At Playgroup we are aware that our role in children’s early years goes beyond the direct and explicit learning opportunities we provide. We also influence them through our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. This is particularly significant when we think about the influences we have on their understanding of and attitude towards nature, the environment and the development of a sustainable world.
Our woodland play sessions are an ideal platform for us as adults to encourage our children to develop respect and responsibility for nature and the natural environment. In the playroom we have also been encouraging children to recycle paper and plastic bottles while we also compost our food waste.
More recently we have started creating ecobricks. These are plastic bottles we are filling with the single use plastics which cannot be recycled. The plan is to collect all the single use plastic in playgroup so, for example, the wrappers on fruit we buy, the plastic wrappers some of our mail us delivered in etc. The children are already enjoying using scissors to cut these in to small pieces and then stuffing them into a plastic bottle. We plan to monitor how long it takes to fill each bottle.
Although you will see many creative projects for benches, stools and igloos made from ecobricks and indeed, we may at some point attempt to make some of these, the initial aim of this project is to develop an awareness of the amount of single use plastics we are in contact with every day. Over time we would hope to see that our children develop a better understanding of, and attitude towards, issues of sustainability.