How to Teach Kids to Be Good Stewards of Nature

April 20, 2021

Jeannette Tuionetoa

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Many times when we think of stewardship, we think of money. Learn how to teach kids to be good stewards of nature, a type of stewardship we may never really think about.

How to Teach Kids to Be Good Stewards of Nature text with image of two kids playing together outside

I never really gave much thought to nature before coming to a small island where its evident beauty is all around.

I really regret not appreciating it much in the U.S. while I was living there. I do now when I visit.

I guess growing up in the Bronx, New York, we got used to the garbage piled up in front of the buildings. I also am sure that as a teenager, I really didn’t appreciate the beauty all around me in nature.

Now, I know better.

Living on a small island, the littering really is magnified. You wonder why anyone would want to use the land as a garbage dump when it is so precious.

When one tree is cut down, you really feel the brunt of it. You feel the emptiness that was once there when a tree is just . . . gone.

The island is surrounded by beaches, and the waters are crystal blue. I never liked the beach, but this place just makes you sit back and stare in awe.

Many times I sit by the beach just praying to the Lord, thanking him for his grand creation. I wonder how he remembers me.

I think about how he can have our hairs numbered even in the midst of this world, which seems so vast.

Then I remember that his word is true. We can take it in and remember he has made us in His likeness. And instead of just looking at this world in awe, as if we have no stake in it – I am reminded that we do.

We are left here with commands in tow. He has given us a command to tell the Gospel unto the ends of the Earth.

One thing he has also left us with is having charge over the lands and animals. That is right. We have the responsibility to take care of both and in different ways.

I know when it comes to nature, many Christians have many different views. But, we all can agree that the Lord is sovereign over it all.

We understand that he can wipe it all away in the blink of an eye and that he will return, so on the surface, what we do with the earth may not matter.

However, to him, it does, and I will tell you why.

Genesis 1:27–28 (ESV), “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15 (ESV), “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

So it is not Biblical to worship creation or to raise it to a high level, but we are to have rule over it and take care of it.

Until Adam and Eve, God had sole dominion over everything. He then chose to give humankind par to that dominion. Let that sink in for a moment.

The creator of the universe in his ultimate authority over it all chose to also give us authority over the land and animals.

That alone should give us the motivation to care for nature and care for it well, to treat it as a valuable resource that comes with great responsibility and be OK with that.

This is why it is of the utmost importance to learn how to teach kids to be good stewards of nature.

Here are some ideas on how to teach our kids to be good stewards of nature and for us to do the same:

1. Allow your children to have time in nature.

This is not just doing sports or giving them specific playing activities, but this is letting them explore nature on purpose.

2. Examine and discover the local bioregion.

A bioregion is the ecological and geographical features within your local boundaries. Go on nature walks as your kids learn about their bioregion.

Basically, it is all the physical and environmental features around them such as the type of terrain, the beach or soil characteristics, etc.

Grab these resources to teach your children about nature in your homeschool.

FREE Printables for a Nature Walk

an image of two kids wearing backpacks and hiking with text Free Printables for a Nature Walk

Nature Themed FREE Copywork

Notebooking Ideas for a Nature Study

The Daily Skill Building resources below will go great in a nature unit:

Nature Notebook

Nature Notebook workbook cover with a white background

The Ecology Student Notebook

The Ecology Student Notebook workbook with a plant growing in a lightbulb as the cover and a white background

Drawing and Discovering Nature Notebook

Nature Study with Trees and Leaves

3. Make sure to celebrate Earth Day with your kids.

Earth Day is one day out of the whole year that you can focus on and teach about appreciate nature.

I just learned that intentionally taking time to do this makes it a must and prevents it from falling by the wayside. Here are some Earth Day Resources you can share with your kids:

Hands-On Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Hands-On Ways to Celebrate Earth Day text banner with image of kids all holding together one lightbulb with a plant growing inside

FREE Recycling Resources for Earth Day

Fun and Easy Earth Day Crafts

4. Teach your kids to plant a tree or plant.

Whether it be in your garden or in a pot, growing vegetation will help children to see, take ownership of, and appreciate the growing process.

How to Plant a Garden Steps & Printable Montessori FREE 3-Part Cards | The Natural Homeschool

How to Plant a Garden text with image background of planting in dirt and soil

Garden Printables for Kids | Teaching Mama

12 Easy Plants For Kids To Grow | Growing Healthy Kids

5. Use cloth shopping bags.

Share with your kids the impacts of plastics on our land and sea. (Don’t scare them, but rather tell them we can help one family at a time.)

Here are some resources to help your family make cloth bags out of old t-shirts:

How to Make a Tote Bag from a T-Shirt (No Sew Tote Bag) | Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Make A No Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag In 10 Minutes | Mommypotamus

6. Make it a habit to pick up garbage.

You can schedule one day a month where you purposefully go by a park or seashore to pick up trash if only for an hour or so. Also be on the lookout for trash often, which will help your kids do the same.

7. Recycle and teach your kids to as well.

Explain to your kids the importance of recycling and do what you can to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here are resources that will help:

Resources to Teach Kids About Recycling

Recourses for Learning About Recycling text bubble with an image of a child smiling and standing in front of organized wooden boxes used for recycling things

FREE Recycling Resources for Earth Day

Free Recycling Resources for Earth Day text with image of hands with gloves on picking up trashed muddy plastic bottle of water to recycle that was left outside

8. Teach them God’s Word and be an example.

Teach your children these things and talk about being a good steward of nature. Model the behavior you want them to have as adults.

Read what God’s Word says about his creation and how we have the responsibility to take care of it as much as we can and are able.

Remember to teach your children about what God’s Word says about his creation.

When he talks about Adam “tending” to the garden in Genesis 2:15, the word “tend” comes from the Hebrew word “shamar,” which means way more than just keeping the garden neat. “Shamar” means to guard or to watch and protect.

So, this is what we have to teach our kids and what we should start doing ourselves. Below are a few more memory verses for your kids to learn about being a good steward of nature all around them.

Proverbs 27:18 (ESV) – Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.

Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV) – For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Genesis 1:1 (ESV) – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

two kids playing in a garden of flowers outside with text How to Teach Kids to be Good Stewards of Nature


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