TEACHING children about environmental sustainability practices from a young age helps them retain and incorporate green practices as they mature. There are many intrinsic motivations for learning games, especially those associated with the environment; these are what we call green games. Sustainability is the on-going capacity of the earth to maintain life.
guest column: Peter Makwanya
Green games are designed to help learners solve environmental challenges they would come across in life. Games that promote environmental sustainability have the greatest potential to educate, inform and inspire children to appreciate their environment, leading to their comprehensive participation in community building. This is a fundamental paradigm in nurturing nature growth and sustainable futures.
Environmental games induce lots of goal-bound fun while teaching sustainability issues in line with sustainable development goals (SDGs). Games that the children engage in should help broaden their world-view, and demonstrated through sustainability lenses.
These games also introduce pupils to a variety of ways of managing their environment, ranging from sorting out, classifying and disposing garbage. This is critical in sustainable waste management practices, fundamental in appropriate service delivery strategies for the towns and cities. By so doing, children will be participating in processes of reducing and managing their own carbon footprints.
In this regard, the relevant sectors should make efforts to invest tirelessly into several games that have great potential to promote environmental sustainability.
These games have the qualities to empower pupils with climate action strategies and environmental protection skills.
The games are tailored towards orienting the children on the types of living that will contribute to the clean environment and sustainable livelihoods. They are also modelled around comprehensive visions of sustainable world-views and experiences.
Environmental games that appeal to all sensory properties, situations and settings need to be practised by children, especially in their capacities as risk takers. While the urban children have the potential of using online digital games frequently, they also need to be oriented towards outdoor games and vice-versa.
This also includes abilities to interpret weather phenomenon, forecasting and early warning systems. Empowered with rural-urban environmental games would prepare children for the building of a sustainable and habitable world that they all wish to live in.
Environmental games with the ability to solve problems need to be harnessed. The world’s current state of affairs is in this sorry state due to a lack of stewardship, irresponsible and reckless behaviours emanating from toxic human minds.
In this regard, what is needed is the wholesome alteration of the undesirable human mindset, hence children are appropriate candidates, as well as key and central to this mode.
Education is the other tool that moulds children’s perspectives as well as the ways they value and interact with their surroundings, together with coming up with eco-solutions that influence strategic adaptation activities.
Therefore, it is the aim of environmental games to situate the children at the centre of environmental sustainability yesterday, today and tomorrow. The sustainability mind-set needs to be nurtured, empowered and groomed through play.
Through an element of play, children develop the physical and motor skills, correlating with the healthy body and healthy mind. For young children, the environment becomes an extension of their everyday world.
In this regard, the inadequate utilisation of the element of play, in the form of environmental games, becomes a missing link and the human mind would not be free. The fusion of environmentally friendly songs is necessary in this regard, as it is used to glorify outstanding physical features in their environment.
Outdoor games, especially in the thick of their environment, would help children to explore their own surroundings and manage them through goal-bound adaptation strategies.
Not only do these games contribute to environmental sustainability, but are also vital communication skills and vocabulary expansion as part of their life-long learning transactions.
Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He writes in his capacity and can be contacted on: email@example.com