It is natural for parents and the kids to think about the hassle of taking kids outdoor. Parents are concerned about the safety, climate, pollution and even if these things are conducive for an outdoor activity, City life doesn’t allow our kids to interact with nature. Going for treks or campaigning are great activities but it needs a lot of preparation and it kills the enthusiasm of parents. But there are many ways in which we can get kids close to nature.
The general perception about being close to nature is going into the jungles. But thats not the only way, and we can start with baby steps. We can start with
Observing Nature: Not only kids but we even adults these days are so unaware of their surroundings. Sound of the AC, chirping of the birds, insect sounds, changes in the surroundings go unnoticed because kids are so engrossed in screen time.no naturally, we don’t care about it enough. The power of observation in this generation is getting blunt especially with respect to nature. Just observing the sounds of birds, their behavior, sounds of insects like fire fly, bumble bee, creatures worms, snails coming out of their home after the rains, or the muddy puddles could be the first few you can get kids to notice and explain.
Another activity for bed time could be observing the changing shape of the moon and spotting some stars in the sky before sleep can also excite children.
Using gadgets: Using gadgets need not mean only using mobile phones, games, I pads and laptops, gadgets like – Magnifying glass, telescope, set of binoculars or even camera to the children and they will excite them equally or rather more.
There are many interesting apps like Google Lens, Sky Maps or even Google Home. Using these apps, satisfy their curiosity and learn something new. Google Home has a fun feature – ‘Animal Of The Day’.
Getting wet in the Rains: Although it sounds simple, there is a huge difference when you are at home watching the rain from the window than actually getting wet in it. Parents may be worried about the kids falling sick, for that the first few times, you can actually get them to wear raincoats and venture out. That excites them too.
Choosing an outdoor location: While we plan for family eat outs brunches and lunches, choose a location on the country side rather than in a mall so that you get to take a short trek/ stroll or walk around and enjoy your meals.
Plan a picnic: Planning a picnic may seem like a hassle, packing clothes, food, mat etc. but it still is a good bet as it has more than one plus point. The obvious is that kids spend time w=interact with nature – Trees, plants, insects, their homes, climate, but it’s a great family bonding activity and also a guilt free escape for parents to get some me time by engaging kids in activities like treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, digging tunnels in the ground. For slightly older kids – you may get them to build a nest with the sticks and leaves, it is so challenging that we adults also can’t do it at times.
Of course, once you are comfortable to can graduate to Kite flying, barbeque cooking, cycling trekking and so much more…
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