How often do your kids think about water?
Maybe they get thirsty in the middle of the night … or excited when they play in the sprinkler on a hot day. For some kids, water can be the enemy at bath time and a friend at the neighbor’s pool.
But although your kids interact with water a lot, they probably don’t think about it much. And they probably have no idea that boys and girls on the other side of the world don’t have access to it.
So with World Water Day coming up this week, why not take this opportunity to teach your kids about helping people in need?
Here are a few fun activities and easy ways to explain the need for clean water to your child:
1. Use this free, downloadable coloring sheet
If your kids color the water blue, ask them why. Talk about how some children would color the water brown because dirty water is all they’ve ever seen.
2. Keep a “water journal”
Give your child a notebook and ask him to make a check every time he uses water. At the end of the day, talk about how much water he used and how his life would change without water.
3. Use terms a child will understand
Instead of saying that many children around the world have to walk six to 10 miles to get water, tell your child to think of a landmark such as grandma’s house or his school. Then, ask him to imagine walking there and back for water several times every day.
4. Take a trip
Take your kids on a six-mile hike, bike trip, or drive. As you travel, point out how long it takes and how children around the world miss out on time to do their homework or play with friends because they have to make a similar trip daily to get water.
5. Do the water bucket challenge
Fill two milk jugs or buckets with water. Challenge your children to see how many laps around the house they can make while carrying both containers. Then talk about how some kids have to carry even heavier buckets and how they often have to walk on paths covered in sharp rocks or through tall grass where snakes hide.
6. Help your kids provide water for one person
After your kids have learned about the need for clean water, help them do something about it. Because it costs only $15 to give water to one person for a year, it’s an easy way they can get involved, using the money in their piggy banks to help a child on the other side of the world. And if they don’t have $15 already, help them raise the money by doing chores, having a yard sale, or selling lemonade or baked goods.
The global water crisis is an important topic, but it’s not always an easy one to talk about with your kids. Mentioning that dirty water is one of the leading killers of children worldwide can scare kids, even the more mature ones, and make them not want to talk about it. But the simple strategies above provide a gentle way to ease into the discussion in an age-appropriate way.
When kids understand the problems of people around the world, they learn to care about others. And they become more grateful for what they have. Kids who learn to care about others at an early age grow up to become compassionate, kind adults. And getting them started on that journey can be as simple as a conversation, a game, or a coloring sheet!
If you use the downloadable coloring sheet or any of these other strategies, we’d love for you to share! You can post a picture of your child’s artwork or your family participating in one of the World Water Day activities on Facebook or Instagram and tag World Help.
We love to see how you’re changing the world … and change starts at home.