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Magalog Flashback: Six Fun Ways To Teach Kids to Love Their Planet

What do you get when you combine a catalog with a magazine? Our magalog, Surprises, is your guide to the best of our baby gear selection and the top toys of the season. But there’s more: each issue of Surprises is loaded with informative articles about babies and kids, and common-sense advice that you can use.

Just in case you missed them, we’re reposting our magalog backlog here on the Spilling the Beans blog. And we’ve got a great new issue on the way, launching in November 2012. Go here and sign up to make sure you get yours!


Second Nature: Six Fun Ways To Teach Kids to Love Their Planet
By Dana Morgenstein
With Darla Hutson and Tracy Hitchins of The Preschool Toolbox (www.thepreschooltoolbox.com)

Kids have an inborn appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. No doubt you have fond childhood memories exploring nature trails, splashing in streams, spotting a deer at a distance, and exploring Grandma’s garden. By integrating an appreciation of nature into fun activities, you can gently nurture your child’s budding eco-awareness into full bloom. Here are some tips on activities that will help you raise a child who cares about the environment.

1. Teach kids where their food comes from, and why local and organic foods are better. Visit a local organic grower with your children and talk to the farmer. Or, learn to grow one food item together as a family. Kids will be eager to try eating food that they planted and picked themselves.

2. Point out garbage along roadways and in parks. Talk to your child about littering.

3. Make a game out of recycling – small children enjoy sorting objects, and they love having a task of their own in the house. And you can make the idea of recycling more concrete by purchasing toys made from recycled materials.

4. Take your kids to a nearby stream or waterway. Help pick up dead sticks, garbage, and other items to clean up the area.

5. Teach your child basic outdoors skills: how to use a compass, how to find the North Star, which direction the sun rises and sets, how to read a basic map, and how to use magnifying glasses or binoculars to appreciate the beauty in nature close-up.

6. Purchase toys made from sustainable materials, like rubberwood and bamboo, and look for reusable products that replace disposable ones, like the Stainless Steel Bottles from Crocodile Creek.

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