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With a government-led push towards greater environmental and climate inclusion into the national curriculum, the need to protect and understand the complexities of our planet has never been more important. And with more international attention and resources being dedicated towards the environment and climate change, we know how important it is for children to be able express their thoughts and feelings on issues concerning climate but also to equip them with practical means which allow them to play their role.

Here are some activities that can help children better understand the environment and everything within it.

 

1. How children can understand their emotions

Feely Tubs (537586)

Feelings and emotions are often tricky to navigate, and we believe that the best way to understand how we feel about things that are going on around us is through talking. The Feely tubs can help give children the opportunity to talk about their feelings and emotions through low-pressure play. Ask children to write down some of their thoughts and concerns about climate issues either discussed in class or independent thought, and ask them to place them into the corresponding colours – red for high intensity feelings, orange for medium, and green for low. Pick the pieces of paper out of the tubs and open an anonymous conversation with the class, placing the resolved papers into the blue tub once resolved.

 

2. Helping children understand how they can help themselves

Recycling Game (427223)

Anxiety can often stem from feeling out of control, with children feeling overwhelmed by the scale of environmental issues that seemingly surround them every day. The Recycling Game is a fantastic way of giving children some control by offering them practical solutions, through curriculum inspired play. Children will learn more about the rules of recycling through this game which can be transferred to their day-to-day life. It is also a great way to start conversations about everyday actions they can make to help play their part in protecting the planet.

 

3. How to show children that ‘it’s okay’

Emotions Kid Drawn Bulletin Board Set (500105)

A problem shared, is a problem halved – however, not every child has the ability to verbalise the emotions that have been bubbling beneath the surface. There are over 100 different ways for children to communicate, and drawing is one of the easiest ways to help children explore and express their concerns. Child led and open to individual interpretation, the Emotions Kid Drawn Bulletin Board Set is a great way of giving children agency over their thoughts and feelings related to the wider world, providing both a mindfulness tool and conversation starting point for adults to help soothe worries – why have you drawn a sad face on this person, can you explain what is making them sad? What could we do to help change your character’s frame of mind…?

 

4. Helping children to understand their home and other habitats

Animal habitats game (450135)

Learning about the different biomes and habitats across the world can help get children thinking about how different climates affect different species, and in turn how changes in these climates could impact our very own habitat. The Habitats Game brings these different worlds to life, with children flicking the spinner and identifying which animal belongs to the that specific environment.

This set also comes with a collection of fact sheets, giving children more knowledge about the different characteristics of the animals which inhabit each environment. Children may wish to discuss how the different features aid the specific animal within their environment or think about what would happen if they were put into the wrong one.

 

5. Inspiring children to build the change they want to see

Magnetic Polydron Super Class Set (810150)

Asking children to design their own contraption is a great way of both understanding what children know about climate change, whilst also implicitly reminding them that they have the capacity and the tools to help solve these bigger issues. Inspire children to create their very own climate change busting contraptions with the Magnetic Polydron Super Class Set.

This is a fantastic way to consolidate STEAM based principles whilst exploring bigger themes, in a low-pressure and relaxed way. In reminding them through play, you are helping them to gain more control over a situation through metabolising information on large topics and coming up with their own solutions.

 

For more articles like this, subscribe to Everything Curriculum, our FREE magazine for primary school teachers.

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Educational Advantage