By Niyati Mehta
Exploring the outdoors may be fun for kids, but for years now the benefits of bonding with Mother Nature are known to parents across the world. It promises health benefits to your little ones, strengthening their motor skills, harnessing their creativity and polishing their social skills over time.Contact with nature is more essential today when children are spending nearly 8 hours a day using entertainment media and only 6 percent of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own! (as per data by Project Learning Tree – www.plt.org).
A CNN report in 2017 also stated that American children under the age of 9 spent 2 hours on their screens each day!
Here are a few easy-to-follow nudge ideas to help you nurture little nature lovers in your
Bring Nature Home
Toddlers and younger kids often love collecting little bits of nature and bringing them home – be it pebbles, fallen leaves, twigs, flower petals or rare rocks. Encourage this practice and their innate curiosity towards the natural wonders that surround them
Tip – Help your little one start a collection of different seashells or pebbles. It’s a great way to create excitement about exploring the outdoors from a young age.
Bond with Trees
My husband and I had our children name all the trees and plants in our backyard. They called the trees, not by their common names, but human names such as Bob, Jamie or Susie. This little exercise is a great way to help your child think of all life forms as part of a large family that inhabits the Earth.
NFK Nudge Tip –Encourage your child to speak with trees and plants as this will polish their social skills and strengthen their self-confidence.
Pot a Plant
This is a simple yet great home project to teach your little ones some responsibility and kindness, Help your child choose a pretty pot for the plant, decorate it with stickers and even encourage them to water the plant daily. These small acts of benevolence will teach your little ones the importance of being in charge and the duties that come with it.