Advancement in science and technology has also seen the disadvantages: Deforestation, burning fossil fuels, emission of industrial wastes, mining, oil spillage are some major causes of man-made disasters. We ruin Mother Earth for food, shelter, and comfort, etc. When will this stop?
“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago – had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.”
– Havelock Ellis
We are not able to breathe fresh air or consume organic foods that our great-grandparents used to relish. However, we can ensure that our children don’t continue the inevitable path of man-made destruction.
Here are few tips to bring your child closer to nature through evoking the sense of social responsibility:
Dedicate some time for exploring nature
Even in a crowded metropolitan city, there will be oases – a pond, park or a beach. Avoid the distractions of the internet and simply relax. Encourage your child to absorb every moment in the silence. The waves, shapes of clouds, birds chirping, sea shells on the shore or birds and squirrels in the park. You and your little one will surely appreciate the experience.
Build a Nature Collage
If your child has the hobby of collecting stamps or coins, then this one is for him. Ask children to collect leaves, twigs, flowers, and more from each trip and visit you make to a beautiful place. He can later put them together in a nature journal or scrapbook. Recollecting the memories from the journal will fill him with excitement as he grows older.
Tend to Kitchen Garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden at home, then get set for a wonderful family bonding activity. Ask him to take care of your kitchen garden. Let him maintain each plant himself – protecting it from insects and birds, pruning dead or infected twigs, watering, etc. but make sure you are there when he needs help.
Start a Home Garden
If you don’t have a garden, then start a small garden today! Find a space to develop the garden – a rooftop, balcony or even the space near the windows will allow you to grow a few plants. Take your child to a nearby plant nursery and ask him to choose seedlings for the garden. Help him pick the right ones that will fit your space and are suitable for the climate. Teach him to transfer the seedling into the pots and how many times it has to be watered. Let him observe the growth of the plants and nurture them. This entire process will teach your child to be patient, caring, responsible and also create a sweet bonding with nature.
Take him to an organic grocery shop
Picture courtesy: Blossom Chutti Playschool, Chennai.
Take your child for grocery shopping. Point out a fruit or vegetable that he has not seen before. You can then answer his questions about them. This gives him an opportunity to see and learn about a wider variety of foods. You can also discuss about various healthy foods, differences beteen where they grow and how they are packed and transported, etc.
Many foods, animals and even trees are slowly becoming extinct due to callous human behaviour. By giving your child proper environmental education, you can build their interest in environmental and community services. This also expands their knowledge and makes them responsible about conserving our resources.
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