Children have a natural affinity with nature and the environment. Children's overwhelming curiosity, heightened senses and innocent wondering leads to an exploration of the world around them and in particular, the natural environment. Through interactions with nature and outdoor play experiences early childhood educators are able to model, explore and explicitly teach a respect for the environment brought about through developing a love of the environment. Research is clearly substantiating that an affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, grow out of children’s regular contact with and play in the natural world (White, 2004).
Opportunities for children to learn about the environment and respect for our world is embedded and enriched through the everyday play experiences of children. It is during early childhood when children’s experiences give form to the values, attitudes, and basic orientation toward the world that they will carry with them throughout their lives (Wilson 1994). It is up to us all to instill sustainable practices in our everyday life and encourage children to reduce, reuse and recycle as a part of day-to-day experiences.
Play Based experiences that promote respecting the environment...
Repurposing, Reusing and Recycling
Context: Role-play, water play, construction, craft, loose parts play, sensory, displays
Activity: Children reuse, recycle and repurpose everyday items in new and inventive ways.
Natural resources such as water (used for role play) washing babies, then used to water to water plants , natural materials (shells, leaves, nuts, sticks, feathers, wood), recyclable products such as plastic (bottles, containers, lids)and paper(magazines, newspapers, junk mail, cardboard boxes) and unwanted items (pots, pans, pipes, screws, buttons, fabric, clothes, furniture etc).
Images retrieved from http://www.mummymusingsandmayhem.com/2014/05/introducing-sustainability-to.html
Image retrieved from I/www.architecturendesign.net/25-creative-ideas-to-reuse-old-tires/
Image retrieved from johnsonwarren.hubpages.com
Image retrieved from https://ariefarnam.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-little-gypsy-of-dress-up/