When we were Kids, we used to run behind butterflies, catch fireflies, dig a hole to find Dwarfs, play with stray puppies, get dirty while playing with mud, lie under the stars for hours.
It came naturally to us as we did not have access to Screens and Entertainment meant to be Outdoors.
But now when the whole definition of Entertainment is transformed, getting Kids Outdoors has become an art every Parent need to learn.
Outdoors are the place where Kids can explore and experiment. Outdoors are the place where Kids feel free. Outdoors are the place where Kids learn, much more than we try to teach them.
Kids today are devoid of this luxury and us as Parents devoid them this privilege. The reason may be any- Lack of time, Insecurity or Our own comfort. We are not letting them getting dirty and enveloping their childhood in a bubble wrap.
The American writer Richard Louv, author of the bestseller Last Child in the Woods, has defined this as “nature deficit disorder“.
Free and unstructured play time is something Kids today do not get.
Set the time
Weekdays or Weekends- You need to be with them for helping them engage. Don’t worry about cooking or other chores. Just be with them.
Weekends are the only days where we can spend quality time with Kids and I prefer Parks over Malls.
Parks are the perfect place to let them be Kids.
Tip– Try not to attend to your phone to give them undivided attention.
Nature Activities for Kids:
For developing their love for Nature, we need to model it first.
We need to take them out to explore. We need to develop their curiosity by being curious ourselves.
Show the curiosity while listening to Birds chirping, ask them to identify the bird.
Let them observe insects and other creatures. Help them relate it to what they read in their textbooks.
Nature is a perfect tool to teach them the varied hues of Life.
Nature walks are must for a child of every age. Even an Infant enjoys it.
You don’t need to go to woods or nature parks. Just sit along a tree or a pond or amidst greens, observe the nature.
Let Kids observe swaying trees, blooming flowers, hues of leaves, ladybugs, birds, squirrels, slow insects and other creatures.
We also take a magnifying glass along so that he can zoom in on his favorite object without touching or holding them.
Whenever we are out for a walk, I let him gather sticks, stones, feathers, pebbles and his other favorite hunt.
It not only gives him happiness but piques his creative skills. I love to see him make bridges, tunnels, tracks, and buildings out of them.
I observe him weaving stories out of them.
Note: Forget the germs and have fun.
Sensory activities help them identify, differentiate and supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction.
Touching and feeling various textures, Walking bare on grass, sink and float experiment, size comparison are some of the sensory activities.
We take him to Acupressure garden where he loves walking on various kind of stone paths. He always enjoys it and it helps him differentiate the stones based on its size, texture, and shape.
This is something Kids enjoy as it involves getting their hands dirty and Kids love Messy play.
Plant the saplings together and watch them grow.
This helps them observe the nature more closely. Moreover, it can help them understand the importance of growing our own food.
Kids can start enjoying cycling from the age of 2-3.
Cycling is the perfect exercise for their strengthening their leg muscles.
Keep it easy and never push too much. If daily does not work keep it weekly. Also, do not expect them to start cycling independently too early.
My Toddler has shown the resistance earlier but when I started taking him frequently, he started loving it. Though he is still a slow mover, speed does not matter but their learning spirit does.
Also, read- Cycling has taken a backseat in India
Make a Bird Feeder
Help them understand why we need bird feeders.
Engage them in placing bird feeders- one for water and one for food.
Together, you can watch the birds flock to your feeding station. It imbibes a feeling of kindness and compassion.
The whole aim of these activities is unstructured and undirected play time. Let them lead and follow their steps.
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HOW DO YOU BRING YOUR KIDS CLOSE TO NATURE? Share your favorite nature activities for kids.
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