Wildlife conservation shouldn’t be seen as an adult-only topic; teaching your kids the importance of sustaining the world’s ecosystems is vital to preventing species from going extinct.
Anyone can make a difference, after all. Just look at Greta Thunberg. At just 17 years old, she’s done more for animal conservation and climate change than certain governments combined. All it takes is a little bit of determination, spirit and – most importantly – education.
This level of education starts with you – the parent – so, in this article, we will run through a few different ways to encourage your kids to learn the importance of conserving wildlife.
From simple steps like making more effort to recycle to more complex tasks like installing an air source heat pump-sourced at-home bee conservation area in your garden, there are a number of things you can do to keep the world’s wildlife as protected as possible.
- Start Young
Habits form from a young age so, the younger you can start educating your kids about animals, the better. In fact, as reported in a study by Brown University, routines and habits are unlikely to change after the age of nine years onwards.
Therefore, your kid’s habits need to be ingrained early on with a firm understanding of wildlife conservation – whether that be through recycling more often, setting up a compost heap, eating locally sourced fruit or even growing your own vegetables.
- Go Exploring
Is there any better way to teach your kids about the importance of nature than by immersing yourself in it?
By taking your kids out exploring – wandering through your local park, forest or woodland area – you’ll not only be able to spot several different animals and insects, but you’ll also have a great opportunity to explain how beneficial each one of them is to the planet.
You could even add a little competitive edge to it as well, sending your kids on a scavenger hunt with a personalised bingo board to identify a range of local animals and plants within the quickest time.
- Watch TV
While encouraging your kids to watch more TV is generally seen as bad advice, used in the right way, it could be a highly effective means of educating them.
Nature shows and documentaries are a great way of teaching your kids about animals, giving them a newfound perspective on how important it is to keep them safe.
Channels like CBBC, National Geographic Kids, Disney Plus and Nat Geo Wild are often filled with lots of short, kid-friendly documentaries that will keep your kids both engaged and highly entertained throughout.
- Go Bird Watching
Birds are incredibly important in maintaining the world's ecosystems so what better way is there to learn all about them than through going bird watching?
Make a list of all the birds you're likely to see around the area, then head out with a pair of binoculars to see what you can find. For each bird you or your kid spot, make a note of the date and time you saw them.
By keeping a record of every new species they encounter, this will encourage them to discover more moving forwards in life and could offer a highly rewarding experience.
- Think About Bees
While on the topic of animals that can fly, bees play a critical role in sustaining the planet – pollinating flowers to help plants grow, breed and produce food and keep the world's cycle of life turning over.
So, why not show these yellow and black fuzzy friends your support by allocating an area of your garden to be used as a bee conservation area?
Whether you simply grow more bee-friendly plants like lavender, viper’s bugloss or bluebells, or go all-out in designing a specialist beehive area powered solely using renewable energy, making even the slightest change can make the biggest difference, helping keep bees at the forefront of their minds as they mature into young adults.
Teaching your kids the importance of wildlife conservation is imperative but, by using some of the suggestions listed above, can be done with ease.
It can be a lot of fun too, allowing you and your children to bond over a love of nature and sustaining the planet. Now, what’s not to like about that?