In early September at the beginning of the new school year, I was greeted warmly by a new group of pre-school children wondering why I'd come to visit them. I explained that we'd be having lots of fun drawing together; an idea they seemed to like.
These small children are just three-years-old and still very young, so I began our conservation art workshops with really easily digestible information. The kids and I sketched endangered species such as chimpanzees, elephants and rhinos to name but a few and as the weeks commenced, I added more information on why we were drawing what we were.
One workshop towards the end of September on hedgehogs & red squirrels was particularly impressive. Whilst I was sketching a sizeable red squirrel on the board, with several kids colouring it in as I drew it, a little girl came over and handed me a miniature wooden squirrel figurine she'd found in a toy box. A few moments later, she came back again and gave me a small red squirrel fridge magnet. It was evident that the children were beginning to see connections between art and conservation with me.
It's a bit early to go straight into climate change at this stage, but as the year progresses we will draw all of the vital conservation topics of the present day, and the key messaging will be memorable for them.
Thank you for having me once again, Mad Hatter's. I'm looking forward to seeing what the children take from our conservation art workshops this year, and how it will affect the way they think about our natural world as they continue to learn through art and play.