This Sunday is World Environment Day (WED) and an important and exciting chance to teach your children a little bit more about our planet.
WED was founded by the United Nations in 1974 and is celebrated every year on 5th June to inspire people to take care of the world we live in and raise awareness of environmental issues that affect us all.
This year’s theme is ‘Go Wild for Life’, aimed at the illegal wildlife trades which threaten beloved, endangered species like elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and sea turtles.
The day is a brilliant chance to celebrate and explain the natural world to your children and we have a few creative ideas to help you join in with WED.
1) MAKE ANIMAL MASKS
This year’s theme is all about raising awareness of endangered species, so why not teach your children about the animals we need to protect with arts and crafts. You’ll find some great printable templates here and you can colour or paint the masks together.
2) GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Helping your little ones to understand their local environment is just as important as teaching them about the wider world. Take them on a walk around the area you live in with a list of things they need to find along the way. For example:
- A daisy
- A brown leaf
- A green leaf
- Tall grass
- Wild berries
- A cobweb
- A bird
- Animal tracks
- A stick
3) PLANT A VEGETABLE PATCH
One of the biggest lessons for children to learn about the environment is where their food comes from and, without a doubt, the best way to show them this is by planting a vegetable patch together.
Salad leaves, strawberries, blueberries, mint, peas, potatoes, beetroot, tomatoes and broad beans all grow well in the UK. But don’t worry if you’re a little short of outdoor space, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that will grow happily in plant pots too!
4) ENVIRONMENT SHOE BOXES
A great, hands-on way to teach your children about different environments is to make a miniature shoe box replica. Show your little ones a few pictures of places like the jungle, a desert, under the sea or the artic and then give them a big box of materials to choose from to recreate the scene in a miniature, shoe-box form.
Things like tin foil, sand, moss, leaves, bark, small plastic figures, coloured paper and cotton wool all work really well and make sure you have plenty of prit stick and coloured pens and pencils on hand too.
Whether it’s just you and your children spending some quality time together or you’re joined by a big group of friends and family in your local area, why not register your WED activities here and be part of the official United Nations celebration?
Don’t forget to let us know what you have planned for World Environment Day and share your pictures of the celebrations on our Facebook