Protect our Species: Earth Day 2019
We share our planet with 8.7 million species! That’s 6.5 million species on land and 2.2 million in our oceans. Together these species create the web of life upon which human life depends. But today, up to half of all species are threatened by the result of human activity including climate change, deforestation, trafficking and poaching, habitat loss, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few.
Did you know 1 million sea creatures are killed annually by throwing plastic bags and other plastic items into the ocean! The good news is that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we work together now.
So why is it important to teach our children about Earth Day?
Children are the future — if anyone is going to make a difference and start new ways of protecting the earth, it’s our children. We can teach them now, how to care for earth and keep it healthy and clean for generations to come.
One of the simplest ways to talk about the earth is to get outside! Spend the day outside exploring the outdoor area or on a nature walk. Simply being outside and connecting with nature will encourage the children to talk about the things that they see, hear and smell. Planting a tree, garden, or fruits & veggies (pretty much anything that can grow in your yard) assist in producing more air for the earth, and is a fun and interactive project that children will love.
Its imperative to reinforce important concepts such as recycling, pollution, saving energy, composting and reusing with our children. While bottled water is marketed as healthy, it’s certainly not healthy for the planet. Two thirds of plastic water bottles are never recycled. If they are incinerated, they release toxic fumes. This Earth Day try implementing a plastic & aluminium recycling program where you have a dedicated bin for recycling water bottles and aluminium cans. The children will be blown away when they realise recycling one can saves enough energy to run a TV for at least 3 hours!
How can we get our little ones involved?
Needing ideas for fun art & craft activities for that every young child can get involved in this Earth Day? Even the littlest of children can participate in helping our planet – no child can resist getting their hands dirty! The great part about earth day is using resources you already have:
- Make a ‘Trash Rainbow’ – taking scraps and pieces from recycle bin collect them into colour groups and then arrange them in a rainbow.
- Plant a grass caterpillar – cut old egg cartons into ‘caterpillars’ and fill sections with dirt and grass seed. Children love watching as the seeds sprout and grow into a grassy caterpillar mane!
- Make some bird feeders from pine cones or toilet rolls. Hole punch 2 holes in the top of toilet rolls for string, or tie string around pine cones. Then using peanut butter as glue (or alternative in case of allergies) spread over the pinecone/toilet roll then roll in birdseed. Hang from tree branches and watch the delight on the children’s faces as the birds flock to them!
- Create an ‘Earth’ with paper plates. Simply start by squirting lines and dots of green (for land) and blue (for water) onto paper plates. Have the children flip the plate over and press it flat onto a piece of art paper. For a ‘twist’ spin the plate while holding the paper still and effect is a beautiful blue and green earth print!
Help our Children become Earth Children this year!
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