For future generations to breathe fresh air and drink clean water, children need to be taught why it is important to take care of the environment – this can be done starting in elementary school age.
Karen Frost, an online essay writer, has prepared some tips for those who want to help children discover natural sciences, learn about environmental issues, and learn to consume responsibly and consciously.
If a child loves animals, it will be easier for him or her to get into the habit of caring for the environment through this feeling. You can regularly have a creative day off and make bird feeders together.
Birds can eat from large plastic bottles and empty juice or milk cartons. Just make windows in them for the birds and hang them on the trees.
To make it more interesting, you can paint the feeders in gouache and explain in the process to your child that now the birds will have something to eat and will survive the winter. Tell them that you gave a second life to a container you were going to throw away. It took a lot of natural resources to create, so the longer it is used, the better.
Your child may have new ideas for how else to reuse plastic bottles and cardboard bags. For example, you can make organizers for pens and pencils or a small catamaran for a doll.
Already this winter, try starting a mini vegetable garden on your windowsill or just soaking wheat, beans, or green buckwheat. In a few days, the children will see and understand how sprouts emerge from the seeds. In the spring, you can plant a real tree in the backyard or at the cottage.
Tell your child how it benefits the planet and helps them keep an eye on their “pet”.
To feed the birds in the yard, all it takes is a small portion of dried cereal.
In childhood, it is much easier to acquire habits useful for yourself and the planet than in adulthood.
Sorting garbage can be turned into an interesting game: put paper in a cardboard box, plastic – in a bright bucket, glass – in a sturdy bag. You can refresh your knowledge on the Internet and gradually explain how to properly sort plastic, what types of it can be sent for recycling, and what types – no. Show your child a map of the city with recycling points and ask him to find the most convenient one for you. Then you can turn the trip to the chosen location into a fun walk.
You need to teach children to save water and electricity. Explain that if you close the faucet every time you brush your teeth, you can save freshwater resources on the planet.
I tell the children about the results of these simple actions in the “Henkel Explorers’ World” classes – with pictures and detailed commentary. We conduct experiments to test some examples in practice. For example, we prove that it takes less energy to boil water in a pot with a lid on than in a pot without a lid.
If you close the faucet every time you brush your teeth, you can save the planet’s freshwater resources.
Simple science experiments can also be done at home with the right kits.
Learning to sort trash is great, but it’s even more important to reduce its production. The concept of “Zero Waste” is popular nowadays – the philosophy that you should produce as little trash as possible and try to recycle as much stuff as possible for new users. It’s not easy to get used to, even for adults, but you have to start small.
Living the Zero Waste concept – try to produce less trash and recycle more.
You need to stop taking bags from the store, it is better to sew or buy reusable. Do not forget about your child – let him have his beautiful bag for trips to the supermarket. The very process of shopping can be turned into a kind of quest: who will come up with the best way to buy the product without packaging. Some fruits and vegetables that are sold by weight do not need bagging: bananas, cabbage, pumpkin.
You should strive to use disposable containers less often. I recommend buying personal water bottles for each family member. This method will help to reduce the amount of plastic consumption and save on the purchase of bottled water.
You need to explain to your child that burning trash hurts the planet because of the harmful emissions to the atmosphere. Telling them about unnecessary plastic and the difficulty of recycling is a good argument for not buying unnecessary toys.
A child should know that a plastic bottle someone threw away will take more than two hundred years to decompose.
Special classes on ecology will help to arrange the knowledge on the shelves and consolidate it. The choice of educational programs and sections is wide enough because the topic is popular around the world.
In the Henkel Explorer World lesson system, a whole module course is dedicated to sustainability – meeting the needs of the present without compromising those of the future. In these lessons, I tell the children what it means and explain the basic principles.
I reinforce the theoretical part with simple but illustrative experiments, such as making new paper from waste paper. Such extracurricular lessons give children new knowledge and motivate them to treat the planet more carefully and inspire their parents to do the same.
Children consolidate their knowledge when they participate in ecological experiments.
In masterclasses, children learn how entertaining ecology and any other science can be.
During long walks in the woods or during nature trips, you can draw the child’s attention to how beautiful the world around him. At such moments, especially strong love for nature and a desire to take care of it.
You can be engaged in creativity with children: to arrange sessions of painting or drawing, photographing beautiful places.
To usefully spend their free time, I recommend watching and discussing films and cartoons, which touch upon the theme of nature and ecology. Great for cartoons “Lorax” or “Wally”.
Older children can be shown documentaries that evoke emotions and give a lot of useful information. The main thing is that such leisure time is enjoyable, then all the lessons will be learned correctly.
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