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.

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  • 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.

Via Wildlife Articles: Why We Need to Teach Children About Conservation

Conservation isn’t just for grown-ups. Teaching kids about our world and how to live it in sustainably should a keystone of their education. It’s important for their understanding of the world, and it may influence how they live as adults — and maybe even how people live for many generations to come.

They Can Make a Difference

Anyone one can make a difference, and even incremental ones are important when dealing with something like conservation that affects everyone. A child who knows how to treat nature well, recycle things instead of trashing them and choose environmentally friendly options will have a small direct positive impact on the health of the environment.

That change, though, can have a ripple effect. They may end up teaching their friends a little about conservation or even get their schools more interested in taking steps to operate more sustainably. When kids learn about conservation, their parents do. One study found that when children participate in a wetlands education program, their parents were also better informed and practice better water management at home.

It’s Important for Their Education

To really understand how the world works, you need to have knowledge of the environment that we all exist in. It’s fundamental to a thorough understanding of life and is a prerequisite to understanding many other aspects of life. Everything we do starts with the foundation of our environment, so we should start teaching kids early too.

Habits Start Young

We start forming habits from a young age, and those formed during childhood may become the ones that are most ingrained in us. A Brown University study found that by the age of nine routines and habits likely won’t change.

Teach your kids habits such as eating local, whole fruits and vegetables and using non-toxic cookware. You could also show them what to recycle, and maybe start composting food waste. One of the most effective ways to teach kids these behaviors is by example. Do that, and they may stick with those healthy, eco-friendly practices through adulthood.

Today’s Kids Are the Future

When they learn about conservation, kids can make an immediate impact. It may also help them make a difference in the future. Learning the basics of sustainability and environmental science may spark an interest that leads to a career, volunteer activity or hobby in the future. Your kid may even go on to invent a new way to store renewable energy or help save an endangered species.

Plus, the children of today will be in charge of keeping the planet healthy in the future. Sadly, they’ll also have to deal with the consequences of damage done by many generations before them.

With the right tools, the children of today may be able to improve the health of our environment in the future, and they may even get a start on it while they’re still young. Education is one of the most vital tools they’ll need to save the environment they depend on.