I’m going to share some World Environment Day ideas that are fun ways to cultivate gratitude for the natural world and celebrate this special day.
Did you know that practicing gratitude with kids can improve their health and has been linked to living longer, more fulfilling lives?
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Why teach Gratitude?
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness and will help your kids feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Gratitude related to past, present and future
You can talk about being grateful for past memories and blessings. For example, your kids may be grateful to the neighbours who planted the tree in your backyard that now brings them a beautiful shady spot to enjoy on the grass and allow them to see over their fence.
It can apply to the present. What in nature is sparking delight in your child right now? Of course, you can also bring up some discussion about the lovely things you enjoy about the season you’re currently in.
And the future, planting seeds in that vegetable garden is going to help you maintain a hopeful and optimistic attitude.
World Environment Day Ideas
1. Gratitude journal
Something that I have started this year is a gratitude journal. I try to fill it in every day and it really does remind me, when I’m feeling a little low, that I am lucky to be alive. You probably have guessed that nature and family take up a lot of the places I hold in my gratitude journal.
So, set aside a time each day to write three things down that you are grateful for and because it’s World Environment Day, theme it accordingly.
Perhaps you could pair this with an evening walk each day with the intention to think about those three points. For example, the other day the full moon was so vibrant and bright that we could clearly see all craters on the moon. We were grateful for a clear sky so that we were able to experience that moment together.
You might also like to bring nature journaling in here too, some children may prefer to draw what they’re grateful for rather than write it.
2. Gratitude Tree
On World Environment Day, you might like to set up a branch that has a heap of branchlets coming off it. Something like this (Hold up stick), which looks like it’s a little tree trunk of its own.
Collect a heap of leaves together as a family and then set them in a basket beside your rather bare tree. Encourage your kids to write down what they’re grateful for throughout the day and then they can place it on the tree. At the end of the day, you can read them together as a family. You might like to prepare one to show your kids how it works and again for younger children, ask them to draw on the leaf instead.
Your example, you might say something like I am thankful for ____ because of _____.
3. Gratitude craft
Time for another nature craft? Give your child a basket and ask your child to go outside and find items in nature that spark delight in them. Ask them to take a small portion of that natural material and create a gratitude collage with it. You might like to ask your child to explain their choice of materials and what made them pick each one to add to their collage. You may also like to leave some pictures of animals around where they are crafting too.
What nature and animals might your child highlight in their collage? Tell me in the comments below
4. Read gratitude books
Our library just reopened, and we are so thrilled. So of course, I had to look for some nature-themed gratitude books and these two didn’t disappoint.
Thankful, by Eileen Spinelli, celebrates everyday blessings, and there’s a lot of nature-related theme topics in here. In general, it’s a really sweet book about being grateful and the illustrations are absolutely stunning.
All the World, by Elizabeth Scanlon, is a poem that shares the value of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky. Many of the illustrations are full-page landscapes that playfully weave with lovely verses.
If you don’t have access to a library yet and they interest you, I have added the links to get them in the description below. They are affiliate links, so I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you do use the link and buy them. I appreciate you support
I hope these World Environment Day ideas will help you cultivate gratitude with your kids and allow them to see how incredible our natural world really is.