It’s oceans and seas awareness theme this month at Choo Choo Train. This means our curriculum is teaching young children to care about the sustainability of these vast bodies of water that cover roughly 70% of the earth. Although broad, complex, and challenging, we believe that we need to instil environmental stewardship in children to make any real progress to the problems facing our oceans. Let us walk you through the process.
First, we show the children how their classroom is connected to the sea. Despite being so far away from the oceans and the seas, we show children that the water they use daily is part of the great ocean system. While washing hands at the sink and during showering, we let children know that this water comes from the oceans and the seas and it will go back to the oceans and the seas through a cycle. We explain to children that if the water is not kept clean, we will get dirty water to use. Yucky!
Second, we help children to connect the impacts of sea pollution on marine wildlife that they know and cherish. We demonstrate through experiments and pretend plays what it is like for the whales, dolphins, sea turtles, seahorses and other marine creatures when the oceans are polluted with garbage. This is making a personal and tangible connection so young children can find the impacts relatable to them.
Then, we explain concrete ways for children to make a difference. How can they keep the tap water clean for them to use? How can they keep the ocean clean for marine wildlife? They can do many sustainable actions like reusing their water bottle and disposing garbage properly in dustbins, two things which can easily be practised in the classroom and one to practice at home: reminding parents to bring their own bags to the supermarket.
Now that we’ve done our part at our child care centre, let’s look at some facts you can share with your children at home about water conservation:
The Water Cycle
We have lots of water in streams, rivers, lakes and our oceans. We cannot make new water. Therefore, we must take care of the water we have. When it rains, water fills our streams, ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans. Then water evaporates and forms clouds, so it can rain again. It is very important for all of us to keep all of our water clean.
About Our Oceans
We have 5 big oceans and many smaller seas around our world. Our oceans are named: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. Oceans and seas are saltwater whereas streams, ponds, rivers and lakes are freshwater. 80% of the oxygen we breathe comes from our oceans and seas. This is why keeping all of our water clean is very important for plants, animals, fish and people.