How To Teach Your Kids About Climate Change

Teaching your kids about climate change is no easy task. A lot of parents avoid talking about it with their kids because they have no idea how to bring it up. Climate change is also scary, even for adults, so great care needs to be taken when explaining things to your little ones.

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


It’s important that they still get a realistic overview and that you are honest with your children. However, you want to spark their interest in climate change, rather than scare them. They need to know about the problems climate change causes, but you must also find a way of explaining the solutions. They need to feel like they can make a difference.

Our kids and future generations need to be taught about how they can make a difference, and just how crucial their actions will be. Obviously, the depth and complexity of your conversation will depend on the age of your child. As they get older you can discuss the more complex scientific aspects of climate change, but when they are young, you just want to gently make them aware.

There are plenty of interesting ways you can ignite your children’s interest in climate change. Learning about the challenges the world faces doesn’t have to be too serious or boring. Here are some fantastic ways of teaching your kids about climate change.
Make climate change fun with educational games, apps and websites

There are many different tools and resources that have been created specifically for kids who are interested in the environment. Climate change is easily incorporated into lots of great games for kids.

There are entire websites specifically dedicated to teaching kids about climate change, and even some apps that touch on the subject. For example, NASA’s Climate Kids, Tiki The Penguin and The Young People’s Trust for the environment. There are even Apple and Android apps that help teach kids about climate change, such as Painting with Time and Offset.

Show them climate change videos made for kids
A quick search on YouTube will provide you with plenty of videos about the environment for kids. For example, this ‘global warming for kids’ video. Videos like this explain climate change in a way that kids can easily digest and process, and they are also fun to watch. Watch the videos with your kids and then let them ask questions afterwards.

Open their minds on family days out
You can subtly bring up the topic of climate change by going on educational days out. Take your kids to wildlife parks, on nature walks and to museums (such as The Natural History Museum). All these things will get them thinking about the environment and continue their education.

Let them explore climate by through being creative
Set your kids some fun tasks that are loosely related to climate change and the environment. Once they have had an introduction to climate change, get them to try and get their thoughts down on paper. They could write a poem about climate change, or try and paint their own interpretation of climate change. You could also come up with some fun climate change related games that you can play at home as a family.

Help them understand green living
Teaching your children how to live in an eco-friendly way will help enhance their knowledge of climate change. Make sure they know how to recycle and teach them to be aware of how much energy they are using. For example, switching lights off when they are not in use and not using more water than they need.

Let them develop a passion for nature
Your children may naturally become interested in climate change if they develop a passion for nature. If they fall in love with nature and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors then they are more likely to want to help protect our planet. Take your kids out walking, camping and get them involved in gardening.

Buy them books with underlying messages
If your child likes to read then buy them some climate change-related books. For young kids, the topic of climate change can be introduced gently through reading book with underlying messages. Older kids with an interest in the topic can go into much more depth. You can buy them books that teach them about how to protect the environment and that explain the science behind climate change.

The following is a guest post from Edward Woodward. A writer and a blogger at Kedel blog.


New Year's Thoughts: Can We Avoid the Environmental Cliff in 2013?

As I write this, Democrats and Republicans are attempting to hammer out a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. But as I look back on the environmental news of 2012, it seems to me that we are also heading for an environmental cliff.

At the start of 2012, I wouldn’t have believed that I would be in my kitchen offering coffee to a FEMA employee as a result of damage to our house due to Hurricane Sandy, not to mention discussing our situation with a flood insurance agent who had helped Hurricane Katrina victims. (Learning that put our problems in perspective.) We are still cleaning up and I will be surrounded by cardboard boxes and the smell of toxic floodwater for a long time to come. I’m sure Susan also wasn’t expecting to spend eight days in the dark with no power or heat.

Hurricane Sandy has at least brought the topic of global warming up again for public discussion. Remember when Mitt Romney joked at the Republican convention about the rising ocean? Turns out it wasn’t such a funny joke.

Meterologists may argue about whether Sandy was caused by global warming, but many scientists believe that global warming turned what might have been a really bad storm into a “super storm.” Yet there can be no argument that the melting of the arctic ice caps is due to global warming: The ice caps are melting at an unprecedented speed. So what? you say. The polar ice caps have melted faster in the last 20 years than in the past 10,000 years. When this ice melts, global sea levels rise; meltwater pools absorb heat from the sun that white ice would have reflected back into space. This accelerates climate change even more.

2012 was also notable for being a dustbowl year. The US experienced the worst drought in fifty years with 80 percent of arable and pasture land affected by the highest temperatures ever recorded.

Fifty years ago Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, which began the environmental movement. Now this movement seems tired, as if nothing will rouse it, even the prospects of floods, droughts, melting ice caps, and hurricanes, not to mention disappearing animal species, and other environmental disasters.

Perhaps before the New Year begins, we need a reminder of why we need to make the environment a priority. Here’s a BBC One video a Frogs Are Green friend sent us. We all need to get re-inspired to help save our beautiful world:

Some of information/ideas in this post came from The Independent (UK) article: Review of the Environment 2012: In the Eye of the Storm


Prince Charles and a GREEN FROG

As Prince Charles of England noted recently, “Frogs and princes have a long association.” He is hoping this strong frog-prince connection will help get the word out about his environmental charity, The Prince’s Rainforest Project.

The charity has a produced a video in which Prince Charles—as well as the Dalai Lama, Princes William and Harry, Robin Williams, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Pele, and others—share the camera with a lifelike animated green frog. Even Kermit the Frog makes a cameo appearance!

Prince Charles says about his amphibian mascot: “Our frog is a symbol for the world’s rainforests, a symbol of action against climate change.”

Take a look!