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Raising Global Citizens

03/30/2014 11:43AM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Every April 22nd all over the globe, we celebrate Earth Day. But this Earth Day, before you remind your kids about the importance of conservation, planting trees, and recycling, why not remind them of a few profound truths about what it means to be a human being living on planet earth. If you can instill a healthy amount of awe in your kids about living on earth, you likely won't have to work as hard to get them to consume less, dig in the dirt more, and sort their trash.
According to, there are over seven billion people on the planet already and that number is expected to grow to nine billion by 2042. Think about it. Right now and on any given day, we are part of this vast collection of humanity sharing a tiny globe that orbits the sun at a rate of about 30 kilometers per second (or eighteen and a half miles per second). As we zoom around the sun, the planet that we are standing on is constantly spinning on its axis, one full turn per day.
If this information doesn't get your kids' minds spinning about the daily scientific miracle of life on earth, I don't know what will. But how often do parents stop and consider our place in the larger scheme of things? Considering the length of our to-do lists, probably not often enough. So these reminders are not just for kids, they are for the benefit of the whole family.
Here's what parents can do to instill a healthy appreciation for planet earth in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives: we can slow down, pay attention to the miracle that is our life on earth, and raise our family's consciousness about our humble place in the vast scheme of things.
You might think, "But I don't want my child to feel inconsequential and overwhelmed." Don't worry. Learning about the world and our place in the universe has an inspiring affect on kids, and teaching them will likely inspire you to want to learn more too.
Ready to remind your family that we all share planet earth? It's easier than you might think. Weave a glimpse of the universe into your home décor. Bring some globally minded toys to your kid's bedroom. Let kids see for themselves that although we all matter, no one person is the center of the universe. Here's how:
1. Display a large flat map of the world prominently in your home
2. Keep a globe within reach
3. Hang a mobile of the solar system
4. Get a telescope or visit an observatory
5. Take virtual trips around the globe together using Google Earth
6. Watch A&E Television Network's, Spaceship Earth as a family
7. Display a "you are here" image of our place in the galaxy
8. Subscribe to National Geographic Kids or National Geographic Little Kids magazine
9. Watch the documentary, Babies, with the whole family
10. Take a trip to the closest science museum and visit the planetarium
11. Read Horton Hears A Who and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss out loud every year on Earth Day
Books and Toys For Global Awareness:
National Geographic Kids, First Big Book Of Space by Catherine D. Hughes and David A. Aguilar
I Never Forget A Face Matching Game with children's faces from around the world by Eeboo
48-piece Solar System Floor Puzzle by Melissa and Doug
If The World Were A Village, A Book About The World's People by David J. Smith, Illustrated by Shelaugh Armstrong
Children Just Like Me, A Unique Celebration Of Children Around The World by Anabel and Barnabas Kindersley
About the Author:

Christina Katz loves everything Florida—long stretches of beach, plump oranges and grapefruits, and one big sunshiny reason to frequently reapply her sunscreen. Her latest book is 
Permission Granted, 45 Reasons to Micro-publish.

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