to learn about the environment. Many of these sources also talk about why it’s an important social justice issue as well.
- Buffalo Song by Joseph Bruchac
- The Bee Tree by Stephen Buchmann and Diana Cohn
- How to Make a Better World: For Every Kid Who Wants to Make a Difference by Keilly Swift
- Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Penny Chisholm and Molly Bang
- The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson
- One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon
- Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock by Jason EagleSpeaker
- Saving Tally: An Adventure into the Great Pacific Plastic Patch by Serena Lane Ferrari
- The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snaer Magnason
- Jayden’s Impossible Garden by Mélina Mangal
- Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall
- Old Enough to Save the Planet by Loll Kirby
- We Are Water Protects by Carole Lindstrom
Another helpful book to read as a parent while teaching your kids about the environment is How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change: Turning Angst into Action by Harriet Shugarman.
Try Fun Science Experiments
Hands-on projects are a great way to learn about the environment. There are fun science experiments for every age to try out and learn more about the environment.
- Oil Spill Clean Up– Teach kids about oil spills and the environmental impacts of these spills with an easy experiment you can do in your own kitchen.
- Water Pollution Exploration– Using a “fish” kids can learn what happens to the ocean and the animals that live there when the ocean is polluted with this experiment.
- Melting Polar Ice Caps– Learn all about the polar ice caps and why they are so important with this simple experiment.
- How the Environment Changes the Way Plants Grow– This experiment can help show how pollution can change the way plants grow in a very visual way.
- Make a Solar Oven– Making a solar oven is a great way to learn about how the sun’s rays can be changed into renewable energy.
You can also try out some fun Earth Day activities all year long to learn about the planet.
Watch Movies About the Environment
There are a lot of great movies that teach kids about the environment. Watching some of these movies as a family and discussing them after is a great way to learn together.
These movies are for different age groups so be sure to look at the rating and subject matter to find which are best for your family.
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest
- Happy Feet
- Ice Age: The Meltdown
- The Lorax
- Over the Hedge
- A Beautiful Planet
- An Inconvenient Truth
Also, be sure to check out the Disneynature films. They are beautifully made films that are great for all ages.
Using these materials is a great place to start when it comes to teaching your kids about the environment. Be sure to also look for real-life moments that can be used to talk about environmental issues to help kids continue to learn about the environment.