Teaching Kids Stewardship This Earth Day

Teaching Kids Stewardship This Earth Day April 20, 2024

family sorting recycling
Learning about recycling can be a fun discipleship opportunity. | Photo by: Alena Shekhovtsova on canva.com.

Earth Day is upon us. It is an excellent opportunity to teach our kids about caring for the earth and all of God’s creation. So, here are some ideas, Scriptures, and encouragement to teach kids about stewardship this Earth Day.

Teaching Kids Stewardship 

In Genesis 1:26 and 28, God gives humanity the task of caring for the earth and all of its creatures. It is a big job and one that, personally, I don’t  always prioritize. 

Yet, when Earth Day comes around I am reminded of this important task and I try to teach my kids. Then, after Earth Day has come and gone, my kids help me remember. They are good about that.

Often we think of stewardship as how we take care of money, but it really can be how we take care of anything God has given us, our world included.

The Holman Bible Dictionary defines stewardship as “Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” Ouch, those are some high standards and I fail at them definition daily.

Now, I am not encouraging you to go vegan or completely change your lifestyle, but I do want to encourage us to use this Earth Day to talk with our kids about stewardship of the earth and our role in it.

Play Ideas to Teach Kids Stewardship

Play is the way God-designed children to learn and make meaning of the things they are learning. Below are some ideas of ways to play with stewardship of the earth and our biblical responsibility to do so.

For more on play check out this post and this post.

Earth Day Sensory Play

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”

 Matthew 6:26 NLT

I recently saw a friend of mine post about using birdseed as a filler in a sensory bin. I love this idea and think you will, too! This is a great sensory bin filler to use outside because there is no need to sweep up any seeds that get spilled. You can simply leave the seeds for the birds and other animals. 

You could use plastic animals or scoops, funnel, and bowls to play in the sensory bin with the birdseed. Kids love scooping, pouring, and funneling. Plus, it is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

As you and your kids play, talk about how we can join God in caring for his creation. What are some ideas you or your children have to co-labor in the stewardship of the earth?

Earth Day Art

“O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!

    In wisdom you have made them all.

    The earth is full of your creatures.

Here is the ocean, vast and wide,

    teeming with life of every kind,

    both large and small.”

Psalm 104:24-25

God’s creativity is seen throughout creation. Allow your children to embrace their creativity by reusing trash or other items that are ready to be discarded. Challenge yourself to use nothing new, except maybe glue or tape. 

Could you build a sculpture? Or, make a collage? 

Will you choose some Earth Day inspiration or make something completely unseen? 

The choices are endless!

As you create together, talk about the impact of trash on your community and the world. Do you recycle? Do you think Jesus would recycle if he were walking on the earth  today? What other ways might he take care of the earth? Are there things your family wants to try?

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

“Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.’ And that is what happened. 

Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” 

Genesis 1:29-31 NLT

God recognized all he made as very good. What do you and your family find very good in God’s creation?

Go on a scavenger hunt and look for very good things in creation. You can make a list together of things to find, look for something from each day of creation, or can make list of things for your kids to find. 

As you find things, talk about ways your family’s habits impact God’s creation and ways you may want to start new habits or change old ones.

Earth Day Creative Family Plan

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.

    The world and all its people belong to him.”

Psalm 24:1 NLT

The earth doesn’t belong to us. Let’s talk about this with our kids and have a brainstorming session. When you start brainstorming, write down every idea, no matter how absurd or impractical it may seem. If your kids want to steward the earth by sewing sleeping bags for all the bunnies in your yard, write it down. 

After you come up with a list, pray together that God would help you discern 1 or 2 to focus on. This also teaches your kids to include God in their decision-making process. 

Then you can go through and cross out a few that y’all know are not going to work for your family. 

If you want to take a few days to pray before coming back to the list for a final decision, feel free!

Remember, God isn’t after our sacrifices, but our hearts. If we can begin to see the earth and all of its resources as God’s we are moving in the right direction.

How Will You Teach Kids Stewardship this Earth Day?

So, which ideas will you try? If you need more ideas, check out this Earth Day Bible Play freebie.

About Joy Wendling, MA
Enthusiastic. Passionate. Profound. Joy Wendling is a family pastor, writer, speaker, podcaster, certified parent coach, and founder of Created to Play. She has over 20 years of experience in children, youth, and family ministry, as well as a Master’s in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary. She also is certified in Connected Families Parent Coaching and Parenting for Faith. Her idea of relaxing is gazing at the mountains from her island home with an ice-cold Diet Coke and a good book. Joy lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys laughing and playing with her five daughters and husband. Get to know her better at CreatedtoPlay.com and on her podcast titled Playfully Faithful Parenting. You can read more about the author here.

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