Written by Arun Sharma and published on 19 April 2021.
Nowadays, children hardly have the time or opportunity to appreciate the natural world. Are they becoming apathetic to the beauty and bounty of nature? This National Pollution Prevention Day, help your child fall in love with Nature.
While advances in technology have brought humankind immense benefits, it has also affected us in many adverse ways. One of them is our children becoming addicted to gadgets and confining themselves to their rooms instead of going out to play. While this habit is playing havoc with their mental and physical health, it is also preventing them from mingling with their surroundings and looking at the wonders of Nature. In fact, the crisis has become so alarming that in his book, Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv, who is an author and a journalist, coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder to draw attention to the disconnect between children and the environment.
However, this is not a trend that cannot be reversed. With these simple techniques, you can help your child discover his love for the outdoors and get close to nature.
Backyard exploration: Make your backyard the starting point from where to start the process of bonding with Nature. Encourage your child to explore his backyard and make a journal of all that he finds there. Observing the different types of shrubs, flowering plants, ants, beetles and crickets is sure to capture his interest and you will find him going out there often.
Plant a garden: Encourage your child to mark her own area in the backyard where she can plant a few saplings and take care of them. To evoke her interest, get her some gardening tools to help in her pursuit. Teach her how to water the plants and observe their growth.
Camp in your backyard: Nowadays, we see a lot of hawkers selling pop-up tents on the roadside. Buy one and unfold it in your backyard. Ask your child to gather all the stuff that he will need to camp out like nightclothes, bedding, books, emergency lamp, and so on. If you have trees in your backyard, you can also tie a hammock for your child to spend some time resting there every day.
Nature-themed family meal: Once in a while, remove all the processed foods from the dining table and have a nature-themed family meal. Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits and serve the preparations in wooden or clay bowls.
Go for a Nature walk: Take your child out for a walk to the park. If you have a wooded area nearby where you can go for a walk, take your child along. Let her touch the trees, observe the wildflowers or, sit on the rocks and fallen branches. Sit with her and watch the sunset or just lie down and gaze at the stars. Spending a few quiet moments with Nature strengthens the Nature-human bond.
Once you pull your child away from the gadgets and out of the house to spend some time outdoors, you will be surprised by how much she enjoys it. Not only will it have a positive effect on her health but also, make her an active participant in our collective efforts to save Nature.