EVALUATING PRESCHOOL CHIDLREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND CONNECTION TO NATURE USING A GAMES TESTING TOOL
MetadataShow full item record
Establishing a connection to nature as a child is a necessity as it is crucial to enhancing children’s cognitive, attitudinal, emotional, and physical development (Driessnack 2009; Giusti et al. 2014; Bratman et al. 2015; Broom 2017; Glettler and Rauch 2020; Sobko and Brown 2021). Although, barriers including the Coronavirus pandemic and increasing technological advancement limit the opportunities of children to expand their experiences within nature and establish this connection. With these barriers increasing, measuring the relationship between children and nature is pivotal in determining the importance of nature connectedness and nature experiences among preschool aged children. This study sought to analyze the environmental knowledge and nature connectedness on a cohort of 3-5-year-old preschool children in Halifax, NS, Canada. To execute this, a modified psychological games testing tool was employed to determine the extent to which the children in the study demonstrated environmental sensitivity, environmental awareness, and environmental preferences with nature. To measure this relationship, this study conducted the games testing on a cohort of 30 children, and further collected demographics including pre-school attendance and age. This presentation will explore preliminary results including an analysis of each game to determine the relationship of the children in the study and their connection with nature. The analyses will then further investigate these results to determine whether attendance to nature based versus non-nature-based preschools or the age of the children impact the level of their environmental knowledge and connection to nature. Although the results of this study contribute meaningful contribution to measuring nature connectedness using the games testing tool, future studies are needed to conduct this research on a larger and more random sample size. Key Terms: Connection to nature (C2N), early childhood environmental education, early childhood development, games testing, psychological testing.