Our eco-system is important for the well-being of the planet – if we didn’t have flora and fauna covering the globe, we would be in trouble. Trees and green plants help keep our atmosphere oxygen rich for us to breathe, while every animal has their place in the food chain. If you ever ran the “Fox and Rabbit” simulation in school, you’ll remember the effects that population explosions and natural disasters can have on the environment.
It makes sense that we should be instilling in our children the importance of respecting animals and looking after wildlife, from insects to mammals. It’s also a good way to encourage your children to get outside rather than spending time in front of a screen.
Wildlife is all around us – even in cities, you’ll find urban foxes, birds, squirrels and other rodents. Why not start a “Spotter’s Book” with your children and encourage them to tick off the animals they see? It’s hard not to be amazed at some of the beautiful species we have across Great Britain.
Teach Your Children to Respect Animals
Before getting out and about, lessons on the importance of wildlife can start with learning to respect animals – both pets and wild varieties. Start with leading by example; kids are observational and often learn by the actions of others. Ensure you are kind to all wildlife, catching and releasing creepy crawlies or rodents you may find around the home.
Teach them how to react around animals – slow, careful movements and no loud noises. This helps the animal feel secure and builds trust. For pets, teach children the right way to touch an animal, softly and stroking the correct away, staying away from sensitive areas and not pulling on fur. Really young children won’t have the motor skills for achieving this so it’s up to the parent to ensure no animal is at risk of having their fur, ears or tail tugged.
Make sure the importance of not approaching a stranger’s pet without permission is taught at the earliest opportunity. Accidents are most common when inexperienced children have not been properly socialised around pets and wildlife.
Make sure to praise your children and your pets for all good interactions as this will encourage positive behaviour in the future.
Learn About Animals and the Effects We Have
Teach your children that all effects can have consequences. For instance, dropping that small bit of rubbish may seem insignificant but it could make an animal horribly ill. Explain that all litter has the potential to be harmful to wildlife so it’s important that they always clean up after themselves. This can also apply to greater actions, for instance, being aware of what chemicals or ingredients can be harmful to animal’s habitats.
You could even organise a rubbish-picking trip with your children, helping to make the countryside look nice while providing a great service to the surrounding wildlife.
Going to see animals first-hand can be a fantastic way to teach children about the importance of wildlife. Modern zoos have developed rapidly in the last few decades; the main focus is now on education and conservation rather than entertainment – perfect for teaching your children about the world outside their home environment! Working farms also offer an excellent opportunity for enriching your children. You and your kids get a chance to get stuck in with how to care for farm animals and how they fit into our everyday lives.
You could get out and about around your town to find some animals in their natural habitat or take the opportunity to go on a “nature holiday”. Head out to a caravan park or campsite surrounded by nature. You can take long walks in the countryside together searching for wildlife – see this website for ideas about destinations.
By teaching your children to be respectful of wildlife and nature, you’ll help to make the world eco-friendlier, ensuring that your children’s children will still have a beautiful world to enjoy.
This is a collaborative post