Human beings are becoming more and more conscious of the importance of nature in their lives, with every passing day. We might be at a point in history where our survival depends on this environment consciousness. Time spent in nature is as much a human need as food. We might be, in fact, hardwired to be connected to nature.
In the process of losing our connection to the habitat that human beings evolved in, younger generations were deprived of their exposure to nature. The ways in which this affects children are only being uncovered now.
What does it mean to connect with nature?
A connection with nature means that one understands how interlinked we are to every aspect of nature. It is a deep understanding of the fact that any actions that lead to adverse effects on our natural environment can affect us too. In order to sustain ourselves, we need to nurture this connection and honour it.
Many obligations & barriers may get in our way of connecting with nature. This would include loss of open spaces, increasing traffic, population rise, concrete jungles and more. Creating opportunities, both small and big, on a day to day basis, can fix our chronic nature deficiency.
How to help children connect with nature:
- The first and foremost step would be to take them out to spend time with nature as often as possible. This could range from an outdoor nature camp to a simple observation of a potted plant or pet animal. Encourage them to be quiet and observe without interfering.
- Help them safely interact with plants, insects and animals under supervision. Take all the necessary precautions. Encourage questions & exploration.
- Encourage and help them to grow their own plants, preferably food crops.
- Explore natural objects like rocks, shells, leaves, insects, seeds, vegetables, flowers etc. with them.
- Connecting with nature helps improve social, psychological, academic & physical health.
- Children can cultivate an appreciation for the beauty, calmness, complexity and power of nature.
- They can understand the impact of their actions on their surroundings and how their surroundings affect them.
- It will encourage them to be less wasteful of resources and more thoughtful when it comes to spending them.
- It helps in cultivating curiosity, imagination and peace of mind. It shows them how be respectful of all creatures and plants, no matter how insignificant.
- Reduced exposure to artificial lighting enhances health.
- Playing in open areas encourages coordination, cooperation and improves physical health.
- Outdoor camps promote development of discipline, social skills and self care.
To know about Trio World Academy’s extracurricular activities like Wildlife club and Gardening, click here.