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5 Ways to Teach Kids About Sustainability

As we celebrate the beginning of a New Year, I find myself refreshing our home and setting family goals. Like many of you, we are reorganizing our spaces, cleaning, and deciding which items in our lives no longer serve us as a family. With this feeling of a fresh start, it’s the perfect time to teach kids about sustainable practices. Let’s chat about five ways to engage kids in sustainable practices all year long.

1.     Use Eco-Friendly Products

Choosing eco-friendly products to have in our homes is one way to teach kids about sustainability. I can’t think of a better item that they can easily relate to than their toys to kick off a discussion about sustainable practices. LeapFrog makes it easy with their adorable collection of eco-friendly learning toys that inspire creativity and imagination. The toys are made with FSC-certified wood, sourced from responsibly managed forests, as well as reclaimed plastic, which marks an important step towards the company’s sustainability commitment to replacing fossil-based plastics with sustainable alternatives by 2030.


This LeapFrog LeapTab Touch, made from such wood, is a screen-free tablet with friendly animal pals that introduce kids to the subjects they’ll explore in preschool. The ten double-sided cards introduce everything from letters and numbers to manners and feelings. Behind tons of touch-to-learn spots are games, activities, and quizzes for kids to discover. Just tap the radio picture to play sing-along songs, weather, daily routines, and more.

2.     Reduce Energy Consumption

The simple practice of turning off the lights when kids leave a room, or shutting off an electronic toy when they are done playing, can easily lead to a discussion about the importance of conserving energy. Sometimes our kids take it so seriously that they shut off the lights even when we don’t want them to! 😉

We love our LeapFrog Touch & Learn Wooden Activity Cube from LeapFrog’s line of eco-friendly learning toys. The Cube features exciting activities around every corner that introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and music. Olivia loves the musical animals that play the fiddle, drum, flute, guitar, and trumpet in different music styles. I love that the cube is made with 100% FSC-certified wood that comes from well-managed forests.

3.     Use Reusable Water Bottles

Another great way to practice sustainability every day is to use reusable stainless steel water bottles rather than one-time-use plastic bottles. We fill our water bottles up each morning so that water is readily available all day long. Cheers!


The LeapFrog ABCs & Activities Wooden Table is packed with things to do. This two-sided table features a Letter Center to discover letters, words, animals, and music. Olivia’s favorite features are the twisty bead maze and shape-sorter blocks! Like all of the products from this line, the toy’s plastic is made from 90% reclaimed plastic, which means less waste goes into landfills, just like when we use reusable water bottles!

4.     Start Your Own Garden

We recently started our own garden with the kids and they love helping with it. By explaining sustainable gardening practices, we teach kids valuable lessons about the environment while developing an appreciation for where their food comes from. My kids love getting outside to water the garden, but their favorite part is picking the bounty when it’s ready. And, BONUS, the kids tend to try more fruits and vegetables when they grow them themselves! If you don’t have a large space, try starting with a raised garden bed or several pots of tomatoes and peppers! Or plant a fruit tree!

This LeapFrog Interactive Learning Easel features a magnetic whiteboard/chalkboard for 2-in-1 play and includes the artwork clip, chalk, and an erasable marker. We can plan out all the foods we want to grow in our garden this spring by making a list on our easel! Our favorite part is the interactive touch book that provides inspiring images for drawing and shows how to use the included shape and letter magnets to spell and draw!

5.     Recycle or Donate Reusable Items

My kids help around the house by knowing the difference between what materials are reusable and can go in our recycling bin, such as cardboard from new toys, paper, and certain plastics. This time of year we are also sifting through our items that no longer serve us as we start fresh for the New Year. Donating toys and clothes that no longer fit rather than throwing them away is a great way to teach kids about sustainability.

LeapFrog has partnered with leading international recycling company TerraCycle in the U.S. to provide an easy way for consumers to recycle LeapFrog®’s electronic products. Just print your free shipping label from TerraCycle here.


I hope this list of 5 ways to teach kids about sustainability helps kick-start a conversation with your own kids this year! Which ideas do you think you’ll implement as a family? Or what is something you already do as a family that I didn’t list? Introducing sustainable toys such as the LeapFrog’s eco-friendly wooden line (available exclusively at Target) is a powerful way to cultivate sustainable practices from the earliest of ages, fostering a generation that values the planet’s wellbeing.

For other motherhood ideas follow along at SUGAR MAPLE notes or on Instagram @SUGARMAPLEnotes. Let’s be friends!  

- xoxo Sarah



By Sarah Harmsen - Blogger at SUGAR MAPLE notes

Sarah is the creator behind SUGAR MAPLE notes – a lifestyle blog about home, family and motherhood. She’s a mom of two imaginative kiddos, Levi and Evelyn and one toddler girl, Olivia Jay. Grab a cup of coffee because Sarah is sure to have one in her hand. Come feel at home with her and her family as they make everyday moments into something special!



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