When it comes to endangered animals it can be an emotional topic to bring up with small children. We know that the thought of their favourite species on the path to extinction can be extremely upsetting. This is why have put together 5 main points to educate our children in a way that encourages and excites them to make a difference..
1. Explaining what an endangered species is in a ‘Kid friendly’ way..
This is the perfect place to begin, yet one of the hardest things to do. It is one thing explaining to adults, yet a whole different ball game when explaining to our gentle-hearted children.
Here is a definition we think fits perfectly:
“Endangered animals are a particular group of animals that are becoming less and less. This is because of many different reasons such as chopping down forests, poaching, or changing climate. This means that everyone needs to do their bit to help protect them or there won’t be any of that species left.”
2. Make a list of all the things that you can do as a family to help endangered animals.
These can be small things such as turning off lights when leaving a room, or recycling. Reassure your little ones that every little bit helps, Let them know that by doing those few small things they will make a big impact on the environment that their favourite animals live in.
3. Visit a wildlife recovery centre or an animal shelter.
Many animal shelters have endangered species that they care for. This is a great way to show your children first-hand how endangered animals are taken care of. Not to mention the excitement of seeing, or maybe even holding one. Many shelters also have species such as the bald eagle, who was once endangered but not anymore. A perfect example for our children that if we all work together we can get more and more animals off the endangered list. Encouragement is so important!
4. Children’s story books.
There are many brilliant children’s storybooks out there that do a great job at making children aware of the different reasons animals are becoming endangered, whilst still igniting that little ‘change-maker’ spark inside them.
Some examples of these books are; ‘Red Alert’- By Catherine Barr, ‘Save our species.’- By Dominic Couzens and ‘Endangered Animals.’- By Rachel Hudson.
For more examples of story books please see our blog post :‘Best Storybooks with an Environmental Message.’
5. Endangered animals crafts:
This is a great way to bring some fun to the topic whilst still being educational and interactive.
Write down a few endangered species the let the kids each draw one out of a hat. From there let them make a craft inspired by that animal. Examples of these could be anything from a rhino inspired hat with a horn, to cardboard elephant ears.
We have many examples of crafts on our Pinterest page. Click the link below and get those creative juices flowing.