The school and the family have always been the places dedicated to education and because of the climate complications of recent decades, the environmental education of our children is more fundamental than ever. Teaching the youngest respect for the environment is everyone's duty, almost essential, and especially in the family context serves to make them more aware people. In this article we discover what is the right key to talk about environmental education to children, through fun and engaging activities.
Environmental education for children: what to cover
The first forms of learning take place in the family: the child emulates the actions of 'adults' and replicates what he sees. Respect for our surroundings must start here, in the family. The younger generations are the ones who will have to deal with major climate changes in the future, and it is good that they are educated from a very young age in an ecological lifestyle .
How do you explain environmental education to children? Sustainability may seem a complex concept to explain to a child: it concerns aspects such as energy saving, environmentalpollution and, in general, the safeguarding of the planet. In reality, a few targeted good practices are enough to get their interest:
- differentiate waste at home;
- educate to combat food waste;
- practicing respect for the environment;
- recycling objects.
By stimulating the child with fun themed actions and activities, the results are extraordinary!
Try also with dedicated readings; books are a valid support to give a face to themes such as ecology andpollution. Ecological stories for children are usually suitable reading for ages 8 and up, but thanks to the beautiful illustrations they can intrigue even preschoolers.
4 actions that teach children respect for the environment
Some of these activities are so simple that they seem trivial, but in reality they are of fundamental importance in terms of sustainable education:
- sort your garbage: you probably already do it, but remember to involve your children in the daily activity. Teach them how to recycle, using signs and other simple visual aids; it will make it more automatic. Point out to them where each material goes, too, and explain what would happen if all the waste was put away without criteria.
- respect animalsThis is a good practice to make the child more open to diversity;
- do not consume what is not necessary: have you ever left the water running while you brush your teeth or left the lights on when you were not present? Try setting a stopwatch every time the kids take a shower. You can think about giving them a prize if they finish before the timer sounds!
move around by bike or walking as much as possible: as a parent try to reduce car travel to the essentials. If feasible, in the warmer months, take your children to school by bike, they will certainly appreciate it. If it is not feasible, organize with other parents for carpooling: every morning a parent takes turns to accompany the children to school: fun is guaranteed!
Green activities for children: how to make recycled paper
To help a child understand the concept of recycling in an active and fun way, try making a sheet of recycled paper with him or her.
What is needed?
- old sheets of paper of different types
- a blender
- tights used
- a wooden frame
- a basin
- absorbent cloths
Break up or crush some old sheets of paper and let them soak in a basin full of water until they become a wet mass. This will need to be filtered several times to remove excess water, and then it will need to be laid out on a frame made from the old tights on the frame. The recycled sheet should be unique and have no holes. Wait for it to dry and press down on the sides with a damp cloth or sponges to dry and compact. Let dry for as long as needed and you will have made your recycled paper together.
Try your hand at it!
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(Photo by cottonbro)