Albert Waterways Children’s Centre tips for a greener planet
Here at Albert Waterways Children’s Centre we take seriously our commitment to Mother Nature and our planet Earth! We understand that by role modelling and instilling environmental values to your children, we are educating the future generations that will take on the very important role of caretaking our planet. Here are some of the ways which we help our world to BREATH……
We RESPECT the land and our Aboriginal custodians past and present: We endeavour to teach the children the importance of country for our Indigenous peoples. We look to the Aboriginal clans with over 40 000 years of inhabitancy as role models in maintaining a balance between people, plants and animals. We try hard to instil a love of land into our children and a deep seated respect for all life.
We got some CHICKENS: We have had chickens at the Centre since 2007. Our chicken coop was designed, built and donated by one of our fantastic family’s. Our chickens eat the fruit and vegetable scraps that we produce. They are wonderful pets that love a gentle pat, they are easy to look after, but best of all – they produce eggs! Seeing food production in action on daily basis serves to teach children that all our food comes from somewhere whether it is a farm, orchard or garden.
We got some WORMS: The Centre began worm farming back in 2007. We had additional food scraps that our four chickens of the time could not eat up. The worms have done the job since. We now operate two worm farms and we use the worm wee to help fertilise our vegetable and herb garden. It is great to teach children about the benefits of waste products and how beneficial they can be for the plants in the earth.
We compost our old GREENS: Composting is an important part of gardening. Old leaves build up in yard and once gathered and put into our compost bin, they decompose and eventually become rich nutrients to add back into the soil. It’s important for children to watch this process and see the benefits occurring.
We started a vegetable and herb GARDEN: Our Junior Kindy room delight in looking after our vegetable and herb garden. We have grown many vegetables and herbs that we have been able to eat in our daily meals here at the Centre. Over the years we have also included the produce into our Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts along with recipes for parents to try at home with their children. The children show great pride in their green thumbs and love to show their loved ones our fresh produce.
We visit the MULTICULTURAL GARDEN in our community: We are fortunate to have a wonderful Multicultural Garden in our community. Our older children (Kindergarten) are able to walk to the garden. We have learnt about various gardening techniques as well as helping to cultivate some different plants that are found and eaten in different parts of the world. We are privileged that the community of the Multicultural garden are willing to share their skills, knowledge and to give their time to the future generations.
We REUSE and RECYCLE our paper, cardboard and reusable items: Your trash is our treasure. Families and Educators are encouraged to bring in old paper, boxes, containers, tubes and other bits and bobs. Children are particularly imaginative and they are able to create wonderful works of art or use these items in their play. Many things can be reused and we encourage children to look at every item in a different way and to let their mind be free. In teaching children that old is not inferior, items can be unique or different or colourful or beautiful, then this will merge into all parts of life.
We make our own PAPER: Our Kindergarten class use old paper to make new paper. Once a year we take on the challenge of making our own paper from some of the old paper we have here at the Centre. This can take a couple of weeks as the whole process is done by the children by hand! We use our beautiful and unique paper to make cards for gifts on special occasions. Each piece is so different varying in colour, texture and thickness. In our world where too many trees are being chopped down and too many animals are losing their habitats we need to teach the children the importance of reducing paper use and recycling paper always.
When these ideas become the norm – then the world will be a better place. Together lets look out for the world and each other.