The Importance of Teaching Children to Care for the Planet - December Blog
Sustainable education is an important tool to foster a concern for the environment and encourage sustainable habits early. Claire Haddleton, Year 1 teacher, tells us her views in December's staff blog.
One of the aspects of the wider curriculum that I really enjoy is teaching children about the importance of caring for our planet. It’s so important to get younger generations involved and to teach them sustainable habits early, after all they are our future. We constantly talk to the children about kindness and this extends to being kind to our planet.
How do we go about doing this and when should we start?
Children learn from the adults who surround them from the moment they are born so, setting an example of sustainable habits at home is a great start and is reinforced at school. Showing children what goes into which recycling bin, telling children to turn off lights to save electricity, turning off the tap to save water when they brush their teeth, using reusable drinks bottles and bags in the supermarket, it’s all about establishing good habits and instilling environmental values from an early age. To children all of this is just “normal”. All these messages continue through school with Eco Warriors, outdoor activities, nature and gardening clubs etc.
And, of course the more time children spend enjoying the outdoors climbing trees, walking through woods and by rivers and beaches, the more they will love and appreciate nature. They can see first hand the damage litter does to the parks and fields they play in. At school this carries on and getting involved in community projects such as litter picks and tree planting shows them what they can do themselves to care for the planet.
Finally, I know how much children love animals and talking to them about endangered species and how damaging the planet effects animals and nature really has a huge impact. Talking to children at their level about bigger issues is fine but giving them ownership of the smaller things is what will make an immediate impact.