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We all have seen that nature has it's own course of teaching. Nature is abundant in sight, smell, shapes and voices that are enough to invoke our senses and pave way for first hand learning. However, it is sad to see how less we as parents make use of this precious resource. When I say nature, I mean the flora and fauna around us. How many of you can identify the names of the common trees or can enlist more than 20 local birds. Just think about it!!!! Should we not know about it and should we not make an effort to help our kids connect with nature at a deeper level. Though there could ba many ways but here I am giving 5 important suggestions on how to inculcate an early and long- lasting love for nature in your child.
Tip 1: From an early age, take them to the park or botanical garden or green ridge areas near your area which offer good sight of different flora and fauna. Here, let them explore. Be with them and keep a vigil but let them explore on their win. See what catches their attention. You can prior hand give them a small bag to pick u the articles that they wish to collect. Be it stones, feathers, dried leaves, grass blades, let them choose on their own. Don't give too many facts about birds, animals, plants or trees unless it's something that's a great learning point and you can't let it slip by. Like once, I was so intrigued by a wasp nest that I called the attention of my son to observe it. Let them soak in the atmosphere. Be quiet for sometime and listen to the different voices. You can then talk about it. These experience may sound simplistic but can lead to a unending curiosity in your child about nature and it's wonders.
Tip 2: If possible, have few plants at home. Fruit and vegetable bearing plants give particular thrill to the children. Search for some veggies that can grow well with less maintenance (as you might be doing it for the first time!!!). Grow it with your child and not only your child but you as well will be completely thrilled when you would see the plant growing. and voila!!! A day will come when you will have your harvest....
Tip 3: When you for family holidays, choose different locales in terms of geographical variations. Let them explore the mountains, the beaches, the riversides, the desserts, small streams and see how the flora and fauna changes from one lace to the other. You can maintain a small book of your observations and gatherings. Use photographs to brighten up your book. You can even consider buying a low cost camera for your young kid!!
Tip 4: Visit a veterinary hospital with your kid (suitable for a little grown up kid). Let them see what are the animals there for, who brings them, how people help the animals in need. This will increase their sensitivity towards animals. Do talk about practices that harm animals around us. Like the recent 'manja' ban was enforced to minimise the injuries caused to birds due to kite flying. Do set an example for your kid by extending genuine help for stray animals in need. It could be as small as calling an animal ambulance for an injured animal or taking an injured bird to a bird hospital. More than your numerous lectures, they will remember your one act of kindness!!!
Tip 5: The things that children collect from nature, make sure you make good use of it. Depending upon the age of the child, do craft activities with the kid with the feathers, seeds, stones that you have collected. You can make use of stones and seeds to enhance number skills of your child. You can work on their verbal expressions by encouraging your children to talk about the objects they have collected.