Teaching Kids to Conserve Energy
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When it comes to teaching children about energy conservation, there a few angles you can work with.
Kids are motivated by specific things at the end of the day, and you can use techniques to get them interested and inspired to be part of the solution at home.
One of the best places to start is with a basic understanding of what electricity is and what it is used for.
Explain Electricity, Quiz Them
According got the website MoneyPug, which is used to compare energy prices, you can show the children the difference between something that requires power to work and something that doesn’t. It is helpful to use items that have similar functions. For example, take a broom and a vacuum and explain that though they essentially do the same thing, one requires energy and one does not. Plug in the vacuum or whatever you are using to make your point and show them what happens when it isn’t plugged in.
With these basics established, you can quiz them to further their understanding. Take an electric razor and a manual shaver to illustrate the point that they provide the same function but one has to be plugged in and the other does not. The examples are many. Once you get them to see the difference, you can teach them that the power you use when you plug something into the wall costs money.
Make it a Game, Make it a Competition
After showing the kids that electricity costs money, you can influence their behavior by making it a game. See if they can remember things like turning off and unplugging their video game consoles. Challenge them to turn off the lights and to close the refrigerator. You can keep track of what they doing to conserve energy and reward them after a month or so.
Furthermore, if you have more than one kid you can make it a competition between them. There are few things children love more than beating their sibling. Not only will it motivate them to save power, it will get them to go above and beyond. Rewarding the kid who saves the most power will keep them doing what they need to. After a while it won’t be a game or a competition anymore, these learned things will become habits.
Another thing you can do to encourage children to save energy is to show them that they don’t always need it. There are so many opportunities to spend time outside. Take them on a hike or a picnic on specific days of the week. Make one night free of video games and shows. Celebrate family dinners with candles instead of using light bulbs and devices at the table.
Getting your kids involved in alternative activities is one way to get them to understand the concept of energy conservation. Another way is to get them involved in projects that help your household overcome energy challenges. For example, you can take them to the store to buy solar panels. You can create a symbolic project that helps them see the value of putting in the effort. Build a small wind turbine. You can also show the kids your bills. Seeing the change in how much you are paying each month for electricity will motivate them. Children like results, they also like seeing that their hard work paid off. Setting ground rules is important. Get your kids interested in the thermostat will also help. You can tell them they can catch you when you’re doing something wrong. When they feel like they’re making a difference, they will take pride in it.
Teaching children about something complex like energy issues is never easy, but you can do in a way that’s innocuous and effective. If you do your best to get them to understand and get involved in the process, you will raise thoughtful and responsible children. Tie it all back to our impact on the planet and they will be that much more inspired to do their part.
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