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Early Years Calendar: World Environment Day 2021

June 5th 2021

World Environment Day was created by the United Nations to acknowledge worldwide environmental issues and what can be done to rectify them. It is an ideal opportunity to teach young children about different ecosystems and explain how they can help to restore them.

Most children enjoy the idea of age-appropriate responsibilities and love being “helpers” within the classroom setting. Giving them the knowledge that they can make the planet a happier one is not only educational but is also empowering; letting them to know they are capable of having such a huge impact. Children have the unfortunate obligation to look after the world when us older folk are no longer able to and giving them the tools they will need in the future is vital. It wouldn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the legacy that we leave behind either!

Here are some recommendations for things that children could learn about this World Environment Day:

Beautiful reef and orange fish in Okinawa sea.
Photographer: Hiroko Yoshii | Source: Unsplash

· Exploring ecosystems– there are so many different ones to choose from, so selecting multiple locations is suggested. From seas and reefs, to deserts, forests and mountains, each one is affected by either climate change, pollution or manufacturing. There is no reason why children can’t start appreciating the wonder of each ecosystem and understanding what roles they play in protecting our planet. Firing up the imagination and playing going on a deep-sea adventure or trekking through the rainforests will certainly spark an interest in the different areas of planet Earth.

Photographer: verdian chua | Source: Unsplash

· Investigating animals– with 15 species going extinct in 2020 alone it is clear that animals are at present bearing the brunt of harm to the climate and ecosystem, so helping children to understand that impact in a way that provokes their interest, engagement and understanding, without invoking fear or guilt, is vitally important. Learning about exotic animals and where they reside allows for a deeper understanding of why each habitat is so important.

Playing environment-to-animal matching games and acting out characteristics of different animals are all fun ways to learn about some lesser-known critters.

Muddy Hands
Photographer: Sandie Clarke | Source: Unsplash

· Get planting– deforestation is one of the biggest issues on present day Earth, so why not get those little fingers turning green! Teaching them the correct way to plant flowers and trees is not only fun but great for the environment. Whether potting some seeds in the nursery garden or going on a trip to a local park to plant trees, any gardening activity is an opportunity to teach about the anatomy of plants and the importance of nature on our planet.

We all share the same planet and unfortunately, we have not done an adequate job of looking after it so far. What the future holds for planet Earth can feel a little uncertain at times, but by teaching today’s children about all the ways we can help restore it to its previous splendour, the fate of the world looks a little brighter, and a little greener.

Go to World Environment Day to find out more about how to celebrate this June 5th.