Do you remember when you were little, your parents used to take you to your grandparent’s place, usually a quaint little village, untouched by technology. You could run on the “roads”, wander around in the fields and even bathe in the river or lake, if you were lucky!
With the development of technology reaching out and touching almost all aspects of our lives, we find it difficult to find communion with nature. More so, our kids, who are nowadays so much into gadgets and stuff that they actually don’t know what it is like to walk barefooted on grass, or smell flowers. Hell, some even haven’t looked at a real butterfly!
With rapid industrialization and concrete forests taking over the real ones, you can hardly expect children of this generation to be in touch with nature as you were. Pollution is yet another deterrent when it comes to allowing kids to play unabandoned. Where can you find clean, pure air for them to breathe among the exhaust fumes of vehicles and fine layer of cement lying everywhere and covering everything?
But you know what? You can still bring them close to nature and expose them to this pristine world. Believe us, they will love it. There are very special benefits of exposing your children to nature. Let us list out some of them here.
Develop observation skills
Everything children learn are basically out of a textbook. How a river runs, how trees grow, how a particular animal looks – everything. Putting them in the lap of nature teaches them how things work. They come in contact with actual trees, insects and geographical aspects. They can actually see snowcapped mountains. And everything goes in their memory, from where they can retrieve it when they want. It is a life skill, seeing all these things and learning how they work.
A generation too impatient, you think? Of course they are! What do you expect? They have technology at their fingertips. They can access information at a single click of a button. Who has to wait? But a seedling isn’t going to grow into a tree in seconds. It takes time and lots and lots of patience. Let them watch a plant grow, a caterpillar cocoon itself to emerge as a butterfly. They will develop the quality of patience automatically.
Develop problem-solving abilities
Not everywhere you go are you going to be equipped with GPS. Sometimes, you do get lost in places where there is no human civilization either. These times are useful for your kids to learn about problem-solving. Looking for landmarks (the weirdly shaped tree or the fast running river), directions (the sun is rising or setting), getting around difficult situations (no matchbox, how to light a fire?) or simply setting up a campsite for the night, they learn to look around and assess the situation without resorting to cellphones.
Children always look to us for inspiring confidence. A simple hug after a well done job is enough to boost their confidence. Nature can do her part too. Small walks and climbs, or even a trip to the beach can be a huge confidence booster for your children. Remember, they are small. For you, a walk in the woods may be ordinary, but for them, it is a new test of strength and perseverance.
We are a small part of nature. Many, many more parts come together and make up what we know as the Earth. We usually do not think of these in our daily lives, but a trip close to nature can surely make your children appreciate how much it takes to preserve the equilibrium of the world. It will teach them to be kinder to all the living beings and inanimate aspects that come together to complete us.
This vacation, take them out somewhere different. Plan a camp or a safari or even a trek up the nearest hillock. Even if they are terrified of insects. Even if you are. You will find a transformation like no other in yourself and your children when you are back.
Share your stories with us! We would love to know what your kids did when they came on close contact with Mother Nature.