World Environment Day on 5th June is a national day for action to protect our environment and raise awareness on environmental issues.
Environmental issues emerging from human overpopulation, global warming, and marine pollution, to wildlife crime and sustainable consumption.
Here is a list of ideas and strategies that will help children to care for the environment:
- For older children, environmental issues such as drought or daily weather reports including updates on air quality and pollution levels should be discussed during morning group time or and a chart to record these findings should be made as visuals within the room.
- For Preschoolers, choose “Energy Savers” – responsible for noticing lights, fans and other appliances left on when not in use. Likewise, choose ‘Water Savers” – responsible for noticing taps left on and other wasted water.
- Observing and caring for various animals, such as fish, reptiles and insects
- Implementing water conservation mechanisms such as timers, stickers visible on taps, putting out buckets to collect rain water
- Taking responsibility for turning off lights and fans before going outdoors
- Caring for worm farms and using the jars of “worm juice” collected by children as fertiliser to use at home
- Sorting and recycling waste after meals and encouraging the use of reusable containers to store snacks and meals
- Make gardening part of the daily and weekly routine. You can engage children by building hype around gardening. The whole gardening process can be taught starting with indoor seed planting and culminating with harvesting edible fruits and vegetables to make a group meal.
- Use recyclable items for craft activities. Common everyday materials ranging from cereal boxes, toilet rolls and aluminium cans can be used for a range of recycling ideas in childcare that can stimulate the imagination and keep children engaged for hours.
- Build a compost bottle using a clear plastic soft drink bottle with the top cut off and label removed. Add layers of compostable material and keep moist. Children can then observe the changes that occur in organic material as the composting material takes place.
- Create edible gardens for sharing and/or cooking produce.
- Have separate bins for waste eg. rubbish, organic and recycling. Ensure the children understand what goes in the different bins through modelling, pictures, stories and games.