The ocean links us all. It doesn’t matter where we live, if we’re old or young, even if we live near a coast. That’s why many schools worldwide worked together to change the world by celebrating World Oceans Day this June. Here are how 10 different schools from around the globe celebrated – with some ideas to start you brainstorming for next year’s celebration!
Expressing love for the ocean
Getting creative is a great way to celebrate World Oceans Day. Nanguo Elementary school in Taiwan emphasized creativity at their celebration. Students made up and shared short stories, and drew their favorite ocean creatures and sent hand drawn ocean postcards. Students in the Canadian Prince Rupert Conrad Elementary School preformed songs for the oceans. Multiple schools made murals, such as Queens Creek Elementary in North Carolina who created a beautiful ocean by saving bottle caps.
Making art is a great way to talk with kids about the ocean. It’s important to stay positive with younger children, and avoid making them feel overwhelmed by talking about environmental problems. Instead, encourage their wonder and love for the natural world – and have fun!
- Ocean postcards
- Bottlecap mural
The ocean needs to hear our voices. In Kenya, youths from local schools took part in essay and art competitions and presented about recycling and waste. Gansaabi private schools in South Africa had lectures about the ocean and allowed the students to take part in these talks. Getting to voice their own opinions and be creative is a great way to engage youth about World Oceans Day.
- Essay and art competitions
- Interactive lectures and presentations
Connecting kids with positive experiences in nature is one of the best ways to teach them to protect the environment as adults.
Here are some simple, fun things to do with very young kids in nature from the APS:
- Have a picnic and/or nature walk
- Grow seeds or a garden
- Start a worm farm or compost heap
- If the children you’re working with are older, you can take it to the next level and ask them to be a part of the solution.
This year, a group of school-kids in Cambodia worked together to reduce waste by upcycling plastic bottles into a raft! California students participated in a beach clean-up and removed invasive plants. Both events helped the environment and removed waste. Their World Oceans Day events helped the ocean directly.
- Nature clean-up
- Environmental restoration volunteering – ask a local non-profit if you can join them!
- “Upcycling” craft projects
Photo: The Space Foundation
Staging large carnival-like events at schools can also be a great chance to have fun and learn about the ocean. A small group of middle school children in South East Asia created a fun event that included dress up contests, ocean prizes, a bake sale and a jewelry sale. Palm Beach Maritime Academy in Florida organized a student film festival, conservation carnival (with music, art, games, and upcycling), and a Shark Booth. They related many of their events to their theme, sharks.
Having a theme may help streamline your World Oceans Day event. These events are great since they’re awesome fun, cultivate a positive school community, and get everyone involved and talking about the ocean.
Do you have a great idea for a World Oceans Day event at a school? Let us know!
Photo: Plan for the Land Society