Storytime with Jessica – Conservation

We talk about lots of very important things at Storytime – name recognition, colours, numbers, counting, shapes, animals, social skills, the importance of taking turns with the glue/scissors/yellow crayon. Storytime also gives us the time and space to talk about fun things like pirates and monsters, and all of the things we can do on rainy days. But, what about world things like: movember, cultures, and conservation.

Well, that’s what I’m going to talk about conservation. It’s never to early to get children involved in being environmentally responsible – gardening, water-wise habits, and recycling are all things that young children can be involved in. Knowing why we are doing this is also important but in an age-appropriate way. Like so many habits of life they best place to start is when children are young – children who are read to with joy will often develop a love of reading, children who are encouraged to care for the environment will often take that into later life.

First of all…what is conservation?

Conservation is the careful protection and preservation of ‘something’…in the case of this blog the environment and animals.

The Books

Circle by Jeannie Baker

Circle tells the story of the Bar-tailed Godwit, a bird that undertakes the longest unbroken migration of any bird (a staggering 11,000kms) from New Zealand and Australia to the Arctic however the encroachment of people onto their habitats both along the way and at each end as well as the effect that humans have had on their food supply mean that the journey undertaken is growing more perilous. For anyone who has read a Jeannie Baker book before, the topic of conservation and conscious thought about how our actions affect the natural world is not a new one and her distinctive collages make each book a work of art as well as encouraging us to protect the only world we have.

Polar Bear, Why is Your World Melting by Robert E. Wells

Part of the Wells of Knowledge science series, this book deals with greenhouse gases and how they impact on the climate which is affecting the world, with a focus on the Arctic sea ice that is important in maintaining global temperatures. These books are full of illustrations, succinct information, and knowledge that is suitable for younger ages without being too technical for young children. This is a great starting place and as children’s interest and readiness changes they can move onto other texts. This book is non-fiction and there are no rules about when and how non-fiction books can be integrated into your child’s reading because we are never too old or too young to learn something new.

The Wild Tree House of Borneo by Gwen Hew

This story about a boy named Toobi, ‘a native from the land of Sabah’, who sees three new residents of his traditional longhouse one day and finds out that their homes have been cut down by big, scary machines and they must find a new place to live. Their solution is a tree house high up in the trees which is fantastical but brings a spotlight to the plight felt by many animals in Borneo, and many other places in the world, that are losing their habitats to deforestation. At the back of the book is a section with information and illustrations of some of the affected wildlife, including the three characters: orangutan, sun bear, and proboscis monkey.

More Books…

There are some good conservation songs on YouTube but we don’t have a lot of rhymes and songs and my attempts to convert something well known into a rhymer/song about conservation didn’t go so well…so here are some more books instead.

Storytime with Peppa read by John Sparkes

This audiobook contains a selection of Peppa Pig stories including Recycling Fun all about Peppa and her family learning about the importance of recycling.

Look After Your Planet by Bridget Hurst

Lola wants to clean up her room, and instead of simply throwing her old things away Charlie encourages Lola to recycle them instead. You can watch this one on DVD as well.

Something To Do At Home

I don’t have a craft but I do have a suggestion around craft which ties into our message around recycling for conservation of resources…though it’s really more of a reuse/repurpose.

After craft, there are often some bits left (and it could just be bits of paper) – instead of throwing them away create a box/bag/container of odds and ends and then offer them to children as an option for imaginative craft – they can make anything they want (and you will often be surprised at how interesting what they create is) using nothing but the leftovers from old craft experiments.

But below are some activities for children around the theme of reusing and recycling to help the environment.

That’s it for me about the topic of conservation, with a focus on recycling, if there is a book, activity, or song you’d like to share I would love to hear about it so please comment below.