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Why should every 6–12-year-old know about Sustainable Development Goals?


The world has been shaped by its youth. From the civil rights movement to climate change activism, history proves that children are more than ready to take on the challenges of our time. As they learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), children will be empowered to make an impact on their own lives and communities in a positive way.

What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

In simple terms, the Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for how we want the world to be in 2030. They set targets in areas such as poverty, inequality, climate change, conflict resolution and economic and social sustainability.

The goals are an ambitious agenda for people and planet – they will help us achieve things that were previously impossible to imagine. The SDGs aim to create a better world for all of us, by enabling societies to make sustainable choices that ensure no one is left behind. 

This means ensuring that every child has access to education, every woman has access to healthcare, no one goes hungry, everyone has clean water and sanitation, everyone lives in safe communities with access to opportunities for themselves and their families – which is why I believe it is important for you and your child to know about them too!

Why should every 6-12 year old know about Sustainable Development Goals?

One of the most important ways children learn, and particularly in this age group, is through their own experiences and the environment around them, especially at home. If your children are growing up in an environment where sustainability is practiced and talked about, they have a greater chance of becoming more sustainable themselves throughout their life.

Similarly, if schools provide an environment where children are exposed to discussions, experiments, and opportunities to act to contribute to sustainable development, it is likely that the experiential learning will contribute to their active participation in their communities and the society in their teens and adolescent age.

Covering your family’s needs.

Children between 6-12 years old are naturally curious, creative and eager to learn. They are also socially aware, independent thinkers who want to make a difference in their communities. As such, they have many skills that can be directed towards contributing to sustainable development.
In particular the children in this age, according to Dr. Maria Montessori are blessed with natural:

  • Curiosity: Children in this age range are naturally curious and have a strong desire to learn and explore their environment. They are interested in how things work and are constantly asking questions;
  • Independence: They are increasingly independent and are capable of taking charge of their own learning. They are able to set their own goals and work towards them with minimal guidance. 
  • Self-discipline: They are developing self-discipline and are able to control their own behavior and emotions. They are also able to take responsibility for their own actions and work independently.
  • Social awareness: They are becoming more aware of social issues at this age and are starting to develop a sense of social justice. They are interested in helping others and making a positive impact on their communities.
  • Creativity: Children at this age range are creative and enjoy expressing themselves through art, music, and other forms of self-expression. They are also able to think creatively and come up with original ideas.

How can we teach children about SDGs?

I dream of the world where school curricula embrace the Sustainable Development Goals. There are several ways they can be incorporated into teaching:

  • Use the 17 goals as a framework for learning about different aspects of the world and their environment;
  • Teach students how they can be positive influences at home, school and in their communities;
  • Help students get involved in local community projects;

Emphasize the importance of using hands-on and experiential learning methods when teaching this age group. For example, if you want your child to understand more about global poverty, then let them experience living on $2 per day by eating only canned food for lunch each day during October (a month when we observe the World Food Day).

Get children involved in local community projects such as planting a garden or helping at the food bank. This will help them understand how important it is that everyone does their part to make a difference.

Children learn how to be a positive influence (in their own home, school, and neighborhood) by learning about the 17 goals for a better world and then turning that into action.

On SDGs, every child can learn to be a positive influence.

Children in every country can get involved with their own community and make local improvements. When children are taught about the Sustainable Development Goals, they learn that they have a role to play in making their world better by setting goals for themselves on how they can help others. By doing this, children grow up with a sense of responsibility towards their communities and are more likely to care about others and make changes in society as adults.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a powerful tool for encouraging children to become agents of change. We need to ensure that every child has the chance to learn about these goals and turn that knowledge into action.

Will you introduce your child to Cyril?

Children are the future! Let’s guide them to hold the torch of sustainability high. Cyril, the Squirrel's World-Healing, Long-Lasting Ideas! Poverty and Hunger – What can we do? is the first book in a book series that tackles SDGs 1 and 2: poverty and hunger. It's written in a way that helps children understand the issues and allows space for thinking and discussion on how they can be part of the solution. With this book, you can start a conversation with your child or students about how they can help others in need. You can use it as an opportunity to discuss what it means to be a citizen of the world, and how we can each contribute to making it a better place for everyone. This book is not just fun—it's inspiring! If you have not purchased it yet, order here:

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