How to Celebrate Universal Children’s Day in School and at Home
If you’ve been following our International Days of Recognition calendar (2018) then you know that Universal Children’s Day is on the way. The UN sanctioned day advocates, promotes and celebrates children’s rights by opening dialogues and encouraging actions that will build a better world for children. In the spirit of the global event, we’re providing educators and parents alike with ideas about how they can recognize the day with their kids so that we can pass the baton on to the future guardians of our precious planet.
5 Ways You and Your Kids Can Recognize and Learn from Universal Children’s Day
Put the Wheels in Motion for a School Garden
For the uninitiated, a school garden is an extension of the community garden / urban farming concept that you already see in action somewhere in your locale. The difference, is that a school garden is typically found on or near school grounds, and is managed by students together with faculty and other volunteers. A school garden not only delivers healthy nutritious food to students, it is an outdoor learning experience that teaches them a wide variety of skills that will be invaluable from adolescence through to adulthood. Why not use Universal Children’s Day as the launching pad for your own project? Sure, it may be late autumn, but you can certainly get the ball rolling with your pupils right away, especially since it takes time to get it up and running. Learn how you and your students/kids can get started here.
Even if your educational institution already has a school garden in place, you might want to look at these 6 examples of other school garden programs, all of which apply some unique initiative that may spark a great new idea for your own, beginning this Universal Children’s Day.
Leave the Classroom for the Day
We’ve already mentioned outdoor learning above, but it bears repeating. This November 20 (2018) pull your kids out of the classroom and take the tutorials outdoors (reasonable weather permitting). Given climate change, there’s no predicting what the weather will be like on the day, which is why we’ve crafted this article detailing outdoor educational activities for all four seasons. And if it is a typical autumn day, we’ve got you covered with these 5 ideas, which includes getting involved in a local garden/farm harvest, visiting a corn maze, going on a fall season eco-tour, and more.
Read to Them (and follow up with a movie with a message)
Those of you with especially young children/students can use Universal Children’s Day as a great excuse for extended story time. And we’ve got two great suggestions! For one, there’s Roland Gahler’s classic children’s book, Plant a Seed & See What Grows and the follow up, What to Do with What You Grew. Once story time is over (and schedules allow) you can really get the kids excited by viewing a movie together, one that teaches them some of the same concepts found in the books you just read. We have put together a list of popular children’s films about seeds, plants and sustainability for your reference.
Teach Them About Kids in Another Community on the Other Side of the World
Given that it is Universal Children’s Day, dedicate some time to teaching your kids about children in a lesser developed nation or one that faces some other significant threat to the health, wellness, and/or education of youth. If your school has a sister city in place to promote cultural ties, you may consider focusing on what youth are experiencing there. The age of your children/class will also help dictate the topics you want to focus on, as some issues (i.e. child labor, or worse) may be too intense for younger students. Important concerns that are appropriate to all ages, include childhood poverty, a lack of access to food and drinking water, and a lack of access to education.
Another related activity you can consider, is to start a pen pal program with students in the region you’re focusing on (or other), which will better allow your kids to connect to the concept/s addressed. View participating pen pal schools here.
Help Support a Community Volunteer Program for Kids
One way you and your kids can really make a positive impact is to support a local or national initiative that has the same goal of fostering the health, wellness, and learning of youth in Canada. For example, our Foundation has a full slate of programs and opportunities that allow you and your class or household the chance to show support by donating treasure, time, and talent alike. If there is no identifiable program near you to allocate volunteer work, you can start a fun fundraiser. You can do the typical bake sales, recycling drives, walk-a-thons, etc. or you can try the Foundation’s online easy and secure fundraising tool here, too. Proceeds from our fundraising page goes towards your school and community gardens. Of course, your support can go out to any other initiative where kids are the beneficiaries, just be sure to perform your due diligence to ensure that your aforementioned treasure, time, and/or talent are allocated to a worthy cause. If you have any questions, or would like to find out how you can get involved, contact the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation.
~ Happy Universal Children’s Day 2018 ~