Toronto, ON April 17, 2007 - Wacky weather, the extinction of animals and pollution all remind us that the Earth needs help. Earth Day is approaching, reminding parents that it's never too early to encourage a child's appreciation and understanding of our planet. Young children have a natural curiosity about the world around them. They will ask all sorts of questions about our planet including the weather, animals, plants and pollution. Experiencing what the Earth has to offer will help your child develop an understanding for the environment and the living creatures that share it with us. When children notice their parents' interest in the Earth, and if parents make it a regular habit to be kind to the environment, the likelihood is that their children will do the same throughout their life.
As a parent, there are many ways you and your child can enjoy the outdoors, see new creatures and learn about the Earth. When parents and children share activities such as, gardening, raking up leaves, bird watching, smelling flowers, going to the zoo, picking up garbage, making toys from recyclable items, going for a hike or swim, they create an opportunity for their child to learn to respect and love the environment.
Invest in Kids, a national charity dedicated to helping parents support the healthy social, emotional and intellectual development of children aged 0-5, has some Comfort, Play & Teach™ tips for parents for enjoying the Earth together with their children. Comfort, Play & Teach™ is a research-based approach to positive parenting built on everyday moments that are already part of a parent's daily routine. Here are a few Comfort, Play & Teach™ activities parents can share with their baby, toddler or preschooler that will help them appreciate the environment and support their child's healthy development:
With Your Baby (0-18 months of age) - Play a recording of music that includes nature sounds such as waves lapping, rain falling, birds singing or insects chirping. You can dance with your baby as you enjoy the gentle sounds. As you sway back and forth, your baby will feel relaxed and comforted by the soothing sounds.
With Your Toddler (1 ½ to 3 years of age) - You and your toddler can visit parks, gardens or other natural spots where you live. Is there a beach, a forest or a marshy area to explore? Talk about the different things that you can see such as birds, trees, plants, insects or animals. This will help your child to learn about his or her surroundings and to feel safe and comfortable as he or she experiences nature.
With Your Preschooler (3-5 years of age) - Read books with your preschooler such as The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. This will provide an opportunity for your child to learn that some things people do can be harmful to the Earth and invites your child to think about how we might treat the environment with more care and respect.
For additional suggestions of Comfort, Play & Teach™ activities that will help parents nurture their young child's care for the environment, visit http://www.investinkids.ca/. Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ is a thorough, research-based framework created by the experts at Invest in Kids. It translates the most current science on early childhood development and parenting into practical, empowering strategies and interactions parents can easily integrate into everyday routine activities and moments. To learn more, visit www.investinkids.ca/cpt/.
Invest in Kids is a national charity dedicated to helping parents become the parents they want and need to be. By translating the science of parenting and child development into engaging, easy-to-understand, relevant resources for parents and professionals, Invest in Kids aims to strengthen the parenting knowledge, skills and confidence of all those who touch the lives of our youngest children to ensure the healthy social, emotional and intellectual development of children from birth to age five. For additional information, visit www.investinkids.ca.