Climate change is becoming a very relevant and concerning reality in our everyday lives, particularly when it comes to our future generations. Now, more than ever, climate change features very high up on the list of our collective and individual responsibilities, and rightly so.
This may be partly in response to our awareness of COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties. This was recently held close to home across the pond in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference lasted for 12 days from 1st– 12th November. It was attended by over 120 world leaders who share the same objective – to slow global warming, as it continues to impact lives at a worrying rate.
We want to know (naturally) what we can do to help. Is it possible to reduce global warming to the committed temperature of 1.5C? What does this even mean? The good news is that we need not get too caught up with the numbers. Instead, we can focus on how we (in our highly influential roles as parents or Early Years Educators) can educate, influence, and mould the mindset of our children – the next generation – to whom we fully owe the effort of doing so.
How can early years educators help?
We CAN make small, simple changes within our own environments to make an immediate impact. It is also our adult responsibility to help mould our children’s mindsets to set them up for continuing to overcome this challenge.
BE HONEST with children, in an age-appropriate way. It is OK to tell them we need to take action and why. Tell them that their small actions do really make a big difference, and that they are worth making these changes. The current rates of usage and consumption of available resources are simply unsustainable and cannot continue. It is OK for children to know this.
DEMONSTRATE YOUR GENUINE PRIDE in children for being mindful and making the changes their one world depends on. Make a big deal. Praise them for taking any small action they can do to help. This can be placing an item in the recycling bin, the compost, using a reusable drinks bottle or sandwich covering or planting a single seed) It ALL makes a difference!
LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Children are hard-wired to watch and listen closely to how we adults approach things in order to learn. The message we seek to give children will soon lose its momentum if we ourselves are inconsistent, disinterested, or skeptical. What we do and how we behave therefore matters and is key to imprinting inter-generational thinking.
Climate Change Awareness Curriculum Resource Pack Now Available!
Canavan Byrne have recently devised a resource pack to guide and help early years educators with many activities, ideas and tips on this very important and relevant subject. The pack is now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop. The pack includes a wonderful story to read aloud in your setting entitled ‘What the Astronauts Knew‘ that is suitable for preschool aged children. This story is a good way to introduce the children to this very important topic!
The story tells of two astronauts who took photos of earth from outer space. When they returned with the pictures they had an important message for children around the world about how earth looked and how they can all help to make it look better! This pack is available for FREE for all EYRF members.