Earth Hour 2020 is upon us, in the current climate of crisis with the Covid-19 virus wreaking havoc, it’s easy (and understandable) to lose sight of other significant moments for our global community. Well, in case you’ve missed it, it’s tonight from 20:30 – 21:30… And many scholars have already pointed out that one glimmer of a silver lining in this dark time we are in, is the fact that the earth is getting a bit of a breather (from mining, production, consumption, etc.); so what better opportunity has there ever been to spend some quiet family time together teaching our children about climate change in the comfort and safety of our own homes.

Here are a few examples of how to creatively turn Earth Hour into a family event.

Lantern Walkway

Grab some brown paper bags, fill them with sand and pop a candle in the centre. Place these around your garden to create a magical walkway of light. Create stops at certain places in the garden to teach your kids about the plants that grow there, some of the insects we might find, what the difference is between indigenous and invasive plants, etc. the options are endless.

Game Night by Candlelight

Dust off those board games and enjoy some quality time with your family. Explain that you’re doing it by candlelight to save electricity, and why it’s important to do that…

Indoor Dinner Picnic

Set the scene with blankets, pillows and a basket of goodies. But make sure the menu consists of only fresh products (no chicken nuggets tonight, kids), and talk to your kids about how reliant we are on the earth for our food – maybe even take a moment to give thanks for our farmers.

Stargazing

A great way to teach our children (or ourselves) about astronomy, get crafty and make a homemade telescope. You also get some pretty easy-to-use apps that will identify the different constellations… use it as an opportunity to marvel at the wonder of the universe, and to learn about earth’s place in the solar system.

Stories by Campfire

Get that fire crackling and roast a few marshmallows, or make a pretend fire in your living room. Grab some hot chocolate and read a few books, or you could retell some stories that you heard as a child.

Backyard Camping

Depending on the weather, of course, set up the tent and snuggle in for the night. Considering the fact that most streets will be quiet tonight, it may even be a good opportunity to ask your kids to listen for the sounds of the garden; turn it into a game where each person gets the chance to mimic a sound they hear and then the others can try and guess what it might be.

Shadow puppets

Smaller kids will love this! Give them ideas of what creatures they could make with their fingers and hands. Light a few candles or shine a torch onto a wall and let their imagination flow.

No-Cook Evening.

Switch off all the appliances and create a delicious feast out of “cold” foods. These could also be used for your indoor picnic (see above).

Forts and Stories

Unpack all the blankets and covers get creative and build the best fort ever. Snuggle up with your torch and a good book!

Stalk The Lantern

Light a lantern or use a torch, family members need to try and get as close to the light as possible, while another member stands in the shadows, watching and waiting. As soon as he/she spots a person, they shine the torch on them (another torch, obviously, not the one they’re stalking). The object of the game is to grab the lantern without being spotted by the person with the torch.

There you have it, a few entertaining ways for the family to enjoy Earth Hour. Hope you have a blast.

For those of you who are interested in what I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Visit this link.

10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Hour

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Jacqui Bester