In the last post, I mentioned why I find it important to instil a love for nature in my daughter. Here are little ways in which I do it.
- Nature walk: I prefer taking Anya to a nature trail anyday than to a mall. Fortunately for us, a couple of lakes are close by. At times, we go for a walk around the lake.We collect leaves and pods. Once home, we put them in a jar. Anya pries them open, looks at seeds and paints them. I like to see her playing with natural stuff. The touch and feel of different textures, observing shapes and colors must be leaving an impression on her.We also walk around in our apartment complex and I tell her names of different trees and bushes. She doesn't remember them all, but at least it's a start. She collects fallen flowers and leaves and never returns home without a little collectible these days.
- Bird and animal watching: Kaikondrahalli lake is a lovely place for bird watching. Many activities are also organised there. A few months back, we went for an animal and reptile census and saw a mongoose, eight toads and two newly hatched water snakes! She remembers these things vividly and narrates them later on. It's always better to learn about birds and animals in this manner than just from books. A visit to a zoo, aquarium, farm is also a perfect choice for kids.
- Climbing trees: There aren't many opportunities for tree climbing in an urban setting. The lake comes to our rescue here as well. Kids are natural at climbing. What better way to interact with nature than to perch atop a branch and feel like the queen of the world! Anya remembers this walk and gets excited when she is about to reach her throne.
- Weather game: I am planning to talk about weather to her everyday. Whether it's sunny, windy, rainy.... basically any excuse to discuss natural phenomena like where do clouds come from, where does the rain go? My brother lives in the US and we have told her that in evenings, we send the sun to him and he sends the moon to us! So she knows about time difference.
- Watching sunrise and sunset: I feel that sunrise and sunset are biggest natural shows on earth, screened once a day, free of cost! Just imagine, if they were not free events, how much would we have been ready to shell out to watch them.We take them for granted just because they occur everyday. My apartment has two balconies and one balcony is witness to a lovely sunrise and the other to a gorgeous sunset. I admit, we hardly watch sunrise, but sunsets are enjoyed more frequently.
Sunrise balcony- getting ready for the show, behind the coconut trees
Sunset balcony- a color splashed goodbye to a sunny day
- A vacation close to nature: At least once a year, I like to set off for a holiday close to nature - be it beaches, mountains or nature reserves. I haven't found any camping option with kids in India otherwise that's one of the best ways to bond with nature.
- Watching Discovery, Animal Planet and NatGeo: I am quite conservative when it comes to screen time. I would like to keep A away from iPad, TV and phone as much as possible. She does demand to watch a 'baby channel' everyday. Sometimes, I try to play Discovery, Animal Planet or National Geographic. She is very fascinated with animals and birds and even asks me not to switch channels when she is watching them. Hope this continues.
- Grow a little Gardener: I have a few pots in my Sunrise balcony. I let Anya dabble into gardening with me at times. When it is time to sow seeds, I involve her. Sometimes, she waters plants. It does get messy and I don't do it very regularly, but she has a concept and knows a few plants and their uses. For e.g. if she has a little scrape, she comes asking to apply aloe vera from the garden:)
These days, whenever Anya comes back from outdoors, she invariably carries a pod, pebble or leaf for me. It warms my heart no end. She seems to be on the right track and hopefully a nature lover is being nurtured in my home :)