How to teach kids about the natural world
Springtime is upon us. Bees are getting their buzz back and flowers are showing off again. We love it.
And for those of us at LEGO® DUPLO®, this most blossoming of seasons always feels like the perfect time to encourage a bit of personal growth in the kids who play with our sets, like by helping them learn about the natural world around them and – crucially – how to protect it.
That’s why many of the sets we released at the start of 2023 are teaching sustainability as their core theme.
So let us take you now on the educational journey we’ll be taking your preschoolers on, as we get to work teaching kids about the natural world in the most fun way possible!
Learning about natural resources
You’re never too early to learn about the importance of protecting the natural world and maintaining ecological balance through choices in our daily lives.
These choices can relate to everything from our clothes, to our possessions and especially our food.
Though it sometimes feels like it when we’re kids, the food in our supermarkets does not, in fact, appear by magic.
But it’s hardly a surprise that many of us didn’t grow up with a great understanding of the food chain. Of course produce doesn’t just appear by magic… but what else were we meant to think?
But as we as a society strive for a more sustainable future, it’s vital we get better at teaching kids about sustainability and how the world works. Of course, at this tender age, we can’t expect kids to know all about the dynamics in the food chain (let’s wait until they hit 4, eh…?).
But kids can begin to learn where their food comes from, which was one of our aims with our My First Growing Carrot educational toy. By guiding them as they get their hands on the sun and rain-cloud bricks, you can practice how to teach about nature as you demonstrate what organic food requires to grow, as you give the brick-built carrot just the right amount of sun, rain and water from the watering can.
Though, fair warning, you might need to tell them that actual carrots don’t have adorable little faces…
Onto the next stage of our farm-to-table journey… and luckily, it involves a great big tractor (because which kid doesn’t love tractors?!).
Just like before, our My First Fruit and Vegetable Tractor toy teaches kids the basics of growing fruits and veggies, as well as learning about farmers and the crucial role they have in our society.
This all helps to grow kids’ role-playing abilities, not to mention their motor skills as they inevitably spend hours running around your home with the drivable tractor and three trailers!
To the market!
Moving onto our Organic Market set, kids can now visualize the journey their food takes after their fruit and vegetables have been built up from the ground, and learn about the transition between the natural world and our society, hopefully giving kids a greater understanding of them both.
Oh yeah, plus it’s fun. Which always helps…
The word ‘biodiversity’ was only really created in the 1980s – which is really not that long ago at all. But what it lacks in age, it makes up for with importance.
Bees are one of the most important creatures on Earth—and not just because of the delicious honey they make (though it helps...). But just like other pollinating insects, we rely on these plant hoppers to create the biodiversity that grows the food we eat. Their importance cannot be overstated, and it’s useful to have toys that spark those conversations.
That can come from helping the ladybugs and bees fly between all the different types of plants, helping them grow – and keeping those pollinators happy! Or from experimenting with the weather bricks to see what effect it might have on the fruits.
As with all these sets, kids won’t learn about these big, important concepts through our toys alone. They’ll require you to be their teacher and active play partner. And that’s how it should be, because we know that the best way kids learn is by having fun.
And what’s more fun than playtime with a loved one? And what more valuable playtime is there than one which encourages a better future for them?
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