Climate change for kids: How to explain climate change
Climate change is a difficult concept, especially for kids. Explain climate change to your kids with our tips!
Why explain climate change to kids
Climate change is already impacting people around the world. Whether or not it is as obvious where you live, climate change is and likely will impact the lives of everyone, including kids. So, it’s important that kids understand what this means for them, what they can do about it, and why it’s important to take action.
How to explain climate change to kids
While it is a complicated topic, there are still plenty of different ways to explain climate change to kids.
The most effective approach will likely depend on the age of the child. Younger children probably won’t understand all of the science behind climate change, so you’ll have to explain the theme more broadly. Whereas, older children may be curious to hear the exact science behind the processes leading to climate change and the impacts of climate change.
In any case, it’s positive to start with a dialogue.
Explaining the importance and impact of climate change 🌎
A first step in explaining climate change to kids is helping them understand a few concepts:
- What is climate change
- What are the negative effects of climate change
- How we contribute to climate change (and how we can reduce our impact)
Whether or not you’ve already started this dialogue, it can be positive to start simply, by promoting eco-friendly behavior and appreciating time spent in nature.
Instilling eco-friendly behavior 🌱
By instilling eco-friendly behaviors and habits in your family routine, you can help show the importance of treating the environment correctly.
This can also be easy, first, bite-sized steps into explaining climate change and the importance of taking action.
For example, by explaining why we are doing a specific eco-friendly action, the climate impact of doing a not eco-friendly action will likely come up. So, in this case, we can highlight the impact we have and why we are trying to reduce this impact.
By making these behaviors a habit, it promotes the importance of these actions!
Spending time in nature 🏞
Spending time in nature is a simple way to help kids appreciate our natural environment. If they appreciate and value the environment, and can make it easier to inspire kids to take action when diving into topics regarding climate change and environmental damage.
Creating a dialogue: talking about climate change 🗣
Next to promoting the importance of eco-friendly behavior and appreciation for natural spaces, there needs to be a space for dialogue and education.
This can be a conversation naturally flowing from topics regarding why we do eco-friendly things or related to the natural environment. However, you can choose to start the dialogue however you want depending on the age of your child(ren).
You can ask them how much they know about climate change already, if they’ve learned anything in school or heard something on the news or from friends.
This can be a useful jumping off point into open conversations regarding climate change. NPR also has more tips on how to approach conversations about climate change with your kids.
Navigate conversations with facts (provide opportunities for education) 📚
When discussing climate change, it’s important to navigate these conversations with facts. This may mean you have to educate yourself further regarding climate change and climate science. Or, simply accept when you may not know the answer to a question. This can be a great opportunity to research and learn more together with your kids.
There are tons of educational resources available which can help you and your child discuss climate change and learn more.
Some useful resources include:
Make them feel empowered (take action!) 🦸
Climate change may seem daunting, especially for kids. So, it’s important for kids to know that they can make a difference!
Kids can take many actions, small and large, to take action against climate change and to take action for the environment in general.
You can even participate in climate marches together with your kids, volunteer with NGOs, or just spread awareness.
Looking to take more Climate Action?
We’re a member of Leaders for Climate Action, and they’ve provided quick and easy actions that any individual can take in order to take action for the climate. Check out the actions here!