By: Elizabeth Hambleton, (Y6 Teacher / Year Leader)
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 of each year. It is a day to celebrate the beauty and resources that nature gives us but to also bring to light the fact that our planet’s resources are finite and need protecting. The fate of our planet is not only in our hands, but also in the hands of our children. Earth Day gives us the opportunity to teach our children about caring for the earth, as well as creating life-long habits that are environmentally friendly.
Check out these 6 ways you can teach your children about Earth Day:
Not just any books, but stories about caring for the environment. Our libraries at school have a wide variety of books with an environmental theme, including The Lorax, The Giving Tree, The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps, Seeds of Change, Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World, The Tree Lady, Compost Stew and What Does it Mean to Be Green?.
It seems obvious, but when we live in a large city like Shanghai, we have seemingly less opportunity to go outside and enjoy nature. Fortunately, Shanghai does have many large park areas, with Century Park right on our doorstep. Charge your children with the responsibility of taking photos outdoors or complete a family scavenger hunt.
One way to help not only the Earth, but also the bills, is conserving water and electricity. Children as young as three years old can get into the habit of turning lights off and shutting off water when brushing their teeth. Older children can help unplug electronics when they are not in use.
The best way to inspire and support our children is to lead by example. By choosing goals and working towards them as a family, you instill both environmental and family values in your children. Start new traditions and create new habits to involve all the members of your family. Meatless Monday? Waste-free snacks? Sponsor an endangered animal? The possibilities are limitless.
- Go online
There are endless resources online for finding activities, crafts, kid-friendly information and eco-friendly practices. Check out the following websites to see what might interest you and your family:
Get involved with the Shanghai community. There are often eco-themed events being planned at various venues around Shanghai, including our school. Click on the below link for some examples of upcoming happenings: