In an increasingly industrialized society, in which the philosophy of the economy of time and of use and throwing take precedence over everything, it is very necessary that we stop to think about the environment that surrounds us and try to take care of it with much more zeal. From global organizations we try to call on countries to take care of the environment that is global, however, care must be done individually, with small gestures from each one of us and we will be contributing enormously to the preservation of our ecosystem.
The environment and children
In the task of care and preservation of the environment, children are fundamental. For a few years now, energy development, technological progress, globalization, advances in science or agriculture have been enormous. This has also increased abuse to the ecosystem, so that people are needed to take care of everything we have been destroying and mistreating little by little. In this sense, children represent the future, so they must be taught to develop sustainable practices that
be generous with the environment, to be able to preserve the world as we know it until then. They and they will be responsible for putting into practice from ecological policies worldwide as to carry out small gestures in favor of maintaining the ecosystem.
Teach ecology to children
Teaching ecology to children is essential so that in the future society is more aware of the care of the environment and the abuse is stopped and attempts are made to repair the damage caused in it. Introduce a subject within the school curriculum would be the most appropriate to address this pending issue in today’s society. If we teach ecology from childhood, we will convert sustainable practices into habits, not being necessary to make international treaties for countries to commit themselves, to invade campaigns to citizens so that they recycle appropriately, so that they save energy or water and that this is not only for the economic savings, but weigh almost more energy savings.
The World Association of Child Educators (AMEI), developed a decalogue for children with advice on how children can begin to care for the environment. The 10 tips that make up the decalogue are:
Recycle as a fun game in which we must place everything in the cube of the right color.
Save water. It is important to teach children that water is a scarce resource that we must use responsibly, so we must show them small gestures that help to save water, such as turning off the tap when we brush our teeth, turning off the tap every time that we use it, etc.
Saving light . Also, it is important that children internalize that electric power is a cost to the environment, so that their savings is important. Therefore, teach them to turn off the light when they leave a room, not turn on insufficient lights or not leave things plugged that are not being used are small gestures that care for the environment.
Keeping the environment clean is also a task in which children can collaborate. Therefore, teach them that they should not throw papers or wrappings on the floor and that if there are no bins nearby, they should be kept in their pockets until they find one. Or in the field, collect all the waste that we generate and take it to be able to deposit it in the appropriate container when we give with one.
Sharing toys, material, school, clothes, etc. it is a generous gesture with the environment, since resources are limited, so sharing material goods contributes to not overexploiting resources. Thus, it is good to teach them that when they are not going to use them, they can be given to someone who is going to do it.
Take advantage of the sheets of paper . Children enjoy drawing and expressing their concerns, desires, emotions, dreams, etc. on paper. the drawing is necessary for their personal development for all that it brings, but this task can also be sustainable if instead of using new sheets for each drawing we reuse the backs of the folios already used.
The plants are living beings to which we must take care, since they are also necessary to clean the atmosphere and take care of our ecosystem. Therefore, they should not be stepped on and started, on the contrary it is good to teach children to take care of plants since they are small.
The street furniture is for everyone, so we must take care of it as our own house. So, we must teach them to be respectful and careful with everything that exists in our municipalities and that belongs to all citizens.
Animal respect is also part of the teaching of ecology. Animals, both pets and wild animals, are living beings that we must care for and respect. In the case of pets, we must teach children to take care of them by feeding them, drinking them, taking them for a walk, providing them with the medical services they require and above all teaching them to respect their space and treat them with love.
Last but not least, we must teach them respect for other people.
Activities related to the environment
As we know, for a meaningful learning to really take place, it is necessary for children to participate in the learning process in an active way, so that they carry out activities that aim to teach each of the principles described in the section previous is necessary for them to internalize. Some activities to develop can be:
To motivate children to recycle, we can first elaborate with them a mural in which, through drawings and cardboard of different colors, we indicate what we should throw to each of the cubes that are of a different color. In this way, the child will feel motivated to recycle having participated in the creation of the recycling system. If possible, the cubes should be placed within reach of the child and on top of them a cardboard indicating what to put. It can be done through drawings, a word, photographs, etc.
Make a souvenir system at home to make it easier to remember how we can save energy. We can spend an afternoon developing strategies to save energy at home. Then, we can make posters that we can place in different strategic places that remind us how to do it. An example is a sign above the bathroom faucet that says “close!”.
Going to ecological workshops that teach children in a playful way, the damage done to the environment and how to remedy them is an interesting resource.
Games to teach environment for children.
There are multiple games that teach children the principles discussed above in a playful way . In this way, children will learn without realizing it, internalizing the principles and motivating them to put into practice the strategies proposed by the games.
There are games in which children should put in each bucket the appropriate residue. Or narrative games that present children who carry out ecological activities that children have to model in the game.
In general, games that teach ecology are very useful tools in the teaching of ecology.