Today, we’re celebrating National Children’s Day, which recognises the importance of a healthy childhood and the need to protect the rights and freedoms of children and young people.
”The aim of National Children’s Day UK is to get as many people as possible to create events and activities that 1) highlight the importance of healthy, happy childhoods and 2) celebrate all the great work that is going on nationwide to support child and family wellbeing”.
Whilst many celebrate this on November 20th (the nominated day by the United Nations), National Children’s Day UK is being celebrated today, at the beginning of the summer, so children can get outside in the fresh air and enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer.
The theme of this year’s National Children’s Day is CHOOSE KIND, exploring the topics of:
How to create a kinder world
What makes people unkind
How everyone can choose to be kind
There are lots of things everyone can do on a daily basis to help protect the environment and ensure a safe and healthy planet for our little ones to play on. However big or small, every action can make a difference.
From the streets we live on to the beaches and parks where our little ones play, more than two million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK everyday, making our outdoor areas look unclean and causing harm to the wildlife and their habitats.
You can help to make a difference in your local area. Whether you’re heading to the beach or a green space, take a litter picker, some gloves and a bag along with you and keep your eyes peeled for rubbish.
You can find out more about how to prepare for a clean up and safety advice whilst out litter picking HERE.
It’s estimated that 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone – this has to stop.
Inspirational eco-hero Mabon doesn’t spend his time on the beach building sandcastles. Instead, he and his mum, Laura (@wildwelshswimmer), help to clean up the rubbish that has been dropped in the oceans from generations before Mabon was even born and is still floating out there today, harming the habitat and health of the marine wildlife.
They have discovered local plastic waste including bottles, ropes and ghost nets, as well as items that have travelled across the globe from Africa, China and America. Anything collected on their beach cleans is taken to recycling centres to ensure it does not go back into the sea.
The team at Friction Collective felt it was important to spread Mabon’s message of: “stop dumping plastic in the sea!” by creating the film “MABON”, which you can check out below. We also interviewed Mabon and his friend Bea about his film and the importance of the work he does, and you can watch it HERE.
BUY LESS, BUY BETTER
“We have enough clothes on the planet right now to clothe the next 6 generations of the human race”. – The Great British Sewing Bee, BBC
Think twice before you buy, and when you do choose to buy, buy less and consider who you are buying from.
What are the company’s values? Do they consider the social and environmental impact of the production of their products? Are these products made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton or recycled materials? Are their workers paid a fair living wage?
You might pay more for clothing from sustainable brands like Frugi, but by doing this you are ensuring you are buying better quality clothes that are durable, will last longer and can be passed on and on for others to enjoy.
WALK AND CYCLE MORE
Even if you can’t use a bike on all of your journeys, choosing to swap out your car for a bike just once a day can still make a big difference, reducing emissions by 67%. Encouraging your little one to walk more isn’t only better for the planet, it has lots of other benefits for them too.
It helps contribute towards your little one’s daily exercise.
It builds their confidence, allows you to spend more time with them and helps to strengthen their relationships with the friends and/or family they walk with.
BUILDING GOOD HABITS
Creating good walking habits from a young age will encourage them to choose to walk more when they can, and it teaches them how to walk safely and responsibly.
Supporting the aims of National Children’s Day in exploring how everyone can choose to be kind, take a look at our suggestions of ways we can be kind towards others.
INVITE A NEW FRIEND TO PLAY
Encourage your little one to invite a new friend to play with them then head outdoors for an adventure. Encouraging them to spend time and build relationships with their peers can help them to develop communications skills and good behaviour, as well as increase their empathy, and boost their self-confidence and happiness.
Outdoor play has a whole host of benefits for your little one, from helping to develop their motor skills, exploring in a more stimulating and multi-sensory place, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
ASK THEM HOW THEY FEEL
If you’re worried about your little one or they are acting in a way that is not usual for them, it can be very helpful for both you and them to encourage them to talk about how they feel and why they feel that way.
In response to any any negative or out-of-the-ordinary behaviour, you can ask them how they would feel if the behaviour they displayed had been aimed towards them, allowing them to put their actions into perspective and encouraging them to be kinder in their behaviour towards others.
You can find out more about talking to your little one about their feelings HERE.
By actively listening to your little one, you are showing them that what they are saying is important and allows you to understand their emotions and intentions. It can also help your little one calm down and builds their self-esteem, making them feel valued and empowered.
To practice active listening:
- Give your full attention to your child
- Make eye contact and stop other things you are doing
- Get down on your child’s level
- Reflect or repeat back what they are saying and what they may be feeling to make sure you understand
By doing this, you are acting as a role model for your child, encouraging them to be kind and empathic when listening to others and helping them to learn important listening and communication skills that they will hopefully carry forward into their own conversations with their peers.
We’ve teamed up with Eco-Schools who like us are passionate about engaging and empowering children to change our world for the better! You can get involved too – why not ask your school to get involved and register to work towards becoming an Eco-School? Find out more HERE.