Recently we pointed out that kids are learning about the sustainability of locally grown foods in Japan and the cultural practices of that country by working with Miso Soup . Now there's word that they've come up with a program called "Block Space", which aims to educate kids about wood used from managed forests that have been planted in Japan using good old-fashioned wood blocks as the messenger. That's because planted forests in that country are at a crisis stage due to cheap imports from overseas, along with various local socioeconomic factors. Essentially, OISCA International (Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement), a Japan-based non-governmental environmental protection organization, has joined together with Summit, Inc., a Japanese supermarket chain to promote the program. Kids get to enjoy playing with blocks made of wood produced from the sustainable management of planted forests in Japan by creating anything they wish, which is then combined into one giant, room-sized piece of work. Afterwards, they have a discussion about forests, trees, and the wood that the blocks are made of, hopefully encouraging them to be interested in the forests of Japan. Of course there are loads of other benefits too, as the kids get the chance to discover the importance of working together with others through play, while cultivating feelings of caring and respect for others by positively evaluating their friends' work as well.
Hmmm . That means they're learning to respect each other and the environment while having fun too? Sounds good to me!