June 10, 2021
“The whole of life is coming to terms with yourself and the natural world. Why are you here? How do you fit in? What’s it all about?” – Sir David Attenborough
Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on 5 June, engaging governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues. This year’s theme is ecosystem restoration, with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity.
To celebrate World Environment Day, we constructed insect hotels and discussed insect’s role in our ecosystem as they are part of our world. Like any creature living on our planet, whether that is human or bug, we all need somewhere to call home. The children used a variety of natural items to create levels inside the hotel for different types of insects to inhabit. We will hang the insect hotels in our garden and guide the children in their care towards becoming more eco-friendly aware with play-based hands-on activities and environmental changes.
An important element of our responsibility as educators is to teach our young children about their responsibilities as citizens of the world. This includes introducing children to the concept of sustainability and how we can practice this in our everyday lives. By embedding these practices into the children’s routines through simple tasks such as not letting the water run too long after washing hands, placing the paper in special recycling bins or encouraging children to grow a garden, use compost or turning off lights when we are not using a room, reinforces the importance of caring for the world in which we live. TIGS Prep educators are important role models and by explaining to children why they are reusing packaging or cardboard for Art or selecting natural resources (loose parts) over plastic materials, they instil a desire in children to continue sustainable practices themselves in later life.
Teaching children why we have separate bins for plastics, paper and rubbish helps them to understand what happens to waste when we are finished with it. Discussing the role of trees in our environment to provide us with the oxygen that we need to survive also allows them to understand the importance of conservation and allows them to appreciate that recycling paper and not wasting it they are able to have a positive impact on the environment and their own future.
Alison Warren, TIGS Prep Educator