Lessons About The Environment For Preschoolers

Teaching kids to understand and appreciate the environment will broaden their view and make them good stewards of the earth. Preschool programs that incorporate lessons about the environment into their curriculum do wonders for kids' education. Preston Kiddie Kollege shares a few ideas to bring the wide world into a preschool program classroom.

Show and Tell

Encourage kids to observe the world as they go about their day outside of preschool. Tell them that if they find anything interesting outside to bring it to the classroom for discussion. If a child brings a fall leaf to school, you can discuss the changing of the seasons and the cycle that trees go through as they lose their leaves in the fall and grow them again in the spring. If a child brings a pinecone, you can discuss the natural ways that seeds are planted and how trees grow. Take their discoveries apart and let them explore. Take the petals off a flower or cut a crab apple in half. Even if a child brings in a hunk of concrete he found on the side of the road, use it as an opportunity to discuss man-made versus natural items. 

Seed Starting

Watching a seed begin to grow roots and leaves is an exciting process that can be brought into a classroom for preschoolers. When trying seed starting with preschoolers, use a large seed that germinates relatively quickly, like pea or bean seeds, so that they see progress before they lose interest. Have the kids plant their seed in a seed starting pot filled with peat and wait for the leaves to emerge from the soil. Alternatively, you can have the kids put their seed in a plastic resealable bag with a flat disposable napkin soaked in water. With this method, the kids will be able to watch both the roots and the leaves spring from the seed. Consider attaching the bags to a sunny window in the classroom so that they seeds get the right amount of light to grow. 

Eat Plants

Once kids grasp the way that plants grow, you can discuss how plants feed people. Explain to them that people can eat roots, seeds and leaves and explain to them how each part grows on a fruit or vegetable plant. To further illustrate the point, hold a special snack time that features food from each type of category. Carrots are roots, berries or green beans are seeds, and spinach or lettuce can be the leaf example. Encourage the kids to check their own vegetable drawers at home for roots, seeds and leaves, and discuss their findings with them.