Via Your Story: How to teach your children the importance of wildlife conservation
Sensitising children towards conserving wildlife and loving animals is an important part of parenting.
India has some of the most diverse species of wildlife in the world and is currently taking steps to protect and conserve the habitats of some of the most endangered species. To understand how varied and plentiful the wildlife in the country is, consider the fact that India is home to six percent of flowering species, 7.6 percent of all mammals, 12.6 percent of bird, and 6.2 percent of reptile species, according to Ranthambore National Park.
Though the government is taking initiatives to conserve nature, it’s also important to spread the message to the homes across the country, especially to our children. Some groups have recently taken the initiative to educate kids on the importance of wildlife conservation by conducting a summer camp to teach young ones about conservation through practical experience at a local zoo.
Adopt a fun approach to wildlife education
When it comes to educating kids, one of the most effective ways to teach conservation measures is not to preach, but to actively teach them about nature and the importance of wildlife conservation through fun activities. Here are some steps and activities to teach your kids about nature and wildlife conservation.
- Go exploring and teach your children to identify local plants, trees, fish species, birds, or animals that you may encounter in your walks.
- Make a life list. Bird watchers are known for making life lists, which is a record of all the avian life that they’ve seen, including the date and time of the encounter. Letting your child keep a record of every new species they see will encourage them to keep discovering more, and it can be a very rewarding experience for them every time they leaf through their records through the years.
- Play nature-themed games. A game of I-spy in the park or a scavenger hunt is a great way to get them outdoors and educate them on the different plant, insect, and animal species.
- Watch TV shows and documentaries related to wildlife conservation and nature. National Geographic Kids on Nat Geo Wild is filled with short, kid-friendly documentaries and animated shows that will entertain children while keeping them informed about nature.
- Have your children understand how the plants and animals in this world connect to the food on your table. Allow them to plant vegetables, then let them harvest, prepare, and serve them for dinner.
- Take your child on a fishing trip. Whether it’s an afternoon at a nearby lake or a five-day trip to catch fish in the Ramganga River at the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, even kids as young as four years old will appreciate this activity which will allow them to interact with wildlife.
It’s always a good idea to incorporate some fun into every learning opportunity when teaching children about wildlife conservation. By doing some of the previously mentioned steps, not only do you get to spend quality time with your little ones, but they also develop a positive opinion about nature, and hopefully, they will be encouraged to take concrete steps to protect local wildlife in the coming years.