Nature and Your Child
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
"These beauteous forms…
In hours of weariness,
-- From Tintern Abbey
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