It was after a while I was in my Nature Zone, My resort in Munnar, Kerala. Some how I felt the resort was more green and vibrant than ever before, may be because I was there after a gap of 6 months. Though I was eager to have a look at the newly installed Luxury African Safari Tents, I couldn’t stop myself from taking my favorite nature walk through the wood inside Nature Zone.
While I was walking alone on the mud path, which I always love, I could hear the birds chirping and the stream flowing with more vigor. I thought I should have taken my children along. In fact in the present day life children miss all these. They only see the concrete jungles and computer games. I decided to inspire my children to come along with me to Nature Zone to experience pure nature.
I am jotting down some of the benefits I see in taking your child for a nature walk, whenever and wherever possible.
1. Nature walks will teach your child to watch everything around him. These outings will greatly increase his observational skills and his outdoor life skills. It is the best learning for the child. You see, it is one thing to teach the life cycle of a frog and quite another to find egg masses and tadpoles in a nearby pond! This is life! This is the making of memories! This is real learning, not book learning!
2. Take your children out often, and they will find that one thing in nature always leads to another. If they are interested in a frog they see one day, the next day they will wonder and want to find out about the crickets and worms that the frogs eat. Then they may get interested in the condition of the pond water, and so it goes. This is experience-directed learning that is so exciting to your children.
3. Special intimacy that comes from adventuring and making discoveries together—is another benefit of a good nature walk. The times of quiet togetherness and the times of deep conversations along the way are special features of nature outings. It is as if the Lord has provided a miraculous setting for you to “be” with your children.
4. At certain times when viewing nature, some quietness, solitude, and patience are necessary. Of course a small child doesn’t understand this at first, and the lessons that a parent uses to teach a little one to walk more quietly, sit for a bit, and watch what is around him must be gentle and full of patience. If you model (especially fun when acted out over-dramatically) walking softly and being as quiet as possible for part of your walks, your child will begin to see that it is often in times of quietness that the greatest marvels are seen.
5. As your child grows in his awareness of the magnificence of creation, he will grow to love it. What he grows to love, he will want to take care of. Nature walks will encourage the child to protect and preserve the nature.
6. Taking time to walk outdoors will create a lifetime appreciation for what the Lord has made, and that deep love of nature will become a rich field for worship. Every leaf, each bug, every cell under a microscope is a marvel worthy of all our praise. If we display a heart of praise and worship for such a magnificent Creator, then wonder and worship will come to our children as well.
Hence I strongly recommend you to take your child out for a nature walk whenever possible, because she is the best teacher. After all, its Christmas time – the season of joy and holidays! Wishing you all a merry Christmas.