It’s possible I wasn’t strictly a child when I first saw Pokémon on TV but I fell in love with the cartoon instantly.
I became hooked because, being the wildlife nut I am, I could imagine myself as the main character, Ash.
That amazing bond between Ash and Pikachu was the draw card. I wanted to connect with creatures, watch them evolve and, as an unbreakable team, defeat my opponents.
But why on earth am I writing about this TV program?
Pokémon was a hit with children all over the world. They fell in love with the out-of-this-world creatures and their connections with humans. There’s just one problem.
Children know more about Pokémon creatures than our real wildlife species.
Conservationist, Andrew Balmford has conducted a study on just that.
‘It appears that conservationists are doing less well than the creators of Pokémon at inspiring interest in their subjects: During their primary school years, children apparently learn far more about Pokémon than about their native wildlife and enter secondary school being able to name less than 50% of common wildlife types.’ (Why Conservationists Should Heed Pokemon, Science. 2002 Mar 29;295(5564):2367.)
The Educational Pokemon Game
The creators of Phylo have taken this information and are trying to increase awareness of our own wildlife species by mimicking the popular Pokémon trading game.
Phylo(mon) makes use of biodiversity and real-life wildlife species to help children learn the common wildlife types.
‘Young children clearly have tremendous capacity for learning about creatures (whether natural or man-made), being able to at age 8 to identify nearly 80% of a sample drawn from 150 synthetic animals.’
Isn’t this a fantastic idea?! What a great resource that will have children thoroughly engaged in our wildlife species and the environment around them. Now we just have to get Phylo out there.
Share it with parents who have children that are trading game enthusiasts, schools and with children themselves.
At this stage there aren’t many Australian animals but I’m hoping Phylo will develop cards for each country. If not, why can’t we make our own? Click here to visit their site.
Phylo if you need an extra volunteer, I’m up for it.
If you and your children are openly (or secretly) Pokemon mad. Unplug and get a little hands-on with these Pokemon nature crafts. You gotta make ’em all!