Studying and learning how to understand the ecosystem for kids is a hard thing to do. Ecosystem is a big word that can be intimidating for children.
An ecosystem is short for ecological systems. Simply put an ecosystem is all the animals and other living things in a specific area. This can include plants, micro organism, large and small animals and birds among other things.
All of the living things interact with each other and with their non-living environment in an ecosystem.
For kids it may be hard to understand the basic concept of how ecosystems work. It is a good idea to help children get a better understanding of ecosystems by playing games and doing crafts and models to illustrate the concept.
Activities That Illustrate the Ecosystem For Kids
One of the best ways to help children to get a better idea about the different types of ecosystem is by doing models of miniature ecosystems that they may be familiar with. Building small ecosystem models is a great activity to help build understanding of ecosystems.
Miniature ecosystem models are fairly easy to make and can be used to demonstrate a variety of ecosystems for kids, including:
- The desert of Africa, the Middle East or the California and Arizona area
- A Tropical Savannah as seen in Africa
- A Tropical Rainforest such as in Brazil
- A Grasslands area that would be present in the plains states such as Oklahoma
- A Deciduous forest like what grows on the East Coast and in the Northern states
Another benefit to demonstrating an ecosystem for kids is by using miniature models is that it is a great way to teach geography as well.
Here are a few more great ideas for helping kids to understand the ecosystem.
- Visit a local botanical garden. Botanical gardens grow a wide range of plants from all over the world. This is a great way to learn about what plants are found in different ecosystems and how they all relate to each other.
- Do a study on which animals belong in certain ecosystems. For younger children you can do some role playing and allow the children to take on the role of a predator or prey. Older children can do reports on the food chain and how the animals and plants are dependent upon each other.
- Pick an ecosystem to look into and see what happens when a new animal or plant is introduced to that ecosystem and what the consequences are. There are many examples of this happening with dire effects.
As you can see there are many activities that can be done to help get a better understanding and working knowledge of the ecosystem for kids. With a little creativity you can teach them how to be good stewards and care takers of this world.