Saving The Planet and Their Future
11th July 2018
Pebbles Childcare – Chloe Webster and Bridgit Brown
Society as a whole is rapidly becoming more aware of the effects our behaviours and habits have upon the environment, and so we decided it was time our children become more aware of their responsibility and the role they play in protecting the environment we live in.
We firmly believe this is a vital lesson for children to learn and even more so to be actively involved in the preservation of our local beaches, environment and wider world.
Whilst we have always been an eco-friendly setting and this is something we have encompassed from the outset, our current cohort of children are now at the age and stage where they are old enough to understand and participate in these daily practices that contribute to the preservation of our planet and so this year we decided to ‘go green.’
As a result, we have recently placed huge emphasis on the process of recycling and making the children more aware of the actions we can take to preserve and protect our environment and the small steps we can all take as individuals that will support our environment and protect the world we live in.
The children are now beginning to identify and associate ways and means of protecting the environment whilst developing an understanding of how their own actions, behaviours and the routines of the setting can impact their wider world.
We introduced the concept of recycling by installing our own recycling bin for the children to use freely as we began to draw more attention to the materials of packaging and familiar objects, to support the children in developing their understanding of different materials, their characteristics and whether or not they can be
recycled and re-used.
This simple yet effective activity and learning experience enabled our children to explore the concept of recycling at their own pace, whilst sparking a new interest which has resulted in them now being able to confidently categorise items according to their material and recognise the recycling symbol – not just on items and packets, but also while out and about too.
Similarly, we installed a compost bin, as the children love to cook and we have been explaining to them that food doesn’t have to be waste and that they can ‘feed the planet’ by composting their leftover food and vegetables, an idea that the children have truly embraced.
We frequently take the children to visit our local recycling centre, where we explain how the different items are organised and then re-used to make new items and toys.
To enable the children to actively participate in a similar activity, we have also taken our household recyclable materials to the Recycling Point at our local supermarket, where the children were able to identify the locations of which each of their materials needed to be placed.
Consequently, the children now actively look for recycling points on our regular outings and visits to the supermarkets, and are beginning to associate and differentiate between the different coloured containers and what each one is for.
Our environmental mission then lead us to organise a Beach Clean for our local beach in Worthing, where we, our children and other Childminders from our local childminding network and their mindees spent the morning collecting rubbish from our beach front.
We enlisted the support of the local Beach Office who provided us with cleaning and collecting materials. Not only did this re-iterate the importance of recycling and protecting the natural world, but also provided the children with a sense of ownership and responsibility that their actions actively impact the environment and that they can do things to prevent damaging it any further.
Whilst these may appear to only be small changes made by a small setting in a small town, we believe that by educating our children on the environment and the natural world in their Early Years, we will support them in becoming considerate and thoughtful members of society, with a consideration for their wider world and environment.
Children lead by example and so we must ensure that the example we are setting and the way we consider and treat our environment is a positive one.
If each Early Years setting or school were able to make small, positive changes to protect our environment, just think what we could achieve.
Not only are we supporting our children in developing their futures through our practice and provision, but by developing their understanding of the wider world and their responsibilities, we are also protecting and preserving the world they will grow up in, and surely this is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach them?
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