from Spiral Garden
One of my passions is helping other families connect with nature. I love writing about getting kids into the garden, and walking the talk by enjoying our garden, nature walks, photography, camping and other nature-inspired activities, with my children.
There are some very good resources for children which cover topics such as permaculture, organic gardening, peak oil, solar energy, etc.
Here’s some of the info I found:
The ABC Book of Gardening for Kids is a good one. About $16 or in most library systems.
You must read The Lorax by Dr Seuss!!
Backyard Science (books and TV - again ABC) is great too.
The Department of Environment and Heritage have free resources about environmental issues.
Living Earth Games, which include permaculture principles and are heaps of co-operative fun. We own and enjoy both Gaia’s Garden board game and the Living Landscapes cards.
My kids love those permie DVDs like ‘Eat your Garden’ and the ‘Gardening Australia - Permaculture‘ DVD with Josh building his backyard permaculture setup from scratch. They’re not aimed at kids, but they’re very simple and entertaining.
For solar energy and peak oil, you may look for educational material from CSIRO, petroleum companies, the ‘green’ department of your local energy companies (gas and electricity).
Docos and TV shows like Catalyst aren’t aimed at kids but aren’t too difficult for them to understand either. I prefer not to dumb-down the facts and science behind this issue. It is amazing to hear their positive solutions and alternatives and their ideas about what would be more difficult in a time where oil is very expensive and how we would cope etc. They really are positive about relocalisation and alternative energy sources, permaculture, community gardens and co-opping and all sorts of other things which come up from Peak Oil discussions.
Carbon calculators are fun and informative. Try this site for links to a few different ones (some are inaccurate for rural folk etc due to penalties for not using public transport for example).
We watched The Power of Cummunity- How Cuba Survived Peak Oil DVD 2006, then a friend came back from Cuba with amazing photos and stories to tell of their thriving communities… We talked about similarities and differences, and how such a crisis would affect our community, our nation.
We took time to read about The Great Depression in Australia, for if there is an oil crisis (or other event) we could experience such a time again. It’s so far removed from our very wealthy, urban and ‘instant’ society that we enjoyed studying what occurred during this period and why.
Where are you? Maybe there are farms nearby you can visit to learn about food production. Community gardens are great too. Some larger Permaculture farms have open days.
… and so it goes. An alternative curriculum, just a click away! Enjoy!