Did you know that the sea around the UK is home to more than 8000 different of species of plants and animals, but this wonderful marine environment is being ruined by pollution, including rubbish left on beaches, sewage and chemical and oil spills.
What is pollution?
Pollution is anything which is introduced into an environment that causes harm. For example abandoned nets that animals can get caught in, oil leakages cause huge amount of ecological damage and waste products from plastic production build up in food chains leading to as yet unknown consequences in humans.
In order to demonstrate pollution on a very basic level, I set up a pretend ocean.
Sea Pollution Demonstration
A clear bowl or vase
Black food colouring
Shells or sand
How to set up a sea pollution demonstration
Set up your mini ocean with lovely clean water.
Add some rubbish and black food colouring ( to represent oil/sewage )
How different does your mini ocean look after the pollution has been added?
Whilst doing this activity we talked about how litter and pollution might impact fish and other marine life and where we had seen litter recently.
Another idea is to set up a beach scene and then add pollution to the sea and shore. I know which version I would rather spend time at.
What can we do about pollution?
Buying local products reduces the need for items to be shipped around the world.
Buy cleaning products that use natural/biodegradable ingredients.
Recycle as much as you can and never drop litter. Things like plastic bottle tops or balloons can be fatal to animals who may mistake them for food.
Can you think of anything else you can do to help save our planet from the enormous amount of rubbish and pollution humans create?
This illustration shows visually how much plastic rubbish we have created since 1950 and where it has gone.
Pollution story book ideas
We’ve been reading The Lorax to sit alongside this activity. Inspired by the book we created a clean and a polluted Loraxsensory rice tray.
More Pollution activities for kids
Can you try filtering dirty water to clean it up?
Suitable for Early Years Foundation
Understanding of the World