April 22nd is an important date: Earth Day. It was chosen in 1970 by US senator Gaylord Nelson as a warning on the dangers of pollution in our planet and later became the Earth Day Movement, which is considered one of the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. That said, learn how to talk to children about Earth Day and why it is so important to be remembered.
The value of studying the environment as a child
Learning about the environment during childhood is not only a way of understanding the planet, it is an exercise of civility. Learning to protect our planet is a small warranty for all of us.
The topic also develops children’s critical thinking, stimulating the everyday problem solving in creative ways, as well as raising interest in nature, a great ally on child development. Who knows if a little backyard vegetable garden comes next?
This year’s motto: End Plastic Pollution
Each year, Earth Day tackles different issues. This year’s theme is “End Plastic Pollution”, issue that affects the marine life, dumps waste in our beaches, affects our health, and even compromises sewage systems.
From plastic bags to PET bottles and even food packaging or seals, plastic products may take up to 600 years to disappear in the environment. Small children may not yet have the time notion when we talk about 600 years, so an example for helping an easy association in this case is showing the little one that a simple piece of plastic they are throwing away will stay longer on Earth than their children, grandchildren, and even grand-grand-children.
You can also tell the story of a piece of plastic that has been lonely for too long and now wishes to transform itself. Ask the child to help this little piece become something useful to people, being disposed in a recycle bin and, later, being transformed into a new object.
Speaking to children about recycling is essential, after all, only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled today. If we know that numbers surpass a million units sold worldwide every minute for plastic bottles alone, this topics’ importance comes to light. By working on themes like this, we help our children to achieve a better awareness about the planet they live in and encourage them to pay more attention to their own actions.
How to talk about nature with your child?
With toddlers, the ideal approach is just teaching sustainable actions, like proper waste disposal or avoiding wasting water, for example.
When the questions start, we must prepare ourselves! What happens with the waste, reasons why dumping garbage in rivers is wrong, what means plastic pollution… teaching about the environment will turn the house upside down in a positive way.
However, the most important action still is the example: chances of children learning by mimicking everyday actions they witness at home is much higher than in any other way.
Cartoons that teach about ecology and the environment
Unsure about how to start? Here we present you a list of cartoons available in the PlayKids App that can raise awareness in both parents and children about caring for the environment:
Fishtronaut and his best friends, Marina and Zico, investigate environment issues and are always protecting nature, be it in the wet world or the dry world.
Earth to Luna
TV show that stimulate the curiosity and encourages asking questions about the working of things, by always asking scientific questions with simple and fun analogies.