The 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon by all 193 United Nations Member States aim to end poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet. Thomas & Friends have collaborated with the UN to teach children and parents about 6 of these Global Goals. On this site, you will find video Life Lessons from our favorite blue engine, Thomas, as well as Parent Tips with activities to help talk to young children about why achieving these Goals is important for everyone in the world.

4

Quality Education

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Quality Education

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Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

What is My Child Learning?

  • Importance of learning
  • Empathy for others
  • Approaches to learning
  • Creativity and innovation

Conversation Starters

  • Tell me what Thomas said about schools?
  • Does everyone go to school? Why is it hard for some children to go to school?
  • What are some fun things that can happen at school?
  • How can learning something new help you?

Playful Learning

Remember playing school? This time change it up and have your child teach you something. Ask your child to "set up" the school. What will you need? What does your child want to teach you? It can be how to play a game, put together a puzzle, or build a tower with blocks. As you play ask your child for help and talk about what you are learning.

  • Invite others into your classroom so they can learn too. You can invite family members or use stuffed animals as students. We want everyone to come to school!
  • For very young children, keep it simple with a 4-5 piece puzzle or have the stuffed animals sit in a circle as you play with a ball or blocks.
  • For older children, create a project together such as a number line to decorate your "classroom" or have them read to you!

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5

Gender Equality

Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

What Is My Child Learning?

  • Empathy for others
  • Self-confidence
  • To treat everyone as equals
  • Fair to others
  • Social development

Conversation Starters

  • What things did Thomas say the girl engines do?
  • What did the girl engine do?
  • Can they do the same things as boy engines?
  • Do the girl engines get the same opportunities as boy engines?
  • What jobs do you see that girls and boys can do?
  • Name a few women your child knows and talk about some things he/she admires in them, and/or have learned from them.

Playful Learning

Everyone can be a hero! Young children begin to build a strong sense of self and their identity as a boy or a girl. Dramatic play can help children in building confidence in who they are and what they can do.

  • You'll need old clothes, paper, cardboard, and recycled materials.
  • Ask your child if anyone can be a hero. Can boys be heroes? Can girls be heroes? If your child could be a superhero who would he/she be?
  • Create the hero costume out of materials with your child. Act out the hero tasks or actions. A costume for younger children may not be needed.
  • Act out with your children tasks they think they would do as heroes. Older children can extend the learning by making a chart of the things they can do and things their friends can do - girls and boys.

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6

Clean water and sanitation

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Clean Water and Sanitation

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Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

What is My Child Learning?

  • Healthy habits – personal hygiene
  • Science – matter & energy
  • Safety practices
  • Understanding consequences of behavior

Conversation Starters

  • What ways of using water did Thomas see?
  • How do we use water?
  • Where does water come from?
  • What happens if our water is dirty?
  • Why do we need to wash our hands (our clothes, our faces, etc.)?

Playful Learning

Experiment with cleaning water! You’ll need a coffee filter, sand, a jar and a bottle with dirty water. Make up some muddy water. Next talk about how this water probably would not taste very good. Explain how some children may not have clean water to drink. Clean the water. Have your child place the coffee filter and sand (covering the bottom of the filter) over an empty glass jar. Next, have your child slowly pour the dirty water into the jar through the filter. How does the filtered water look? Do you need to clean it again or is it clear enough to drink?

For younger children, help them pour the water and assist in making the muddy water.

For older children, test different types of filters such as gravel, paper towel, etc. Make a chart of the cleanest to the dirtiest water with snapshots of the water in the jars.

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11

SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

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Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

What Is My Child Learning?

  • Responsibility
  • Understanding families and communities
  • Geographical concepts
  • Problem solving and creativity

Conversation Starters

  • What places does Thomas see?
  • Where do all the people live?
  • How do the people move around in cities?
  • What kind of things do people need in a city?
  • Where else do people live (town, village, countryside)? Where do we live?

Playful Learning

Engineer some fun! You'll need blocks, recycled materials like paper tube or cardboard, and toy trains or cars.

  • Make a bridge or a ramp with your child. Talk about how the bridge helps people move around the city by crossing a river or a street below. Using the toy trains, test your bridge or ramp.
  • Next try to build buildings - places for people to work and live. How tall can you make a tower? Make sure it doesn't fall! Explain it has to be safe for the people who will live there.
  • For younger children, help them with the bridge construction or start by building a tower.
  • For older children, make a simple map of a city or town on a large piece of poster paper.
  • Add cardboard buildings in locations on the map. Make sure your child adds green spaces.

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12

RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

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Responsible Consumption And Production

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Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

What is My Child Learning?

  • Responsibility
  • Social development
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Problem solving

Conversation Starters

  • What happened to Sidney at the waste dump? How do you think he felt?
  • What kinds of things do people throw away?
  • How can we reuse things at home?
  • What happens to all the waste?
  • Should we throw away old toys? What should we do with them?

Playful Learning

Get creative! You'll need recycled materials or things you find thrown away (clean them first!). You can use egg cartons, platic bottles, fabric, paper and string. What can you make from the materials - a funny animal, a spaceman, a place for people to live?

  • Recycle at home - use a few old boxes or baskets and label each one - plastic, cardboard, paper. Ask family member to throw those items in the box instead of the trash. How much do you have at the end of the week? How can you reuse the materials? Have fun!
  • For younger children, guide them with ideas of what to make. Keep it simple. Make fanciful, funny animals or use a paper plate and/or other materials to make a face.
  • Challenge older children to make something fun while using all of the materials.

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15

LIFE ON LAND

Parent Tip

What is the Goal?

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

What Is My Child Learning?

  • Science - earth science, natural world
  • Geography - physical features
  • Responsibility
  • Inquiry and prediction

Conversation Starters

  • Why are trees important to us?
  • How many animals can we name that live in trees?
  • What would happen if we didn’t have trees?
  • Where can we find trees?
  • What can we see on a tree (leaves, branches, trunks, flowers, etc.)?

Playful Learning

Start with a seed! You'll need a few seeds, or small plants, dirt, cups or pots, and water. Find a place in your yard to plant your seeds or small plants. Talk about what the plants need to grow - water, food, sunlight. No yard? Plant the plants or seeds in a pot in the house and place them near a window. Work with your child to take care oif the plants or seeds each week. Take pictures of the plants as they grow and measure their heights. Extend the learning by planting edible plants such as lettuce or herbs. This activity is recommended for children age 3 years and up.

Younger children will need help in placing the seeds in a cup or pot. Count the number of seeds with your child as you plant them.

For older children, take a nature walk. Talk about the trees and what types of animals use the trees. How many different types of trees and other plants do you see? Challenge older children to make something fun while using all of the materials.

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17 Goals To Transform Our World

The Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon by all 193 United Nations Member States, are the world's best roadmap for creating a better world by 2030. Together, we can end poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For more detail on how you can teach your child to be a good global citizen, download this printable PDF. It contains an Early Learning Skills Framework for each of the Global Goals, as well as suggestions for additional children's literature to extend these lessons.