Faith-Filled Moment: Litter-Bug Patrol

Grab a “green” moment with your child to teach him or her about creation care. (You’ll find more ideas like this one — along with crafts, games, science activities, cooking projects, and more — in my book Faith-Filled Moments!)

Litter-Bug Patrol

Turn a walk outside into a mission to clean up God’s Creation.

Supplies: latex gloves or sandwich bags, garbage bag

Experience

Go on a walk outside to a natural area like a park or a neighborhood common area. Spend the first half of your time outdoors simply enjoying nature; be sure to verbally point the focus toward our Creator by saying things like “Isn’t this a beautiful world God has made?” Draw your child’s attention to the beauty in nature, looking together at ladybugs, leaves, and clouds; smelling flowers or pine needles; feeling a gentle breeze.

About halfway through your time outdoors, begin looking together for litter as you continue to walk and explore. Whenever you spot something, use a glove (or turn sandwich bags into plastic hand-mittens for your child) to pick it up and put it in the garbage bag you’ve brought along. As you do, reinforce biblical principles of stewardship by saying things like “God gave people the job of caring for his creation. So when we pick up trash like this, it’s a way of honoring God.”

Connection

There are plenty of good reasons out there for “saving the planet,” but none compete with the foundational reason that should motivate all Christians: to serve God through good stewardship of the gift he’s given us in Creation. That’s the reason for dividing this outdoor experience into two halves: a stewardship response flows naturally from our worship of God the Creator. When we take the time to really see and appreciate this amazing world he’s made and to worship him for it, it becomes painfully obvious that we shouldn’t walk by or ignore man’s actions that mar its beauty. The simple act of picking up trash becomes an outward expression of inward love and worship for God.

Exploration

You may want to ask your child questions like…

  • What was the most beautiful thing you’ve seen so far in our time outdoors?
  • What do you love about the world God made?
  • How can we show God how much we appreciate the world he created for us?
  • Do you think its wrong to litter? Why?
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