Kishwar Mirza published a book that stands as a collection of stories centering about being a child. In this children’s book of short stories and poems, one of these matters she tries to get across is the beauty of nature and how children should celebrate it.
However, children nowadays are getting more distanced from nature as their focus and interest are now veered toward technology. Back then, children would prefer playing outside, throwing tantrums when they weren’t allowed to go out. But children now much rather stay inside to play or watch through their gadgets. People have now started living in cities, where there are more buildings than trees and cement than soil. Nowadays, when children mention they want to play, it’s commonly limited to online games or perhaps running around their yards. But, this isn’t enough to truly get in touch with nature. Here are a few activities children can do to bring them closer to the warmth and peace of nature.
Go Birding or Birdwatching
Birdwatching is one of the fascinating nature-related activities one can experience. Birdwatching doesn’t only let children observe birds; their colors, behavior, and the sounds they make; this also allows them to look at everything in between the skies and the ground. While birdwatching, parents can teach children about the different names of the birds they see anywhere, whether at the park or in their yard.
Additionally, birdwatching can be a fun source of competition. Children with their parents or other children can compete on who guesses the name or the particular sounds each bird makes first as they appear before them.
Collect Nature’s Samples
While walking in the park, encourage children to pick up pine cones, leaves, and acorns. If living near a beach, they can look for beautiful rocks and shells. Afterward, they can take all of these home and keep them somewhere they can display or use them to decorate jars, mugs, or even their diaries – anything that will help them remember the experience and see nature every day. By creating something out of all these things, children realize that nature has use and can be beautiful.
Produce Art by Observing Nature
If children still find it difficult to leave their gadgets and fully enjoy nature, they may take some creative shots with nature as their muse. Or, if they enjoy drawing, they can also use their gadgets to draw nature. By combining technology and nature, children can be persuaded to closely observe nature more and avoid the chances of disliking nature further – thinking that it’s why their internet time has been cut down.
Give Them Plants
Parents can either buy their child a flowerpot or give them their own space in the garden, where they can independently take care of a plant. Children can pick whatever plant they want to grow while their parents teach them how to take care of them.
Parents can incorporate games into this activity to make things fun for children to appreciate more. For instance, they can ask their children to pick a seed without telling them what kind it is. This can cultivate a sense of anticipation in them, encouraging them to put more effort into growing the seed, so they get to know what grows from it. The slow process of growing plants can also be fascinating for children, especially at the first sprout. Parents need to watch out for that and make their children cherish that moment.
Children seem to have an innate desire to get dirt on them, whether with their food or scattering their things. Children may be firm believers of the quote “there’s beauty in chaos.” Children should be allowed and even encouraged to get dirty and dig. They can use their hands or a toy shovel to get through the dirt. Parents can also turn this activity into a game by hiding treasures around a patch of land for them to explore and find.
Enjoying nature doesn’t have to be all dirt. Another activity children can do is pick fruits right off their trees or branches, but in doing so, parents should also closely observe what they’re choosing. While nature is beautiful, some aspects of it can also be harmful.
After picking fruits, children can join their parents in the kitchen and assist in turning these fruits into food by baking or turning them into jam. Children’s interest in nature will definitely grow if parents associate nature with something they can benefit from and enjoy. Parents can also get their children engaged in fruit carving in line with fruit picking. Ever notice how children get thrilled during Halloween when they’re allowed to carve pumpkins? Fruit carving can give them the chance to have creative freedom.
Be with Nature
Ultimately, the best way to get closer to nature is by spending more time with it. Encourage children to play outside more. Go to the beach more often. Or they can also go hiking or camping as a family. If they live somewhere highly urbanized, parents can bring their children to the closest park or the nearest and safest hiking trail. Children must grow close to nature as it provides countless opportunities for them. Nature can affect their growth, creativity, and discovery. Additionally, slowly interacting with nature allows children to learn naturally through observation.