The importance of sustainability can be a complicated and broad concept to introduce and explain to children. But letting them learn at an early age will shape the way they look at the world and treat its creatures and resources.
While it is true that not a lot of households are deeply invested in becoming fully sustainable, there are practical and straightforward ways for both kids and parents to appreciate the importance of sustainability.
Simplifying the Idea of Sustainability
The concept of sustainability can be wide-reaching and all-encompassing. It covers ideas such as wind and solar energy, recycling and reducing waste. In a nutshell, sustainability is an umbrella of good practices that reduce our damage to the planet.
To make a seemingly abstract idea more natural to understand, children need to be made aware of the real-world effects of sustainability. Explain to them why recycling and reusing materials are essential and what happens when waste accumulates. Spark their curiosity and encourage them to ask questions about the viability and how they can practise it.
Developing Good Characteristics
Apart from the observable effects of sustainability in the environment, studies have proven that teaching kids about sustainability and environmental responsibility help formulate good attitudes.
A recent study from Stanford University in the US focused on the effects of teaching environmental responsibility to young Girl Scouts. The study found that the girls learned and appreciated the importance of teamwork and cooperation while carrying out a series of activities, like hiking and planting trees. The study explained that the Girl Scouts were able to realise that not one person can do everything on their own.
Another study from the European Centre for Pollution Research in London suggested that the ideal time for teaching kids about the environment is when their minds are still ‘fresh and uncluttered’ and their curiosity is at its strongest. The study added that instilling good environmental practices translates to general concern and thoughtfulness not just towards nature but towards other people as well. The psychological findings of the survey revealed that most kids who care for the environment are more likely to be compassionate, social and considerate towards their family and peers.
How a Learning Environment Can Help with Teaching Sustainability
In the classroom, children will have many opportunities to learn about sustainability. Through various activities and programmes, they will have a deeper understanding of the impacts of sustainability on plant and animal life. Creative activities may even promote sustainability to kids by encouraging them to turn rubbish into treasure by using recycled materials for arts and crafts instead of new materials.
We at Kids Choice Granville put sustainability, among other things, at the forefront of our curriculum. We believe that care and appreciation for the environment is an integral part of early childhood education. Now more than ever, kids need to recognise the significance of sustainability so they can continue to meet their future needs without further damaging the planet.
We encourage both children and parents to begin their journey to sustainability. Let your child discover new things about the world at our learning centre. Get in touch with us today for more information.