Help your children to look around your town, city, and even neighborhood this Earth Day and see the wonders of the area in which they live. We like to begin by encouraging children to talk about what they like in your locale. Some children may begin naming stores or restaurants but likely someone will mention a park, body of water, or even an animal recently seen. We like to accept all responses but dramatically congratulate those who begin talking about nature. Saying, “You really have the spirit of Earth Day because you are seeing nature,” will help others to begin thinking about and noticing the beauty of your area.
Children may name big areas like lakes, ponds, forests, or nearby mountains.
Other children may think about small areas of beauty such as the petals on a blossoming flower.
We suggest providing children with a large sheet of paper, even some from a bulletin board roll or freezer paper to draw a mural of their favorite local natural sights. Ask children to talk about their drawings, after which you can label them. This helps with sound/symbol relationships and even sight word development.
Make it a part of your morning routine to talk about something special children have noticed in nature. Asking children to describe local natural areas of interest to them, helps develop an appreciation for Mother Earth, especially when they know you value this type of discussion.
And who knows….your eyes may even be opened to a spot, tree, or flower that you had previously taken for granted!
NAEYC – 2.D.03.; 2.D.04.; 2.D.06.; 2.G.03.Head Start – V.B.; VIII.A. & B.; XI.B.