Sustainability for Kids – Activities, Worksheets, Books
Kids are like sponges—they watch and learn, they absorb information fast, and find it easy to form long-lasting habits. In this quick guide to sustainability for kids, you’ll find ideas and activities to help launch students on a path of sustainable living and development.
Sustainable living is important for good personal and environmental health. It is what will keep us and our kids going. The time to learn and teach about it is NOW.
Quick Jump to:
- What is sustainability for kids?
- 22 fun sustainability activities for kids & students
- Habit-building activities
- Sustainable crafts
- Environmentally sustainable
- Sustainability games
- Activities for kindergarten
- Download sustainability worksheets for kids
- Sustainability books for kids
- Sustainable eating habits for kids
- The Importance of action!
What is Sustainability for Kids?
What does Sustainability mean for Kids?
Sustainability means that humans live with nature and use things in a way that ensures there will be enough resources left for the future generations.
Teaching children about sustainability on a large scale is needed to ensure a secure and safe habitat for them for generations to come.
22 Fun sustainability activities for kids & students
Sustainability lessons for kids can come in different shapes and sizes. Here are some sustainability activities for kids to encourage a wholesome lifestyle.
Sustainability habit-building activities
It’s easy to inculcate good habits in kids as they are more impressionable. The habit cycle requires a stimulus, the act itself, and a reward. Use this cycle to teach essential sustainability habits to kids.
Teach kids to reuse and recycle every time something runs out its course of use–utensils, stationary, clothes, etc. This helps them think creatively. Appreciate their effort and participate in those activities with them.
2. Trash picking
Teach kids to always leave a place cleaner than they found it. Go on a trash picking walk with your kids along the beach or in a park. This will help them feel a sense of accomplishment every time they leave a place cleaner that it was before.
3. Sort the garbage
Put up a chart in your house that shows kids how to separate recyclable waste, organic waste, and trash. Make it an activity when they identify what goes where and when to take out which type of garbage.
4. Play outside!
We need to bring back the trend of playing outside. This not only allows kids to get fresh air, but also help save electricity and other resources. Give kids some liberty to choose the activities they want to undertake.
Sustainable crafts for kids
Sustainability education for kids needs to be fun. Here are some craft ideas that promote sustainability.
5. Make craft with reusable material
Show kids how to use old cloth, paper, cardboard, boxes, etc. to make games and other craft items like coasters, jewellery, bookmarks, musical instruments, and toys.
6. Make art with old stuff
Kids can also use old items to make art. They can use toilet roll cores, half pencils, old laces, cloth pieces, etc to make art.
7. Make detergent at home
This is a fun activity. Make homemade soap and detergent with your kids and encourage them to use it to wash clothes and utensils. Make sure that they wear gloves and don’t use ingredients they might be allergic to.
8. Make paper at home
There is a charm in making something from scratch. Teach kids how to make pulp from old used paper or newspaper and then spread it out and dry it to make paper.
9. Make notebooks at home
Use A4 sheets printed on one side to make notebooks at home. This notebooks can be used for learning practice, for diary entries, and gifting.
10. Make cloth napkins
We use napkins on a daily basis, so teach kids how make reusable napkins out of old clothes.
Related article: Top 6 Motivational Videos for Kids
Environmentally sustainable activities
These environmentally sustainable activities allow kids to be creative and helps them be more cognizant of nature’s elements.
11. Make compost
Show kids how organic waste from your house can be composted and used to fertilize soil for plants.
12. Plant a garden
Engage kids into planting a garden of herbs, vegetables, and fruits. This will teach them the importance of not wasting food and taking only what they need.
13. Collect rainwater
Make a rainwater reservoir with the helps of your kids, and show them how that water can be stored for long and used. Ensure that kids are responsible to monitor that the water safely.
14. Plant a tree
Plant a tree with your kids and encourage them to water and nourish it. This teaches kids to be responsible and to appreciate the value of living organisms.
15. Set up a worm farm
Make a worm farm with kids, and show kids how it helps keep soil fertilized and aerated. Kids learn the role of taking care of other living things that help restore balance to the nature.
Sustainability games for kids
Following are some sustainability games for students that help them understand the important of recucling and conservation.
16. Recycle City
This game by EPA can help sensitize kids to the important of recycling and reusing waste and old material.
17. Smog City 2
This game requires players to control the pollution caused in a city to give its residents a healthy life.
18. Profit Seed
This sustainable agriculture for kids game help teach the importance of sustainable farming and the dangers of using genetically modified organisms (GMOs.)
Build a wind farm and learn about sustainable wind energy. This game teaches about the skills required to set up a wind energy farm.
Promoting sustainability ideas among kids is essential. Mission migration shows how birds migrate and how human pollution affects their migratory paterns.
Sustainability in kindergarten
Start early! Teaching sustainability to preschoolers can have a long-lasting impact on their lives.
21. Make an air pollution chart
Make a chart that show how much pollution some of our daily activities cause. This will help kids become more aware of their actions and choices.
22. Do a water pollution experiment
Do a water pollution activity with kids to show them that various things cause water pollution that we may not always see.
Sustainability activities for students are important to help them imbibe a way of living that’s rooted in nature.
We need to take nature along, if we are to live healthily.
“For when we leave nature behind, we leave our only steady guide.” – Anne Lister
Sustainability worksheets for kids
Download sustainability worksheets for kids and students that can be used for school or home learning.
These sustainability and sustainable development activities for students help take kids on a path of awareness and responsible behaviour.
Sustainability books for kids
This books help kids understand the importance of caring for the environment.
Note: If you use the book links here to make a purchase, it will helps us get some affiliate fee that’ll help us bring you more good learning content 🙂
- “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss
- “Don’t Let Them Disappear” by Chelsea Clinton
- “Bee & Me” by Alison Jay
- “The Lonely Polar Bear” by Khoa Le
- “George Saves the World by Lunchtime” by Jo Readman
- “Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree” by Naoko Stoop
- “The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle” by Naoko Stoop
- “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World” by Melanie Walsh
- “The Water Princess” by Susan Verde
- “Why Should I Save Water” and “Why Should I Recycle?” boxes by Jen Green
- “Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth“ by Mary McKenna Siddals
- “We Planted a Tree” by Diane Muldrow
- “Touch The Earth” by Bart Davis and Julian Lennon
- “Miss Maple’s Seeds” by Eliza Wheeler
- “Follow The Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles” by Deborah Hopkinson and Philippe Cousteau Jr.
- “Kate, Who Tamed the Wind” by Liz Garton Scanlon
- “City Green” DyAnne DiSalvo
- “We are Extremely Very Good Recyclers” by Lauren Child
- “What A Waste: Rubbish, Recycling, and Protecting Our Planet” by Jess French
- “Greta’s Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went On Strike To Save The Planet” by Valentina Camerini
Sustainable eating habits for kids
- Nutritious plant-based diet
Plant-based diet has 1/2 the carbon footprint and uses 2 1/2 times less land for production.
2. Choose organic food
Organic food has less emissions and they use fewer resources like fertilizers.
3. Grow a vegetable garden
If the space available allows, grow herbs and vegetables in your garden.
4. Consume local and seasonal foods
Eating local and seasonal foods is environmentally sustainable and offers health benefits.
5. Carry own water container
This helps reduce plastic and other waste.
The importance of action!
Climate change & environmental sustainability
Here’s 15-year old Greta Thunberg talking about climate change…
“What we do or don’t do RIGHT NOW will affect my entire life, and the lives of my children and grandchildren…
the ONE THING we need more than hope is ACTION. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.“