Growing the next generations of Eco Warriors
It is very important in our ever-changing world that we introduce children at a very young age to appreciate and protect the world around them, establishing a good understanding in their young minds of how we can save and help our environment. This ethos is key at St Catherine’s.
Here are some simple practical ways in which you can help your children engage and learn about nature and the environment around them.
1. Spend time with your children outside exploring the natural world around them. Just sitting still in a quiet place for two minutes will help your children reconnect with nature. Some questions you could ask to stimulate their interest in the natural world are:
- Is the sound they hear man-made or natural?
- How far away is the sound they hear?
- What direction is the sound coming from?
- Change your quiet spot. What can you hear now? Have the sounds changed?
2. Enjoy a little scavenger hunt in your garden or on a walk by asking some simple but effective questions to engage them.
Focusing on what they can see:
- Can they find something green?
- Can they see something patterned?
- Can they find five different things?
- Can they find something round?
Encourage them to listen:
- Find something that crunches.
- Find something which is loud/quiet.
- Find something that you can make music with.
Developing their sense of touch:
- Find something prickly.
- Find something soft.
- Find something smooth.
Exploring the variety of smells in the natural environment:
- Find a smell you like.
- Find a flower or a plant with a scent.
- Find a smell which you don’t like.
3. Below are some ideas to help your children understand the world of creatures of all shapes and sizes. These will help develop their natural curiosity to ask questions and study their environment closely:
Go on a minibeast hunt
- Where can you find minibeasts?
- In what habitats can you find them?
- Do all minibeasts live in the same habitat?
Build a house for a mouse
- What kind of habitat does a mouse live in?
- Which natural materials would you need to collect to make the house?
- Where would it be best to build the house?
- How can you protect the house from the weather?
Build a bird feeder
- Look closely at the surrounding area.
- Where can we see birds?
- What kind of birds can we see?
- What do these birds eat?
- What kind of materials can we gather with which to make a bird feeder?
- How can we ensure that only birds eat the food?
I hope these ideas help foster and develop a love and appreciation of the immense riches of our natural world. If you would like your daughter to join our special Eco Warriors afternoon on Friday 18th March, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Maren Kelly, Head of Science at St Catherine’s Prep School