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Raising Children Topics..

 
You are here : home > Raising Children > Entertaining Children > Nature and Your Child

Nature and Your Child


- Sonia Chopra

The world that our children come into at birth is a beautiful one. It is a world of natural wonders, a treasure-trove of simple pleasures which we should introduce our young children to. Spending quality time with our children in discovering the wonders of nature is important in the fast-paced life of today. 

Beauty is all around us - not just in the verdant greens on the outskirts of cities but also in the concrete jungles we live in. Nature is not just about sight… it is about sounds and smells too. 
 

Clouds

You need very little resources to truly appreciate nature. Look up, and you will see a magical array of clouds of varying types and sizes. Every cloud has a shape which fires the imagination… especially of young minds that have that special knack of finding fantasy in everything… a cloud may be shaped uncannily like a horse or a soft ball of cotton wool. How fascinating it is to see golden shafts of sunlight piercing through the grey clouds of the monsoon!

Be it wind rustling through the jungles, or flying through your hair as you travel in your car - nature is omnipresent. There is nothing like the feeling of gentle rain caressing the face as you look up towards the cloudy sky.
It is rather unfortunate that many parents deny these simple pleasures to their children. This happens either due to inconvenience or because it interferes with the child's bedtime. 
 

Technicalities don't matter

Another problem most parents face is their inability to identify things around them for their children. They may not be able to differentiate one flower from another or one bird from another. But, frankly, it's just not important. Open up the mind of your child to this unexplored world not for the sake of teaching him, but simply to have fun together on this journey of new revelations. Introducing young ones to nature does not necessarily mean explaining natural phenomenon to them with clockwork precision. What is important is to simply express joy at and exult in what you see.
Moreover, once the excitement of discovery and the ability to wonder is awakened, the quest for understanding the machinations of nature will also germinate in your child's mind. 
 

At the park

Exploit to the fullest the presence of a park or lawn in your neighbourhood. Encourage your little one to look at flowers and hear the low drone of the bumblebee. Show him the colourful butterflies flitting among them looking for nectar. Let him observe the birds on the trees and hear their musical tweet along with the soft chirps of little insects crawling amidst the grass. 
 

Plants

Another exercise your child can do is to plant a sapling in the backyard or in a pot of earth in the balcony. Let him personally look after the plant with a little supervision and then see with amazement how a tender sapling grows into a luxuriant plant.
 

Sunrise

One experience that a child is unlikely to forget is watching a sunrise. Wake him early one morning shortly before dawn breaks… and see the joy in his eyes as the still of the night is gently broken by the endearing chaos of chirping birds. Let him experience in this music the pulsating chorus of life itself. Draw his attention to the changing colours of the sky… from grey to soft lavender to pink to orange to a blushing red. Let him feel the fresh dew as he walks barefoot on the green grass. 
 

Fire his Imagination

Show him the little things which others would not see. Put an ice-cube under a magnifying glass and see the myriad cracks and translucent bubbles in its centre. Or point out to him the little rainbow formed by the sunrays in the static water of the roadside drain! Make him appreciate the aromas around him… the scent of the first drops of rain on a parched earth or the smell of freshly cooked rice…
Share with quiet enthusiasm moments of nature with your child. Let him absorb the beauty of nature and, maybe, in his small way, realise that there is a greater force that keeps everything in harmony. 
A child is better equipped to truly appreciate nature because his young mind is fresh and free of worry. He therefore has more time to contemplate and assimilate. This is rare in the case of adults who are caught up with their moribund everyday lives, in a web of boredom, cynicism and disillusionment. A child who has been exposed to nature can learn from it values of regeneration and resilience. He will retain a special vision which so many of us lose in adulthood. This vision will sustain him:

"These beauteous forms…
  …I have owed to them 

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
  … With tranquil restoration"

-- From Tintern Abbey
by William Wordsworth

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Martha Stewards.4 years ago
First impressions are lasting impressions. Even babes in arms, birth – 6 months old, will respond with interest to the wonders of their natural environment. The first year or two of a child’s life is a special time when the child looks to the parent for guidance in all areas of learning. Seize the moment to instill in your child an interest and a reverence for nature.
 
 
 
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Pasty Lews.4 years ago
When a child becomes excited by nature, he/she gains access to its inherent rewards – inspiration, entertainment, comfort and perspective. As our modern life becomes more complex and over-stimulating, an appreciation of our natural world offers the child a gift that will last a lifetime.
 
 
 
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Kentucky.4 years ago
Parents need to teach children in a simple but deliberate way how to understand and interact with the natural environment. If this curiosity is not stimulated, it gradually dulls as the many distractions of modern life fill the child’s interest.
 
 
 
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