Growing Green Habits for Toddlers and the Entire Family

by | Apr 3, 2024

There’s no doubt about it. We live in an era where our world needs everyone to consciously think about how we’re treating our environment! Everyday routines present countless opportunities to teach your little ones about the importance of caring for our planet. With World Mother Earth Day around the corner, we’re reminded that teaching little ones to care starts at the grass-roots level (excuse the pun). Here are some fun and impactful ways to cultivate green habits together.

Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine

  • Banish the disposable: Swap single-use items like plastic bags and water bottles for reusable alternatives. Invest in colourful, kid-friendly water bottles and tote bags for grocery shopping.
  • Craft time goes green: Give old containers and cardboard boxes a new life! Transform them into houses, cars, or even planters for a fun and creative way to reuse them. Many schools are now hosting innovative recycling competitions, too.
  • Shop smart, shop together: Explain the concept of choosing products with minimal packaging for your toddler. Allow them to get involved and pick fruits and vegetables without excessive plastic wrapping.

Energy Champs

  • Unplug the party: Make a game of turning off lights and electronics in unoccupied rooms. Who can spot the “energy vampire” first? This could actually become as popular as “the floor is lava”, and in a country that deals with loadshedding, our power suppliers will love us for it, too.
  • Sunshine laundry: Ditch the dryer whenever possible. Luckily for us in South Africa, dryers aren’t a necessity. Hang clothes outside on a sunny day for a fresh, eco-friendly dry.
  • Cosy cuddles: Bundle up instead of cranking up the heat. Read books, build forts, and create a comfortable atmosphere with less energy consumption.

Water Warriors

  • Brush buddies: Turn teeth-brushing into a water-saving adventure! Use a timer with a fun song to limit brushing time and avoid leaving the faucet running.
  • Shower vs. Bath: Explain how showers use less water than baths. Make bath time a special treat, not a daily routine. Make shower time fun and as enticing as bath time.
  • Plant power: Let your toddler help water the plants using a watering can instead of the hose. Explain how plants need water to grow strong and healthy.

Grow a Love for Nature

  • Nature walks: Explore your local park or backyard. Point out different plants and animals, fostering a love for the natural world.
  • Compost crew: Start a small compost bin for food scraps (coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetable peels). Compost bins are uber popular and easy to find. Explain how compost helps plants grow big and strong.
  • Plant a seed: Plant it together in a pot and watch it grow. Planting teaches responsibility and the importance of nurturing life.


  • Lead by example: Your own green habits are the most powerful teaching tool.
  • Keep it positive: Focus on the fun and discovery of caring for the environment.
  • Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge and praise your child’s efforts, no matter how small.

By incorporating these green habits into your daily routines, you’ll cultivate a love for nature in your toddler and build a foundation for a sustainable future for your entire family.