It is very important for children that, from a very young age, their parents teach them to love, respect and appreciate nature and the environment, and to act in correspondence with these feelings, contributing to their care and preservation. It depends, and a lot, on parents both the example and the teaching of the care that children should have with the environment.
If you also want involve your son or daughter in the preservation of natural environments and its biodiversity, as well as raising awareness about the need for ecology and recycling, pay attention to the following tips. These are some keys that must be passed from parents to children, for the good of our planet.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5, the World Association of Early Childhood Educators (AMEI), offers 10 tips for both moms and dads to consider when promoting respect for nature and caring for the environment in their children:
1. It is important that parents sensitize children to environmental issues regarding the contamination of their immediate surroundings: noises, fumes, smells, dirt from the streets, waste of water, etc. We can also provide you with experiences through which you understand the transformation of nature by the influence of climate changes and natural phenomena such as rain, snow or drought.
2. Familiarize the child with natural things that are in your environment: plants, birds, insects, trees, flowers, etc., motivating you to actively participate in the care, improvement and protection of the environment. Let's teach it to recycle.
3. Let's awaken the conscience of the child about spaces like the park as a pleasant place to enjoy and respect. We must teach it a place where plants, animals, trees, etc. coexist. This will help you to value the professions of the people who take care of the city: garbagemen, street sweepers, gardeners, etc., and reflect on what would happen if those professions did not exist.
4. Let's help you get to know the plants: their external parts, the care they need, what they provide us, the classes and names, etc. Let him discover how they are born and grow, that they need to breathe and feed to grow like us, etc. Let's plant seeds and take care of the growth of the plant by checking the need for sunlight and water for it to grow.
5. Let's take the child for a walk to different gardens and to the countryside so that he knows the flowers and their classes as part of the plants, appreciating their beauty, aroma and color. We can also teach you to draw them and then look for information about them.
6. Let us provide occasions for the child approaches the animal world (birds, dogs, cats, ants, snails, etc.), who knows and understands their way of life and their needs, learning to take care of them, love them and respect them.
7. Let's visit natural science museums with the child. When we get home, let's talk about what they have seen, have the child share his impressions and draw pictures of what has impressed him the most.
8. Let's review the television programming and watch together the programs (documentaries, movies…) that are related to nature and natural phenomena (animals, plants, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc.).
9. Whenever we have the opportunity, let's dotrips and excursions to the mountain, to the beach or to the mountain. Let's enjoy all the elements of nature together and teach him to take care of them.
10. Let's encourage affection towards plants and animals, but we also warn you about the precautions you should take to avoid wasp, spider or other animal stings. We must also show you the fruits of some plants that should not be put in the mouth or eyes. We should not encourage fear, it is about knowing and loving nature without taking risks.
Any day of the year is good for transmitting to children the need to take care of our environment and feel connected with nature. However, there is a specific day in which ecological awareness activities are organized throughout the world so that we all get involved and Let's build a more ecofriendly way of life. That date is June 5, the day established by the United Nations since 1974 to celebrate World Environment Day.
From home, we can take advantage of this day to talk with children about the loss of biodiversity, about the consequences of deforestation, about the melting of the poles, about the need to recycle and reuse ... But we must also celebrate how beautiful it is our planet and the importance of taking care of it as it deserves. Why nature gives us everything!
Therefore, below we propose to all parents some activities that can be launched on June 5 to celebrate Environment Day.
- Let's review and change some of our habits
Let's use World Environment Day as an excuse to be more aware of some of our habits that are more harmful to our environment and let's take the opportunity to change them. For example, do we use plastic or glass bottles? Shall we dump the oil from the pan down the drain? Do we leave the tap running while we brush our teeth? Let us involve the smallest of the house in this change of habits.
- Start at last, that urban garden
If you have already thought about making a small urban garden in your garden, patio or terrace for some time, today is the right day! Involve the children in the whole process of preparation, choice of crop, planting, watering, etc.
- Make a recycling craft
Although we may not realize it, our house is full of everyday objects that, sooner or later, will end up in the trash: toilet paper rolls, pieces of wool, old or out-of-print T-shirts ... Why not Do we use them to make toys or other clothes that we can use again? It is a great way to teach our children to reuse what surrounds us.
- Organize a nature guardian excursion
Let's become guardians of nature and organize an outing or excursion to a natural environment to ensure that everyone is respecting and caring for it. We cannot forget to take some gloves and a garbage bag to throw away all the waste that we find.
As stated in 'The game in Environmental Education' of the Aula Verde magazine of the Ministry of Education of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain), the game is an excellent vehicle for children's fun, since it allows children to feel comfortable, relaxed and confident. This favors the learning process of the little ones, as well as the assimilation of concepts and sensory openness. Thus, games have a special importance in environmental education.
Aware of this, below we propose ideas for games and stories that help children to get closer to nature and become aware of the importance of caring for the environment.
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