Water Protectors

Inspired by a beautiful book called The Water Protectors by Carol Lindstrom, we encourage kids to explore how they think they could be water protectors in their own home. Then, try out some of these simple ways kids and their grown-ups can take action to conserve water in their homes and make a positive impact on water supply in their community:

The Guide

  • Make sense: Talk with kids about the “snake” or what they think is threatening the water in the book. Share as much as you think kids can understand about how the author chose to represent a giant oil pipe with a snake, and sometimes projects like oil pipes can be dangerous for water—water we need to live, travel and help all living things on earth thrive. Then, get excited to see how YOU can be water protectors in your home!

  • Consider snakes: Wonder together why the author chose a snake to represent the oil pipe, and both accept and share any ideas that feel right (e.g. a pipe is shaped like a snake; snakes can play dangerous characters in stories; in some cultures, snakes represent danger). Also mention that snakes are living things and play an important role in our ecosystems. They have amazing bodies and survival skills and, as long as we know how to be safe around snakes, we can love snakes like we love all creatures! Enjoy more ways to play and learn about snakes in our "Play Snake" DIY activity

  • Be a leak detective: Head out on a leak hunt together to check for drippy faucets inside the house and around the yard.

  • Water play: When setting up for water play, fill just one container or bucket and let kids know this is all the water we have for play today. If there is any water left over after play, welcome kids to “feed” it to the trees rather than pour it down the drain.
  • One cup a day: Teach kids to pick one cup or a reusable water bottle that will be their water cup for the day. Kids can practice filling only halfway or less, then refill as needed. Whatever water they don’t finish at the end of the day, can be used to water the plants, trees or grass instead of going down the drain.

  • Refill from the fridge: Every time we run the faucet and wait for the water to come out cool, we waste precious drops. Kids can help refill a jug of water each day and place it in the fridge so everyone in the family can have cool water when they need it.

  • Collect rain: Try our Rain Gauge DIY to help kids learn about the water cycle as they turn a jar into a tool to measure rainfall and collect water for plants to thrive.

  • Turn off when you brush: Teach kids to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth- doing so can save up to 4 gallons a minute!

  • Shower race: Taking showers shorter than 5 minutes can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month! Turn water conservation into a game to see who can take the shortest shower.

  • Cut out plastic: Much of the plastic we use and throw away ends up in our oceans. To protect our oceans and help all sea creatures, we can each find ways to use less or even no plastic at home! And, kids can really help! Read more here.

  • One bag of trash: Litter is often washed away into nearby water sources. Pick up one bag of trash from a local green space to help keep your local water sources clean. Read more about this activity here.

  • Fall in love with water: Visit a local lake, river or stream and enjoy the gift of clean water together. Giving kids a chance to fall in love with our natural water resources will motivate them to take simple steps to protect them.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Kids today can't help but feel the concern we all share for our planet, so helping them to take action and to feel like they are part of a world in which others care and are taking action too can really help counterbalance their worries. Plus, it teaches kids to exercise compassionate empathy—that ever important ability to put empathy into action!

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