From the faucet left on as your little one brushes their molars to the garden hose seeping gallon upon gallon of water into the already lush lawn, kids certainly have a way of wasting water.
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Not only does this unnecessary use of household water impact your pocket book, but it’s less than ideal for the environment – especially during the drought-prone, sweltering summer months.
Instead of going hoarse hollering at your wee water-waster to turn the water off, dedicate your energy to actually teaching your tot the value of water. With these meaningful and valuable lessons, you can ensure that your child truly understands what a precious commodity water can be.
1. Discuss Where Water Comes From
To your child, who was born and raised to this point in a home where all you needed to do to acquire water was turn a nob, it may not be entirely clear where the water that flows clean and, seemingly, free from the faucet actually comes from. Take some time and explain this to your little one.
Point out the town water tower when you’re out and about or discuss how your water comes from a local lake or river. Don’t overwhelm your little learner with too many specifics regarding the purification process and other details.
What’s most important is that they understand that there aren’t magical water elves under the sink or a spitting dragon in the backyard supplying your home.
2. Plant Something
There is no better way to commune with nature than to dig your fingers into the robust and ruddy soil. Take your little one into the yard and let them help you plant a tree, bush or flower garden. As you dig the holes and delicately place the plants, talk to your child about what plants need to grow.
Explain in developmentally appropriate detail how the process of photosynthesis works. Remind your child that the plants need water for survival, so we should only use what we need.
Reference this bonding experience if you find yourself again needing to remind your little one to turn off the water saying, “Remember kiddo, your flowers need that water; let’s save it for them” – or something similarly supportive and patient.
3. Take A Creek Walk
Continue your child’s exploration of nature with an exploration of a local waterway. Take your tyke to a nearby creek or river and explore the shores, looking for amphibians that populate the shores or watch fish skitter through the water.
Talk to your child about what these animals need to live and remind them that we all have to do our part to keep the water clean so these creatures can stay happy and healthy.
4. Add A Rain Barrel To Your Home
It’s often difficult for children to understand how the little raindrops that fall from the sky can turn into large amounts of water when they join forces. Give your tot a hands-on opportunity to see this happen – and save some money on water at the same time.
Outfit your home with a water barrel, positioning the barrel such as the gutters feed into it instead of flooding into the yard. Visit this barrel after spring storms or, if you’re adventuresome and your tyke’s not afraid of getting their feet wet, take them out during a strong storm and allow them to watch as water gushes into the barrel. Use the water that collects in this barrel to water the garden.
5. Pen A Picture Book
Teach your little author about water usage and work on their hand-eye coordination simultaneously by creating a picture book that shares – and reinforces – what they have learned. Help your child write out sentences describing the water process, the importance of keeping water clean and ways in which people can save water.
Let them illustrate the book and bind it together as a clean and polished final product. This option is particularly ideal if you have younger children – who will likely be future water-wasters – as your child can read this book to their brothers or sisters to get them started in conserving water early.