Teaching children about climate change

Climate change is a serious global problem that is affecting us now in many different ways. It is often publicised in the news, online and through recognised campaigns but it is only through education that we can overcome the problem. Via education, we can understand climate change in-depth and recognise the positive changes we can make to help towards a unified resolution.

Climate change (also referred to as global warming) is caused by the rise of the Earth’s normal temperature which has led to severe consequences. These consequences, however, are not a result of actions made overnight, instead we’re seeing the effect of incremental changes spanning over one hundred years. It is only more recently that we have been able to recognise the effects of changes made so long ago.

For example, the single-use plastic bag available to carry groceries was first invented in 1965 as an alternative to paper bags. The single-use plastic bag had a handle so it was easier to carry, they were stronger, and they were cheaper to make. Therefore, plastic bags were mass-produced to make our lives easier without considering the consequences. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills, producing CO2 emissions and greenhouse gasses which is severely damaging the environment. Since there has been wider awareness around how harmful single-use plastic bags are to the environment, the plastic bag fee came into England in 2015 to reduce the demand. This change was a result of educating ourselves about the problem.

Unfortunately, there are many more things that contribute to climate change and that’s why it is very important to teach our future generation about climate change. As gradual adjustments are necessary for a united solution, they need to tackle climate change problems early on. Not only this but educating children about climate change will also provide them with societal responsibility.

Climate change is such a wide topic and we know that it can be hard teaching children in a way that is interesting and provides all the facts but doesn’t scare them. Therefore, we have created some tips to introduce or help your child to become more familiar with climate change:

Join the WWF Show the Love campaign

This child-friendly campaign by the World Wildlife Foundation joins hundreds of thousands of people to talk about climate change to create a cleaner greener future. They provide a list of engaging resources for children such as an action pack full of useful fun activities and challenges to generate awareness.


Do some gardening together

Trees and wildflowers take in CO2, so why not plant some in your garden with your children. This is a fun activity while also educational by explaining to your young ones their benefits to the environment.

Talk about success stories

Just like the plastic bag story, we have seen many changes put in place to help reduce climate change. The ‘Save the Turtle’ campaign is another movement that has reduced plastic straw use.

Learn by song

A young 8-year-old boy called Frankie created a song called ‘World in danger’ after learning about climate change and wanting to spread awareness. Any profit he makes, he donates to environmental causes.

Greta Thunberg

Teach your children about Greta Thunberg and the ‘Fridays for future’ campaign movement. The September protest saw thousands of children strike on a Friday to demand action from political leaders to take action in preventing climate change. Greta is only 16 years old, a great ambassador for children wanting to learn about climate change.

David Attenborough

It seems wrong to talk about the environment and climate change without mentioning Sir David Attenborough and his lifelong work to help save the planet. His groundbreaking series Blue Planet is fantastic in highlighting the issue with single use plastics and is a great way to teach children about what is happening to the world.

Gateways take pride in educating all pupils about climate change, while also encouraging environmentally responsible behaviour. Our current chosen charity is Plastic Oceans – they work to raise awareness about the impact of plastic pollution on our ocean and aim to encourage people to live more sustainably with plastic. Find out more on their website here – https://plasticoceans.uk/