Teaching Children about Saving Energy

Teaching kids can be difficult, but they aren’t as inept as many people think. They are growing and changing all of the time, and you will be surprised at what they can learn and how fast they can learn it. But one thing children have a hard time with is conserving. Kids don’t usually naturally save things. They eat what they have in front of them. They play with the toys they have. They cry when they are hungry and tired. Turning off the lights is not necessarily one of their concerns. However, it can and should be.

Though children don’t typically understand why we tell them to turn off the lights and to save water, we tell them again and again to do these things. If you start with the basics of electricity and work from there, you will be surprised at the change in the child’s outlook and behaviour.

Saving energy isn’t just something you should do to save money, it is actually a moral imperative as we navigate a world leaving fossil fuels behind. Instilling these values into your kids will not only lead to smaller electric bills, it will lead to raising adults who care about these things and work hard to do their part.

Nevertheless, it is tough to teach children about complex concepts, but you can put into terms that they can understand. Start with the fundamentals and your children will begin to understand on their own. Make it fun and educational and you will little conservationists in your home in no time.

The Fundamentals of Energy

According to the specialists at MoneyPug, a site used to compare energy suppliers, one of the most important aspects teaching your kids about saving energy is to begin with the fact that electricity is not free and power comes from somewhere. It may sound incredibly basic, but these are kids we are talking about. Some kids might not even understand the concept of power. Begin by telling them that things that plug into the wall use energy and that energy costs money. You can differentiate between objects that are powered and un-powered.

Then you can help them contemplate the differences between electronics that are turned off and unplugged and those that are plugged in and running. With this information, you can show them that some things do not require power. Once children learn the distinction between powered and unpowered items, they will begin to put the whole picture together. Once the basics are established, you will be able to further their understanding by making saving energy fun.

Making Energy Conservation Fun

When you are teaching kids something, you always want to try to make it fun. They will be much more engaged if they find it enjoyable. One way to do this is to gamify saving energy. This means creating a game out of what is usually quite dull for children. Start by showing them items that either use power or do not, which can also be a great way to instruct them about electrical safety. It depends on what objects you use, but this can be a very instructional game. For example, you can show them a vacuum and a broom to ask which one requires energy and which one does not. This is basic, but it will begin to help them fully understand what electricity is. Another option is to use a razor and an electric shaver.

You can also make a game out of tasks that can be done with electricity or without it. Teach your kids that hanging up clothes is a lot less expensive and wasteful than drying them. Show them that washing dishes by hand doesn’t use electricity. Place toys that need to be charged next to ones that don’t and test them about it.

Challenge Them

Many children, especially boys, are competitive. If you make saving energy a challenge and a competition, you will see the motivation to conserve spike. This is another fun way to teach them about saving energy, but you can also reward them for conserving. Setting up a household energy challenge can be fun and instructive, but it can also save you money. Creating a chart to log how people are reducing their usage will lead to positive changes.

For example, you can record the time in the shower, challenge them to watch less television and play less video games, and count how many times they remember to turn off a light when leaving a room. All of these challenges can add up while being an educational tool.

Use Tools

There are plenty of ways to teach your children about saving energy. Luckily, there are many tools at your disposal to help you. For one, you can use one of the many guides that can provide tricks to save power. There are even monthly guides that provide new ways to do so for the weather, wind, and sunlight of that particular time. Everything from changing your lightbulbs to installing a wind turbine can provide new opportunities for education. If, as a household, you make an effort to change behaviour and conserve energy you will be able to teach your kids.

By using tools, making it fun, challenging them, and starting with the basics, you can help your kids learn about electricity, power overall, and how to conserve. Not only will it lead to smaller energy bills and doing your part, it will be a part of raising happy, productive, and responsible adults. Have them help you choose solar panels. Make them help you instal a small wind turbine. Reward good behaviour. Encourage natural light. Get outside. Show them that they don’t need to watch TV all the time.

All of these things can work in tandem to create a positive environment that will, in general, make for a better world. It starts with you, your family, and your household. Making these changes and teaching your young ones about saving energy isn’t just about the money, it is about raising good kids that become great adults.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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