It’s never too early to introduce children to nature. Time spent outdoors allows them to connect with their environment and understand their place within the world. When they form a connection with nature, it also helps to grow their environmental awareness.
At Trillium School’s daycare in Markham, we focus on teaching children to care for our environment now to help the world later.
Not only are these sustainable practices in childcare good for the environment but they have great benefits for your child’s overall development.
Here are some of the biggest reasons we teach children about sustainability.
Environmental Sustainability Practices & Their Advantages
A child’s first years are the building blocks of their personality. The values and skills they learn will help shape their adult behaviour and attitudes. If you want your child to grow into the kind of person who respects and cares for the environment, you should pick a daycare centre that teaches them the importance of environmental sustainability.
The following are some of the benefits of sustainable environmental activities for children.
- They Make Your Children Aware of Their Environment
Participating in environmentally-relevant experiences will help your child understand how to care for the Earth. At our daycare, before they do any hands-on activities, teachers will first discuss the relevance of nature. It is also a great way to instill character traits like kindness and love for the planet.
Growing vegetables is one of the top favourite outdoor activities of environmental sustainability. When they discover how their actions and regular care are impacting the class’s garden, they will be more interested and committed to practicing sustainability. By teaching kids to respect the Earth and their environment from a young age, they will continue to be responsible throughout their lives.
- They Develop a Caring Nature
Children become familiar with nature through play-based learning. A simple example that teaches children how to take care of living things is watering plants. This teaches them that plants need water to survive and grow, and this regular practice of caring builds compassion and responsibility for every living creature.
They also learn to make friends and respect their elders. Your child will also learn to observe, ask questions, identify problems, and find solutions, which is the first staple of scientific reasoning.
- They Learn Good Habits
Learning about sustainability from an early age teaches children gratitude and to pay respect to the Earth and farmers’ noble works. These habits can also lead to developing positive character traits, like valuing plants and food, holding onto garbage until they dispose of it, and feeding their pets.
Learning to do things themselves from an early age not only makes them responsible but more confident. This makes transitioning to independence easier when the time comes. So, when your children come home from daycare, tell them to continue the same practices and praise them when they do. This positive encouragement makes them feel proud to be a responsible member of the family. In this way, they will not consider household chores to be a bore but rather they will be more organized and better at managing responsibilities.
- They Boost Their Physical Skills
When the daycare incorporates gardening activities, children get to spend more time in the sun, close to nature. Gardening is great for keeping children fit as it requires lots of physical activities like digging and carrying water buckets. These exercises can help release their excess energy.
Additionally, it provides the required contact with microorganisms in the soil that are crucial for the development of a strong immune system to fight off allergies and asthma. The sunlight will also help your child get much-needed vitamin D for proper bone growth. So, the more outdoor activities, the better!
- They Support Children’s Cognitive Skills
Sustainability lessons can also help children in their learning curriculum as these first-hand activities and experiences will help them intellectually. Their constant interaction with new things will develop their inquisitive minds.
Whether they are judging the difference between the colours and design of two different flowers or considering where insects go in winter, children are constantly thinking when they’re in nature. These authentic experiences offer real-life learning as nothing else can. As children take risks, try, fail, and try again, they gain resilience and confidence.
The following are some brain-building nature activities for children:
- Listening to the birds sing
- Smelling fresh-cut grass
- Building with and digging in the dirt
- Watching worms wriggle through the soil
- Identifying different flowers
- Jumping in puddles
- Collecting seeds
- Constructing things with twigs and mud
It’s true that children are our future. And to leave our future and environment in safe hands we must prepare them starting now. That is where the importance of environmental sustainability practices in daycare comes in. To learn more about this topic, or if you are looking for a preschool in Markham, contact us.