I think one of the best ways to teach your kids about the earth is to let them play in it!
We took a trip to the local nursery in the spring and the kids got to pick out their own flowers, then we came home and planted them! It was a lot of fun, and the kids had a great time watching them grow.
Children like to work – to them, it is play. If we can capitalize on that, then we can help them grow to love work even as adults. Most work for me is play because my mother let work be my play, and now my favorite thing to do is go out and work in the yard, or build something, or write something, or solve a problem.
The best way to keep children happy “at work” is to provide child-sized tools for them to use in their work. When we bought our home, we had to go out and buy yard tools (shovels, rakes, etc). In our car on the way home were child-sized versions of the adult-sized tools we had just purchased. It is imporant that their tools are as high quality and of the same material we would buy. The yard tools we bought for the kids are made out of metal, not plastic. But you can expect them to work with a plastic shovel. You would never think of it. Having “real” tools requires a lot more adult supervision than most people like to give their children – for us it just happens, because we are always supervising our children.
What life-like, child-sized tools do you provide your children? Do they have child-sized kitchen utensils? Shop tools? Cleaning tools? How are you capitalizing on your child’s play?