We have been supporting the children to understand the damage plastic straws can do. As our children are only three and four, we have to use appropriate images and arrange activities that encourage understanding. We use large containers of milk, so we limit waste and do not need to use straws. The children also pour their milk themselves, developing physical skills. We talked about not having to use a straw, that it was unnecessary. We had paper straws to show the children, that could be recycled. Unfortunately, many of the cartons the children bring in for lunch do contain plastic straws. However, this was a talking point and lots of our children talked about having water bottles so there was no need for straws! We made our own turtles from paper plates, fish and play doh turtles that had the straws in their tummies. The children understand through this play and activities how the straws could get swallowed. Lots of comments such as “the straw could get stuck so the turtle couldn’t breathe” and “if the fish ate the straw, then it would hurt its tummy” A super display is developing nicely of all our amazing activities.
We are designing a newsletter to share our concerns with our parents, hopefully then we will have less cartons with straws!