|image from Kozzi.com|
Kids are such amazing sponges for information. They soak up what's happening around them, with a seemingly endless curiosity. Sometimes this isn't such a good thing. Like when a small boy is driving in the car with his mom, and she uses some of those special, loud words that seem reserved for other drivers. *cough* (Not me, of course!) But generally it's a great thing. Kids are eager to learn, and we can take advantage of their natural curiosity to instill in them some of the values and lessons that will serve them well throughout life. Like lessons about caring for the Earth.
When I was growing up in the 70s, recycling wasn't a thing. But I learned much about re-using and re-purposing household items from my grandmother, who had grown up during the Great Depression. The idea of saving the cardboard pieces from my grandfather's new shirts so we could draw on them later became second nature. Coffee cans became planters. Jam jars from the store were re-used for our homemade jam. And so on.
Due to a particularly hot and dry summer when I was small, to this day I cannot leave the water running while I brush my teeth. It was one of the conservation measures the city asked everyone to follow because of a water shortage. Water shortage or no, it's a good practice not to waste, and so my boys were taught to turn off the tap while brushing too.
These lessons and examples from my childhood have stuck with me, reminding me that early childhood is the perfect time to encourage good habits. And if you can sneak in an educational message with some entertainment, like hiding the vegetables in their smoothie, why not?
With Earth Day being today, it's the perfect opportunity to share some age-appropriate environmental lessons with our little ones. Netflix Canada has a great line-up of preschool shows, and many of them present stories supporting the importance of caring for our planet. Here are a few suggestions for you to check out. After watching with your kids, ask them some questions. What did they think? Did they learn anything new? What ideas do they have for being good stewards of the environment and keeping it healthy for future generations?
- Curious George: Mulch Ado About Nothing / Gets a Trophy
- Go Diego Go: Rescue of Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
- Bubble Guppies: Boy Meets Squirrel
- Dinosaur Train: Stargazing on the Night Train / Get Into Nature
- Sesame Street: The Camouflage Challenge
- Wild Animal Baby Explorers: Beaks and Bills / The Mighty Oak Tree