The Parent Connection

Oct_2011_Tree-Yuefei_Tao-GCN membersWhile children spend most of their time learning in a school setting, the reality is that parents and guardians serve as a child’s first—and ongoing—teacher. This applies not only to subjects such as language and reading, but also to respect and care for the environment. So, while the Clear into the Classroom program focuses primarily on school-based activities, it recognizes and supports the important role that parents and guardians can play in helping their children develop a livelong commitment to protecting the environment.

To that end, below are resources that provide a wealth of information and suggestions for families to participate in different types of eco-friendly activities.

Growing Up Green

You don’t need to take wilderness vacations to have your child appreciate and learn to care for the environment. You can have “Great Outdoors” experiences right in your own backyard or in a local park. This resource tells you how.

Growing Up Green (via Scholastic)

Nature Activities for Families

Forests are places where you can strengthen family bonds. This website offers several different types of activities to help you teach your children how to appreciate and understand the natural world around them. Chances are you’ll also have fun watching your child’s face light up with wonderment and curiosity.

Nature Activities for Families (via Project Learning Tree)

Environmental and Nature Centers

There are a growing number of nature and environmental centers opening around the globe as more and more communities and organizations enhance their efforts to protect our fragile ecosystems and encourage the public—including families—to take an active role in becoming stewards of the environment. So, be sure to find out where the nearest center may be in your area or region. Here is information on two environmental centers in Delaware that host a wide range of events and activities for families, the public, conservation groups, and schools.

DuPont Environmental Education Center (DEEC)
DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve

Laundry & Water:  The Inside Story

In keeping with this year’s Clear into the Classroom theme of water and waterways, here is a simple activity you can do with your child that underscores the importance and impact of water in an everyday household chore.

10 Earth Day Activities for Families (via HowStuffWorks)