Updated: Jun 16
Teaching young minds about the ways our world is changing and how we can better protect our environment is an essential part of the Lucky Beans curriculum.
As a forest nursery and preschool, our ethos centres around the children having a deep appreciation for nature and the environment. Forest schools encourage children to connect to nature and understand this connection to their environment through discovery, exploration, free play and team building skills. Developing a deeper affinity with nature motivates children to preserve and protect the environment around them, creating conscious young citizens.
There are plenty of ways to teach young minds to become more eco-friendly. Educating future generations about the importance of eco-friendly practices has a domino effect of creating well informed adults, ensuring that we all live happier, healthier, and more mindful lives motivated to protect our planet. Activities that educate children and motivate them encourage them to form green habits that will last a lifetime, helping both themselves and the planet!
5 Fun Ways We Encourage our Children to Go Green:
1. Lights Out!
An easy activity to begin with is encouraging children to hit the lights when exiting a room. This small habit can easily be turned into a game by rewarding children every time they remember to hit the light switch before exiting a room. It is important to educate children on the importance of saving energy. They can also be encouraged during an in-class activity where each child is assigned to decorate posters reminding them to shut off computers, light switches and even taps.
2. Green Thumbs
In this activity, children are taught about the joys of gardening through tending to indoor and outdoor plants. As a forest Nursery and Pre School Ethos, at Lucky Beans we teach our little ones how to develop their own green thumbs by keeping small gardens at all of our sites. The children are taught how to plant and water a garden as well as feel the reward of watching their efforts grow. Growing simple vegetables, flowers or small plants is an excellent way for little ones to begin to understand the concept of sustainability.
3. The Recycle Monster
This activity is excellent to get creativity sparked within young minds (and learn how to recycle as well!) The very hungry recycle monster is an activity that the entire classroom can join in on. Instead of using a simple, boring rubbish bin as a place to store recycling the children are encouraged to create their very own recycle monster. The items needed to create your very own at home or in the classroom are:
What you need to make your own monster recycling bin:
Cardboard box or rubbish bin
Spray paint (to be used by an adult) or any paint
CD’s (for the eyes). Coloured cotton balls also work, or googly eyes.
The next steps are up to you! This is a fun and creative process. Bring life to your cardboard box or rubbish bin by adding two eyes. You can add glitter, paint, a plastic cup to create antennas, or even use a cardboard cut out to create new and unique shapes.
Further instructions can be found at We Are Teachers.
Also, don’t forget to name your creation!
4. The Repurposed Art Show
Another great activity the children can all partake in is a recycling themed art show. This demonstrates how items can be repurposed to create something unique and beautiful and reduces waste.
Each child can bring in a plastic bottle, box or other recycled item from home. The classroom setting provides watercolours, paintbrushes, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, glitter, etc. The adults supervising demonstrate examples, for example a water bottle that has become a little fish or a cardboard cereal box that is now a robot. At the end of the day, the art can become an art show and each child can admire the other children’s creative efforts.
5. Reworked Watercolours
This activity requires effort on the part of the adult supervisor but is so worth it for the fun that follows! Dried up markers are a problem that many parents have. There is, however, an amazing use for markers that no longer work. Old markers can be used to create beautiful and safe watercolors that are fun for any age.
Ask the children in your class if they can save any old markers they have lying around the house that are unusable, or slightly too dry. Over the course of the week, ask children to bring in their old markers and save any old markers that the class itself has used. Once they are all collected, you can begin!
How to make watercolours from your old markers
Step 1: Gather the supplies you will need.
-Dried out markers
Step 2: Tightly secure bundles or markers together that are the same colour.
Step 3: Tip the markers upside down and place into jars or containers of water.
Step 4: Leave the markers to sit for 2-4 hours.
Creating watercolours from your old markers is a wonderful way to recycle and have fun creating new and inspiring pieces of art.
Other simple and impactful changes you can make are replacing cleaning products with more natural alternatives. At Lucky Beans we use method products.
Biking or walking to school is also an excellent way to stay green and eco-friendly while getting some fresh air. Registering here as an eco-school is another impactful way to make a difference.
Any and all contributions made towards efforts to help the environment of our beautiful planet are incredibly important, and you are never too young to start!