4 games on biodiversity to involve children in their protection

Activities for children to learn to take care of nature and ecosystems

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt for families to stop and rethink our relationship with nature. It is an opportunity to give more visibility and show our sons and daughters the importance, richness and variety of species of plants, animals, microorganisms and ecosystems present. In addition, we can take the opportunity to encourage children to get involved in protecting the biodiversity of our planet. There’s no better way to do it than through play.

Teaching children to protect the Earth’s biodiversity

 

The loss of species diversity threatens many aspects, including our own health. Therefore, promoting awareness of biodiversity in our society (and therefore our children) is fundamental and synonymous with caring for the planet and taking care of ourselves as a species. As every year, 22 May is celebrated as the International Day for Biological Diversity.

According to data from the European Commission, 8 out of 10 Europeans believe that the effects of biodiversity loss on our planet are important and, therefore, we must act to stop them. However, the truth is that due to urban expansion, intensive agriculture, pollution, invasive species and climate change continue to put pressure on our natural ecosystems.

From the educational perspective of creating awareness and providing solutions is where I propose a series of activities for children that approach the knowledge and conservation of biodiversity. As the architect Richard Rogers said, the only way, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to involve everyone.

For this, it is essential to know, respect and protect. It is necessary to approach nature and its species. Because only then will our children take care of this wonderful planet where we live.

Games to work on biodiversity with children

 

One of the biggest recommendations I can make to promote knowledge and respect for biodiversity with children is precisely to visit natural spaces. Being in wild natural environments already offers us a unique opportunity to observe and perceive diversity, in addition to the multiple and well-known beneficial effects on our health.

So do not hesitate and, if you can, approach large green spaces; to forests and natural environments little traveled and rich in species of flora and fauna.

1. Become a detective of footprints and traces
As a good nature detective, before going on the road, prepare the detective kit. Magnifying glass, fingerprint and trail guide and even a camera and a small field notebook can be very useful. One of the things that brings us closer to the knowledge of our ecosystems and their inhabitants are the footprints and traces that we can find and identify.

Gnawed nuts, droppings, stirred earth, strands of hair… There are many traces that can help us identify which species live in that habitat and will be an invitation to learn and study more deeply about the importance of each of them in the ecosystem and how we can help their conservation.

2. Guardians of natureHas
it ever happened to you that while you were walking you saw a small nest in a tree apparently empty? Did you ever hesitate and thought about taking it for observation? Every good naturalist knows that nests where they are best is where they were built, that is, in the tree. If you find a nest and think it may be empty, leave it in place. Maybe it is in the construction phase, or its guests have gone out for food and we will be helping the conservation of the species. You will be able to visit again as much as you want and maybe, with some luck and stealth, you can see your guests!

In addition, as a good guardian of nature, you know that for the maintenance of species it is essential to keep our natural spaces clean. So I encourage you when you visit the countryside next time, to take some gloves, a garbage bag and long tweezers. These will serve as support to collect waste and will be a fun activity to fish for garbage.

More activities for your children to take care of nature

 

3. My ecological footprint
An activity that involves some reflection on our actions and their impact on the planet and that will certainly bring us closer to the analysis and solution of problems. Let’s create a mural with two different sides. One that will carry our footprint green and where we will write down those actions we can take to care for and protect the planet and biodiversity. The other will carry our footprint red. On that side of the mural, we will point out those actions that negatively increase our impact on nature.

What solutions can we think of to these environmental problems? How can we contribute every day to maintain biodiversity and the care of species?

4. My ‘singular species’ badgeThere
are dozens of endangered species around the world, thousands. What if you became a singular species? To do this, you will first need to investigate the alien, endangered or unique species that inhabit our planet. Once you have that list, choose the one with which you identify and create with the children a sheet with recycled material, such as a piece of cardboard, or some element of nature that allows it, such as a small slice of wood, rest of a pruning.

You can create your own badge, a keychain or that distinctive symbol you want to wear. Investigate as a family everything you can about that species, its function, its relationship with other species, its uniqueness. And think, if you had to convince the rest of humanity of its importance, what would you tell us?

Maybe you’re a black vulture, an imperial eagle, a canary dragon tree, or a four-leaf clover. You may choose a brown bear, a beautiful and leafy fern or a peculiar capercaillie. Welcome all children and parents to the world of biodiversity. Welcome to nature conservation. Bringing childhood closer to nature is the first step to loving it.

 

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