There’s no doubt that climate change has been one of the most talked about topics of 2019. With tens of thousands of children protesting in more than 70 towns and cities across the UK earlier this year and more pupils set to strike this month to highlight the escalating crisis, it’s clear that this is deeply concerning the younger generation.
With 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg leading the way, children talking about climate change has become commonplace. If you have younger kids who aren’t old enough to watch the news or do their own research however, how do you talk to them about such an important topic?
Educate yourself first
If you’re not too clued up about climate change and the impact it’s having, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with the facts first. There’s a lot of false information on the Internet, especially social media so make sure you’re using reliable sources.
Some great sources of climate change science for children include:
- NASA Climate Kids - https://climatekids.nasa.gov/climate-change-meaning/
- Center for Climate and Energy Solutions - https://www.c2es.org/content/climate-basics-for-kids/
- Campaign Against Climate Change - https://www.campaigncc.org/schoolresources
- National Geographic Kids - https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/geography/general-geography/what-is-climate-change/
Show them how amazing the planet is
Climate change explained to children, even in the simplest form it may go in one ear and out the other if they don’t understand how amazing the planet is. Show them photos, videos and television programmes of different parts of the world and explain that if we don’t take action, these places and animals might not be around for much longer.
Tell them how they can make a difference
The younger you can teach children to be aware of the positive impact they can have on the environment, the more of a difference it will make. Some great habits to get them into include:
- Turning off lights when it’s sunny outside or they’re not in the room
- Turning off TVs and computers when they’re not being used
- Walking them to school instead of driving if you’re close enough
- You can get them involved with growing your own fruits and vegetables
- Drinking tap water instead of bottled
- Not filling up the bath or having really long showers
- Raise money to donate to a cause that’s working against climate change
- Reading materials that will further educate themselves about the environment and what they can do to help. National Geographic Kids is one of the many fantastic resources available
- Having a lunch box that isn’t made from plastic.
Lead by example
One of the best things you can do when it comes to educating your child about climate change is to lead by example. We naturally pick things up from the people we spend a lot of time with and this is especially the case with children. If they see that you care about the environment, they will too.
Here at Tiger’s Day Nursery, we try to set a good example for our pupils by actively recycling and encouraging them to do so as well. We hope that if our students see us carrying out helpful practices like this, that they will continue these behaviours in later life.