International Days to Inspire Outdoor Education (for Kids) this Autumn/Winter

International Days of Celebration 2017

This past September 16 was International Coastal Cleanup day, a global event started by Ocean Conservancy, a staunch supporter of marine stewardship across the planet.

Many Canadian families used the event as inspiration to take the kids outside and partake in a beach cleanup, however, many missed out on the opportunity because they were not aware. If you have been following our Facebook page, you may have caught wind of the event in time to take advantage, but we thought it a good idea to share a list of up and coming international days of recognition for the remainder of 2017.

You can use this list to teach your children/students about the interconnectedness of the world around them, and plan activities for each so that you can provide valuable outdoor leaning experiences. Get ready to mark your calendars!

International Days of Recognition to Launch Outdoor Learning Experiences this Autumn/Winter of 2017

World Habitat Day  – October 2/2017

The United Nations General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. The campaign intends to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities, Canada included.

This day presents the opportunity to volunteer at an organization with the same goals, such as Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity chapters create ways for younger volunteers to get involved in their local community, including fundraising, recycling drives and other initiatives to support affordable housing initiatives in their city. How about starting a community garden on or near the site of a new housing construction project? Such an initiative could help fight food insecurity, an epidemic that is tied closely to poverty.

Use the day as motivation to get in touch with a local Canadian chapter near you, using this interactive map as your guide.

World Food Day – October 16/2017

What better day to teach your kids about food insecurity in Canada? Promoted by the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the day recognizes that growing food in a sustainable manner means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same plot of land and use natural resources wisely. An example of this in action is found at a community garden or urban farm near your home or school. Volunteer together with your children/students this coming October 16th where they can witness the harvest, in addition to learning about how to prepare the garden/farm for the autumn/winter and planting season ahead. 

Universal Children’s Day – November 20/2017

This day offers households and classrooms the opportunity to follow the UN’s intent to provide “an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children“.

How can Canadians make a real impact on this day? While there are opportunities to promote the welfare of children in every local community, you can get involved in one of these initiatives made possible by the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation. You can donate your talents to one of many outdoor experiences (for kids) around the country and much more.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – December 3/2017

For the past 25 years, the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world. Use this day as motivation to teach your children/students about acceptance and understanding of fellow classmates and community kids living with disabilities. Tie this in to an outdoor learning experience by participating in an activity that creates a more accessible outside world. For instance, our Foundation has provided a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a community garden or urban farm more accessible. In addition, we have provided some great outdoor learning experience ideas for children living with disabilities.

World Soil Day – December 5/2017

This day is tailor suited to the concept of outdoor leaning. Consider the intent:

“On World Soil Day, I call for greater attention to the pressing issues affecting soils, including climate change, antimicrobial resistance, soil-borne diseases, contamination, nutrition and human health.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Teach your kids about the importance of soil and its role in growing plants for food and the seed-to-table concept. Once you’ve covered the basics of soil health, gather everyone around for a reading from the Plant a Seed & See What Grows book, followed by a reading of What to Do with What You Grew (available here), both of which will inspire them to head straight outdoors and start planting. Don’t have a garden currently conducive to planting in the autumn/winter in Canada? Consider these plants that do.

World Mountain Day – December 11/2017

This day was born from the recognition that mountains cover about 22 percent of the earth’s land surface and play a critical role in moving the planet towards sustainable economic growth. Mountains provide nourishment and wellbeing to well over 900 million people (13 percent of the global population) but also indirectly benefit billions more who reside downstream. 

This is one day that can inspire some fun exploration for kids and makes for a perfect opportunity to take an exploratory field trip, complete with outdoor tutorials on local mountainside wildlife, vegetative growth and how mountains impact local watering systems below. Just be sure to bundle up, it is December in Canada after all! 

Stay tuned as we continue on this series, season in and out, and be sure to follow our Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and/or Google+ for updates on special days and other events you can use as inspiration to take your kids on an outdoor leaning adventure.