Getting back in touch with nature is the need of the hour. The knowledge of how important establishing a connection with Mother Nature is, is slowly dwindling. The connection with nature plays a crucial role in overall well-being and development. With busy schedules, and limited time to spend with their children, we understand that it may be hard for parents to help their little ones establish a connection with nature. Here are a few ways in which you can get started!
Getting in touch with nature doesn’t necessarily require a long drive out of the city (if you’re feeling adventurous though, go for it!) Otherwise, start closer to home. Maybe you have a home-garden where you could get you little ones to spend a little time every day watering the plants or just looking at them. If there is no garden at home, take your little ones to your neighbourhood park. The variety of flora and fauna right there will amaze you and your children!
Wherever you chose to go – forest or park – carry a magnifying glass and really zoom in to all of nature’s bounty. You and your toddlers can take turns at looking through the magnifying glass. The amount of detail you will be able to see is as breath-taking as it gets! If your toddlers are old enough to write or draw, have them create a nature journal and note down all the fine details like the hair on leaves, intricate details of plants and flowers, the textures of various bugs, and the details of stones and shells. This not only helps them establish a connection with their surroundings, but will also help their attention to detail improve.
Sometimes, all that is required is a mat, some water and your time. Teach your little ones to sit still in nature and observe the various sounds, sights, smells an feelings around them. 10 minutes of calm breathing while surrounded by nature is very rejuvenating and will do wonders for your little ones.
Toddlers need to constantly be on the move and follow whatever it is that peaks their curiosity. So how about use that curiosity and send them on a nature treasure hunt around your own garden, or in the closest park? Accompany them as they dig up various treasures that you have buried in the ground. Use newspaper clippings (or pictures you have taken) to help them identify the various spots you have hidden the treasure. This will not just be a fun activity for your children, but is also a fun way to help them notice their surroundings in a new way.
All the artistically inclined children (and parents!) will love this one. Go around your local park or garden with your little ones and collect various materials from nature – dry leaves, fallen leaves, mud. Use these materials to create amazing art!
You will need some sand, leaves of different shapes, glue, paint, small flowers (remember to take only what you find fallen – never pluck leaves or flowers!) and a sheet of paper.
Voila, your masterpiece is ready!
Remember, it is important that your little ones enjoy the activities been done. This will motivate them to go out and explore more, even as they grow up. So the main thing to keep in mind is having fun and lots of it!
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.