While electricity may not be the easiest concept to teach to your kids about, it is completely possible to do in an engaging, fun way. Not only can teaching your children about electricity be beneficial for your household, it can make your kids into thoughtful energy-savers and responsible adults. It might be hard at first, but once your kids understand what electricity is you will be able to make great strides in saving money and energy in your home.
You might not want to go into all of the science of electricity, but you can explain the basic concepts. Show them the difference between being able to turn something on when it’s plugged in and that it won’t turn on when it’s not. Use inanimate objects to make your points. Ask them whether an electric shaver or a traditional razor uses power. Slowly they will learn that things that plug in, even just to charge, use energy. Taking the time to see to it that your children understand the basic concepts will help them truly get into saving energy on their own. In the best case scenario it will fascinate them.
A fun way to illustrate these points is to conduct short experiments with them. One experiment is rubbing a balloon on their hair. You blow up the balloon and tell them that this is because of electrons and that electrons make energy. This is one way to explain the complicated concept of electricity, but there are many other electricity experiments to do with your kids that can help understand what you are trying to show them.
Gamify the Process
Children everywhere love games. Making a game out of learning about electricity and conserving it will make them pay a lot more attention to you. It can also be a competition. If you have more than one kid, you can reward the person who does the better job at turning off the lights, opening the fridge only once, and unplugging electronics when they are not being used.
Another way to do this is make challenges. Keep track of who is making an effort to read books instead of playing games or watching TV. Challenge them to spend a day outdoors without electricity. You can take them on a picnic or to the beach. If you make it a game and challenge your kids to use less power, you will be able to get them engaged and learning about the conservation of energy.
To keep your kids focused on saving energy you can give them specific tasks to take care of. For example, you can make it their responsibility to watch over the thermostat and to check the rest of the family when they are needlessly using it. Put someone on lights duty. Have your kid check to see that the appliances are off and everything that can be unplugged is unplugged.
Get Them Involved
There are many ways to get your kids involved in the process. First you can show them the numbers. Show them the electricity bills. At first they will be blown away by how much your utilities cost according to the MoneyPug, a site to compare utilities. Then you can use it to make another challenge. Every month you can show how much you’ve saved. Seeing the results will help motivate them.
You can also get your kids involved by having them help you with energy-saving projects. Go shopping for solar panels or energy-saving appliances. Build a small wind turbine not because it will produce a lot of energy but because it will get your kids to understand that green energy is the future and will become cheaper as the economy turns away from burning fossil fuels.
There is no need to make it political, but you can enlighten your children by showing them that electricity is valuable and that it costs a lot of money. Teaching your kids to save anything is tough, but if you make it enticing for them, if you reward them for saving energy and challenge them to do better, they could be inspired. This is how you will help raise your kids into responsible, thoughtful adults.