Teaching Kids to Conserve Water
March 22nd is World Water Day
It's a day for all of us to remember that water is an important resource in our life and clean water is a limited resource for many around the world.
Everyone can make a difference in preserving this natural resource, even the youngest among us! In fact, the kids might even teach us adults a thing or two.
Talk to your kids today about a few easy ways that they can help conserve water.
1. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your hands
There's no reason to keep the water running while you brush or scrub off the grime. Turn it off for those 30 seconds and you'll save a lot!
2. Don't overfill the bathtub or take long showers
Kids love to feel like the bath is a swimming pool, or soak away in the shower (heck, I love to do that!) - but it's important to remember that we use a lot of water to get clean. Shaving a few minutes off the shower and lowering the bath water by a few inches goes a long way.
3. REUSE the shower water
Save all that good, clean water from going down the drain - put some of it in a bucket to water the plants in your house or your yard, or to rinse off the driveway or patio.
4. Wash full loads of clothes
Yes, your child may be cranky because their favorite shirt isn't clean, but don't just wash a few items at a time. Run the washer with a full load and use cold water whenever possible when washing clothes. And remind kids to only put dirty clothes in the wash (sometimes they can wear an outfit more than once before it needs to be washed).
5. Water the Lawn & the Kids
My daughter loves it when we let her run through the sprinklers while watering the lawn during the summer - try to water in the evening so less water evaporates and more gets into the soil, and let the kids play for a while! If you want to use less water in the yard, look into plants and trees that require less watering (ask about Xeroscaping at your local garden store)!
6. Take a Water Field Trip (if you're brave!)
Call your city and see if they offer tours of the water treatment plant in your area. This is a great way for kids to learn about how we get the water in our house, and where water goes once we use it!
7. Talk to Your Kids about Water
It's important for kids to understand that this is a resource that shouldn't be wasted. There are many people in the world without running water. You can download a great free poster for kids that explains the water cycle at UNESCO's World Water Day website.
Here are a few books to help introduce the topic of water conservation:
The Water Hole by Graeme Base is a beautiful book about all the animals in Africa who depend on one body of water. Children will have fun trying to locate the animals in the illustrations as you read. A wonderful story that shows how animals depend on water as much as humans do. For ages 4 - 9.
Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? (Wells of Knowledge Science) by Robert E. Wells is a great look at the earth's water cycle and how water has recycled itself over billions of years. It's a book that really makes kids think about where water comes from. For Ages 6 - 10.
The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks by Joanna Cole is fun field trip for kids as they see Ms. Frizzle and the class travel through the water cycle. These books are very informative with great illustrations. For Ages 4 -10.
One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (CitizenKid) by Rochelle Strauss talks about how all water is connected on the planet, and how each of us can do things to conserve water. For Ages 8 and up.
Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Arthur Dorrus teaches children that the water they see in their neighborhood stream or creek is all connected to the ocean. This is an important lesson for kids - if you throw something in the brook, it will end up in the ocean and do damage along the way. A great read that will encourage families to be more involved in stream clean-ups! For ages 4 - 9.
What ideas do you have for conserving water?
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