How To Talk To Your Kids This Earth Hour (And 5 Fun Activities To Keep Them Occupied)
Saturday, March 28th is Earth Hour! What better time to sit down with your kids and talk about a topic that is at the forefront of many parents’ minds: climate change and what we can all do to help support our beautiful planet. Of course, Earth Hour presents many opportunities for parents to not only educate their children but have fun with them, too. Here at Protected Species, we’re big fans of the planet, so we want to share with you a few ways to talk to your kids about Earth Hour, as well as some ideas about how to celebrate Earth Hour as a family.
What is Earth Hour: How to Explain Earth Hour to Kids
First things first: sit down with your kids and tell them about Earth Hour – it’s not complicated to explain to even the smallest of children. All you have to say is that Earth Hour is an hour where all electronics, including lights, get shut off around the whole world and we use the time to think about how much energy we use (and probably waste) in a single hour – which contributes to the problem of climate change. For fun, you can highlight that all across the UK, landmark buildings such as Edinburgh Castle and Buckingham Palace turn off all their lights so they can be a part of Earth Hour too.
If your kids need more of an explanation of climate change, try explaining how the things people do are making the planet warmer, and how this is bad for animals and plants because they can lose their natural habitats due to unpredictable and extreme weather. Be sure to emphasise that this is our only planet and it’s important for us to take responsibility in caring for it.
Earth Hour Ideas and Activities for Kids
Looking for some things to do with kids during Earth Hour? There are so many things you can do when electronics are turned off and your family’s focus is on one another. In fact, you might like it so much that you have your own Earth Hour every week!
To encourage your kids to have fun this Earth Hour, consider one of these fun activities that are powered only by your imagination…
Dinners by candlelight aren’t simply reserved for romantic rendezvous. Kids will find it exciting and unusual to have dinner only by candlelight. You can even transform your front parlour into the perfect candlelight picnic spot as you enjoy finger foods and talk about ways to take care of the planet.
When all the lights are out, you should be able to see the stars much more clearly. So head outside with a flashlight and a stargazing map and wow your children with your knowledge of the cosmos (no matter how limited that knowledge may be)!
Tell a story
A dark room is the perfect setting for a story. Keep your audience enraptured with a spooky tale or two. Or if that’s too much, a silly made-up tale or funny story from your childhood (that your children can remind you of for years to come) is always a big hit.
Go for a walk
Your neighbourhood can take on a whole new vibrancy at night when the lights are out. Take an evening stroll and use it as time to talk to your children about ways you can encourage planet-friendly practices in your own neighbourhood.
When was the last time you played torch tag? How about hide and seek? It’s the perfect time for these games when the lights are out – just remember to be extra careful in the dark!
Beyond Earth Hour
When Earth Hour ends, your commitment to sustainability and fighting climate change doesn’t have to. Talk to your kids about the things you can do after Earth Hour is up to help protect the planet. A few ideas include:
- Conserve water
- Plant a tree
- Volunteer as a family in the community, perhaps at your local watershed
- Buy less plastic
- Use reusable shopping bags
- Purchase products produced sustainably and ethically
- Recycle and cut down on the rubbish you throw in the bin
- Start a compost bin
It’s important to raise your children with an awareness of how their choices impact the earth as well as the humans that live on it with them. Earth Hour is the perfect opportunity to discuss these heavy topics in a way that children can understand. It’s a great springboard to get them thinking about concepts larger than themselves. Make the most of Earth Hour this year!