ESC personal project for children: Play with garbage

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Unleashing creativity for a sustainable future

written by: Aleksandra Nikoloska 

If you ask me how we can best help the environment in the future, I would say that we should start with the youngest children. Children are “tabula rasa”, they absorb everything. If they are taught from an early age about the problems we face, not to solve them, but to know them, then we will have a good future in which they will try not to make same mistakes.

The significance of teaching children about environmental issues

My idea for this personal project was for the parents to change their role towards the kindergarten teachers and to be involved by helping with crafts, to spend creative and quality time with the children. We live in this “busy-fast” time where we have everything at our fingertips, but we don’t take the time to do anything with our hands. The title of these workshops was “Play with garbage”. We used only toilet paper rolls, colored paper, glue, and scissors to point out that not everything we throw away is garbage. With this material kids were making dolls of pinguin, ladybug, bee, or shark.

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Teach children through play

First, we asked some questions about the importance of a clean environment. We had some really interesting answers (one of which was that we need to keep the earth healthy). Before we started crafting, we played a little game: everyone was given a picture of a piece of garbage in different colors and had to sort it into the right container. At the end, the participants rated the workshop using the adapted traffic light in which 3 lights were changed by smiley faces: sad one, neutral and happy one. We were happy when we noticed that most kids put their clips on the happy face and in that way expressed their feelings about this workshop.

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Happy children, parents and greener tomorrow

My thoughts and experiences with these workshops were “fresh”, I had never been in this environment and with this role before, but I enjoyed it. At first, I was always scared of the noise the children made, but once we started working, we worked! I could see how happy they were and how interested they were in their new toy, some even competed against each other. In some situations, I could see that in addition to the children, their parents were also having fun and making even more with paper rolls, spending some quality time with their kids.

The project “Solidarity for Green Dalmatia 2022” is financed by the European Union through the European Solidarity Corps program.