Plant Lorax Seeds: 10 Small Footprint Habits to Teach Your Preschooler

October 21, 2019
  • One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is The Lorax. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I feel a personal responsibility for our environment and rich ecosystem. I think about the book’s haunting lines, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

    Personal responsibility is central to learning. Daily, your child becomes more aware of being a member of a community and ecosystem. Small conversations and actions promote critical thought and self-awareness. At Illumination Learning Studio, we help preschoolers develop healthy habits: for the child, our community, and our ecosystem. One habit we work to develop is what I call “little feet leave little footprints.” Here are simple ways to help your “little feet” develop habits that will continue to leave “little footprints.”

    Read the Story The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    As you read The Lorax with your children, ask questions as you go to use their higher order thinking skills:

    • What happens if you pollute our waters? (Fish and other animals that live in the water have dirty homes and have to migrate to find a better home. Plant life in the water dies.)
    • Why are trees so important? (They help clean our air. Trees provide a place for animals to live.)
    • Why is clean air important? (Every living thing needs clean air to breath.)

    Ten Ways to Help Your Child Develop Small Footprint Habits

    1. Use both sides of your paper (help the trees).


    2. Do not litter (look for trash cans or put garbage in your pocket until you find one). Don’t forget to compost when possible.

    3. Practice the 3Rs: Renew (buy items that are made from recycled products). Reuse (keep as much out of our landfills as possible by reusing items). Recycle (make sure you clean your recyclable items before you recycle them).
    4. Travel by bike or feet whenever possible (help keep our air clean).


    5. Donate your gently used clothes and toys to those in need. This helps others and reduces waste going to our landfills.


    1. Plant a pollinating garden in your yard to provide a food source for honey bees. Honey bees help important plants reproduce such as apples, berries, and many other foods we humans like to eat. In fact, bees are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we take.
    2. Make sure to turn things off when you are done using them (lights, TV, electronics).

    3. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth.


    4. Have your child help you with shopping by being responsible for reusable shopping bags. As you shop, talk about buying more locally grown produce and locally sourced meats. Not only will you be supporting farmers in your area, but local goods don’t have to be transported as far as big business’s products do, so you will help cut down on fossil fuel emissions.
    5. Spread awareness. As the Lorax spoke for the Truffula Trees that could not speak for themselves, honor those who speak up for the voiceless and the environment.
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