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How many of us played outside in childhood? Outings on bicycles, skates, walks with the family, improvised picnics on weekends, climbing trees or playing in nature ... Innocent explorations that made us be happier kids. How many of you have followed these traditions with your children today? How many teach them environmental education?
With the technological age, going out and enjoying the outdoors has been relegated to the background, however, children can still feel that thrill of exploring nature with their parents or in camps. But, it is necessary to talk to children about environmental education not only at school, but also at home.
Did you know that the environment can help make your child happy? For children, happiness is achieved in simple actions that fill them with energy. Therefore, making them part of the green environment that surrounds them, awakens in them his adventurous spirit, his curiosity and his creative capacity with everything they can find around them.
After all, they wouldn't make sand or mud castles if they didn't exist, they wouldn't make makeshift houses if they didn't see those properties in the tree branches, or they wouldn't appreciate the beautiful detail of giving a bouquet of fresh flowers. Children learn by experimenting on their own and they solve all their doubts as they discover the mysteries of the environment to be able to mold and use them.
This idea is reinforced in the article written in the Journal of Forestry by authors such as Abigail R. Kimbell, Andrea Schuhmann and Hutch Brown. It is explained that children spend more and more time watching television or playing the game console and that they do not go out to explore the natural environment that surrounds them. This increases sedentary lifestyle, with the damage to health that this has, but it also takes children away from nature. And we cannot expect children to love nature and feel the need to protect it unless they spend time in it and learn to appreciate it.
Nature has many benefits for children. What are the main ones?
- Offering environmental education to children makes them connect with nature in a sensitive way, so that they learn to respect and care for it to keep it that way.
- In addition, children develop empathy for the creatures that inhabit the environment, so they will seek to preserve their home.
- Having contact with the environment, helps them reduce the anxiety caused by the new or the unknown.
- Children also develop observation and analysis capabilities to act on the changes that occur on the ground. Therefore, it provides them with resources to know how to solve problems.
- Promotes independence, thanks to his excitement to explore on his own and discover new things
- They learn to share with their peers and to have a better interaction with them, when playing outside.
- It allows them to develop their creative ingenuity by experimenting with all the materials that nature puts at their disposal.
- They learn about respect, communication and care so as not to damage the green life they are playing in.
And how can we promote greener behavior and attitude at home? Here are some ideas that you can start as a family.
1. Orchards homemade
Making a home garden is a very fun idea to teach children about environmental care and the benefits that nature can give them such as fruits, vegetables and vegetables that they can have at home, if they do everything with care and responsibility. Work on the land, far from being dangerous or repulsive for children, is extremely entertaining for them and they will also love to do it with their parents.
2. Plant care
Another good idea to teach about nature conservation is plant care. From asking them to help you water them every morning or grow a new plant in your home, to making them participate in the planting of a tree with an environmental conservation organization.
Again, working on the land for children is an activity that they will enjoy very much and at the same time it will be very educational for them.
3. Cleaning volunteers
You can enroll you and your little one in some volunteer work to clean streets, parks or beaches. In this way you teach your child that, if he wants to continue enjoying the environment, they must keep it clean, as this will prevent accidents such as forest fires or dangers to animal life by consuming something toxic to them.
4. Recycling practices
Children also have fun creating things, imitating found design patterns, or putting into practice something they have seen on television and in school. I loved (and still enjoy) making crafts that I see in magazines. Recycling practices are ideal for children because it allows them to create using materials from the home, so they have a craft store without leaving home. Isn't that cool?
But this can also be used to teach children to classify garbage (avoiding the main mistakes when recycling that we usually make) according to its properties or manufacturing materials, in this way you can reduce the amount of garbage, take advantage of materials, take care of the environment and help health.
5. More outdoor games
Always encourage your little one to go to the patio or garden, include weekend picnics, take him to the park, go on explorative walks in the woods ... Promote entertaining activities that your child can take advantage of in the future, but that always connects him with nature and makes him see the positive of it.
Remember that nature is a great playground for children, but they must learn to respect and care for it.
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