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Preschool children put up art showcase using recycled materials to advocate for caring for the earth

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Curious faces and fingers being pointed excitedly at cute little crabs and turtles were a common sight at Central Public Library in the last week of April. Not real ones of course - a whole underwater world including ocean and sea animals, corals and more was created by the little but nimble hands of preschool children! Children from Presbyterian Preschool Services had collected materials such as used plastic bottles, cardboards, straws, cups and newspapers to create impressive upcycled artworks seen at the first iteration of the Ocean in Motion art showcase.

The artworks on display were made of recycled materials, dried plants such as twigs, and even food waste like mussel and pistachio shells!

The Ocean in Motion art showcase was organised for the Creation C.A.R.E (Children’s Action to Rescue Earth) initiative, by Christian Preschool Alliance in collaboration with Presbyterian Preschool Services. Creation C.A.R.E endeavours to inspire, encourage and empower children to care for creation and the environment; it teaches children the importance of caring for the earth and simple actions they can take to make a difference.

The children from Ang Mo Kio centre learnt about how dolphins are endangered because of human activity, and were horrified and sad to find out that many dolphins had died because of the trash that ended up in the sea.

Thus, the Nursery 2 to Kindergarten 2 classes came together to create a dolphin out of cardboard and an ocean backdrop filled with trash such as drink cans to remind themselves not to pollute the ocean with rubbish.

Jvier, a Kindergarten 2 child, remarked that he was “so happy that there will be less trash in the ocean” since some of them were used to create the artwork.

Over at the Pasir Ris 21 centre, children had read from the book “Somebody Swallowed Stanley” and found out that Stanley, who was a plastic bag, looked so much like a jellyfish that some animals tried to have him for a meal.

Children were then curious to find out what a real jellyfish looked like, and observed from pictures that “jellyfish have no blood!” Some are also see-through since they have no colour, thus resembling a clear plastic bag.

They also noticed that “the jellyfish cap is like a trampoline” and the “tentacles look like noodles” since jellyfishes stretch into different shapes while they move.

Children created a sculpture of jellyfishes of various sizes in their original habitat out of recycled paper, cardboard and plastic bottles as they pondered about an ocean floor where jellyfishes can exist without plastic bags polluting their home. What a beautiful image of what ocean life could be when it is cared for!

Over the last weekend, we also had veteran storyteller Wong Swee Yean tell the story of Stanley to library-goers, while our Chinese Curriculum Specialist Danyang introduced Alba from the book “Alba the 100 Year Old Fish” to the children.

Both the stories of Stanley and Alba had revealed to the children how harmful throwing rubbish into the sea or oceans can be to the animals who live in them.

It was heartwarming to see over a 100 children learning and having conversations about the importance of protecting animals’ habitats such as the ocean and forests though wonderful and meaningful stories. At the end of May, an even larger variety of artworks from various preschools were on display at Orchard Central Atrium for the 2nd iteration of the art showcase!

12 preschools were involved in the 2nd iteration of the Ocean in Motion art showcase. Check out the different sea creatures, big and small!

For St Hilda's Kindergarten, the children wanted to raise awareness of the importance of protecting healthy coral reefs as they are home to a quarter of all marine species!

The children learnt to care for the environment through 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, and they showed appreciation by protecting nature and its environment from harm through videos and stories. They discussed about ocean pollution and the detrimental effects on the environment by our careless actions.

The children observed and reflected on the following: “The corals look like flowers because it is colourful.” “Coral reefs are food and home to many sea creatures. so we have to keep their home clean. ”The trash will be unhealthy for the corals and the sea creatures. We must take care of the corals in the ocean if we want it to be alive.”

Children from Shalom Kindergarten had also read the book 'Somebody Swallowed Stanley' by Sarah Roberts and were surprised to find out that plastic bags could be mistaken as jellyfishes. They were horrified that sea creatures would try to eat plastic bags and choke on them.

Teachers and children decided to craft a variety of sea creatures and their habitat in a state of suffering to advocate for a cleaner and safer sea environment.

'Sharky’ the great white was constructed by the K1 children to remind people not to throw plastic trash into the sea as it endangers marine animals. The plastics found in Sharky's stomach showed that it was consuming trash that looked like sea creatures.

The Nursery children put together 'The Suffocated Turtle’, a cardboard sea turtle with a plastic bottle shell trapped in plastic netting. The children’s heart went out to the suffering turtle as they petted the turtle’s head while gingerly wrapping the ‘net’ around it.

It represents a silent cry for help and urgent action to stop endangering sea creatures with our trash.

Though this Creation C.A.R.E project, the children came to understand that even though reusing and recycling trash is not enough to make a huge impact, small actions can make big waves. They hope that by spreading awareness about the harmful effects of polluting the earth, more people will be more careful and mindful of their everyday actions and attitudes and learn to adopt more sustainable practices.

Some children made a pledge to do their part to care for creation at the showcase. Will you join us on this mission?

We are very grateful to the National Library Board and Far East Organisation for partnering us and giving us the opportunity to spread the message on Creation C.A.R.E.

Special thanks to all the preschools who put in their best to make Ocean in Motion a great success!


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