With pencils and paper: Children discover local biodiversity
Alpacas graze the paths in Peru, the fox prowls through the fields in Germany and the mouse deer walks through the rainforest in Malaysia: Each region offers its own natural spectacles. This year’s World Kids Colouring Day on 6 May is therefore focusing on biodiversity. Children between the ages of three and 12 are invited to discover the species around them and to capture their experiences in creative pictures. The stationery and creative goods manufacturer STAEDTLER supports the child rights organisation Plan International Germany with one euro for every picture submitted for this year’s theme “Let`s discover nature - on land”. In 2021 the contribution will go to a project for families and children in Peru.
“I have a pet worm and I named him Gary,” says 6-year-old Arrayyan from Malaysia. His favourite animal is not difficult for him to say when asked by STAEDTLER. Although he is actually spoilt for choice: According to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, there are between five and 20 million species worldwide. There are no clear figures; researchers’ opinions vary widely. Many animal and plant species have probably not yet been discovered. At the same time, according to the Nature Conservation Federation of Germany, around 150 species disappear forever each day. “Every child can marvel at and appreciate different animal and plant species in their immediate vicinity. We would like to motivate them to do this with this year’s World Kids Colouring Day”, says Britta Olsen, Head of Brand and Communications at STAEDTLER.
For World Kids Colouring Day 2021 on 6 May, children between the ages of three and 12 worldwide are being called upon to discover their local nature. The incentive to explore their nearby environment is intended to bring biodiversity closer to the children in a creative way. “We look forward to all the colourful research protocols of the little ones and how they see our environment through their eyes,” explains Britta Olsen. “Perhaps some of the pictures will even be drawn outside in situ. Or the children will use their imagination and dream of their favourite animals and plants.”
Media use starts today as early as childhood: According to research by the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television from 2020, 86 per cent of children and young people between the ages of five and 16 have their own computers in the UK. In the USA, for example, children up to eight years of age spend an average of 144 minutes a day in front of a screen, according to their parents. A further overview of the same institute also shows for 2018 that 74 per cent of children in Germany watched TV every day or almost every day via different channels of distribution - only 30 per cent played just as often outside.
From an educational point of view, however, taking a stroll through nature is important for children. Sufficient time in the fresh air is considered important for their development: Research conducted by the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in 2018 showed that playing outdoors encourages a child’s various skills. Bones and muscles benefit from movement, self-confidence forms and imagination is stimulated. Children can quickly turn a stream into a ferocious flow of lava and a tree into the home of a little dragon. If the little ones discover nature together with other children, they also strengthen their social skills.
According to Pro Kita, experiments and crafts activities with natural materials such as stones, leaves and sticks are not only useful for practicing motor skills and creativity - the children also get to know and appreciate their environment better. Parents have numerous opportunities to promote these experiences. For example, with the help of adults, the little ones can create a herb bed or explore flowers and trees with a plant guide when out walking. The treasures found can be used creatively at home and, for example, transformed into fun chestnut figures. Britta Olsen reveals: “We learned from a survey of colleagues in our international subsidiaries that children around the world are enthusiastic about crafts of this kind. Whether Belgium, Malaysia or Peru - children all over the world love to create small works of art with different materials - including from nature”.
A survey conducted in the subsidiaries of the long-standing company STAEDTLER reveals the wide variety of images to be expected for World Kids Colouring Day. Less surprising: Depending on the country of origin, the children know different animal and plant species. But little ones all over the world all know two animals very well: From Spain to Japan, dogs and cats are particularly popular, especially as pets. “We are curious about the insights that children from around the world will give us in their submissions. The daughter of a colleague in Japan, for example, named a teddy as her favourite animal. Also fable creatures like the dragon have already come to our ears”, smiles Britta Olsen.
Fantastic plants and wild animals: Children between the ages of three and 12 can become little explorers for World Kids Colouring Day in 2021. The aim is to make children aware of their environment and the importance of biodiversity in a creative way. As in previous years, STAEDTLER is supporting Plan International Germany with one euro for every picture received. This year, the “Allin Mikuna” project in Peru will be supported, which will help local families to secure their livelihoods and feed their children in a healthy way.
More information on World Kids Colouring Day and the conditions of participation can be found at: www.staedtler.com/worldkidscolouringday