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7 Ways to Raise a Green Toddler

7 Ways to Raise a Green Toddler

Raising kids with a green lifestyle can be difficult at times. Toddlers can be especially tricky, as they become aware of wanting particular things, not just what you give them. They start to have more opinions, and don’t always want to do things your way. It takes effort to raise a green toddler. Here are some ideas to help.

1. Make the most of handmedowns and secondhand clothes and toys.

My kids are all very used to receiving handmedowns. My sisters and I pass clothes and toys from kid to kid to kid, sorting out what has become too worn out or just doesn’t appeal to the next kid. The better toys may even be used as Christmas or birthday gifts, not just random surprises.

My kids get excited about their handmedowns most of the time. There’s one purple jacket that is on its fourth girl, and every one of them has been very reluctant to release it to the next. It’s just that cute a jacket. My kids get to say whether or not they like particular things, so the handmedowns don’t feel like a burden. Give them a say even as toddlers, and such things become something to look forward to.

If handmedowns aren’t a realistic option for you or don’t provide enough clothing, try resale and thrift shops. You can find a lot of great deals for much less than new clothes and toys cost.

2. Decorate their rooms with their own artwork or other treasured things.

Toddlers are often prolific artists. Rather than crowd the front of my refrigerator, they get to hang their artwork in their own bedrooms. My kids have artwork that they made years ago still hanging in their rooms, and it started when they were little. This allows them to make their rooms very much their own style, and you don’t have to buy anything more than the art supplies you probably would have bought anyhow. Don’t forget to teach them how to make recycled art!

3. Teach them to recycle.

It’s easy to teach very young children to recycle. Once they’re old enough to carry things to the trash, they’re old enough to start learning which things should be recycled instead.

It takes a lot of watching, especially with food related items that may need to be rinsed before going into the recycle bin. Toddlers often forget where things go, but it’s a great age to set them on the recycling path.

4. Walk together.

Don’t drive everywhere you have to go, if you have the option. If school, the park, museum or the store are close enough, consider walking there instead. You may want to use the stroller at times, as toddlers will get tired fairly quickly sometimes, or decide it’s naptime before you’re done with your errands. Fortunately, the stroller can also be convenient for carrying groceries or other packages.

Walking to the park can also be a great excuse for a picnic. Eating outside is often a treat to young children.

5. Use public transportation.

When walking isn’t the best option, consider public transportation. This option won’t work everywhere – not all places have good public transportation – but it’s a very good option if it works for you. Riding a bus or train is a big adventure for young children.

6. Grow a garden together.

Toddlers love growing things. Whether you have a backyard with room for a garden or have to keep everything in containers, gardening is a great activity to do together. Gardening can also be used to encourage your child to eat more vegetables, as they often love eating things they grew themselves.

7. Control screen time.

One of the big ways toddlers learn to want more things is by watching TV or playing games on websites with ads. Not only is too much screen time bad for kids, especially toddlers, as it limits physical activity, it makes it easy for them to learn about more things they want.

There are useful things kids can do with screens, such as play educational games, or give the parents a little break. It’s not your only option, and you shouldn’t use it that way if you can avoid it.

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