The world is changing fast and now more than ever, kids have to be taught to get closer to nature and fall in love with it. Unfortunately, because of too many distractions like spending too much time with gadgets, children are spending less and less time outdoors.
Exposing your children to the natural beauty of the world fosters their appreciation for life, allows them to de-stress, and turns them into advocates of responsible living. The closer they get to nature, the more involved they will be in the world around them when they grow up.
But how exactly can you do it? Here are some ways to turn children into nature lovers.
#1 Spend time at the park
Spending time in nature does not only mean travelling to the deep forest. It can be as simple as visiting the nearest park and just sitting there, with nothing but the desire to reconnect with the world. Singapore has a lot of parks you can visit with your child: from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Singapore Botanic Gardens to Bukit Batok Nature Park, an abandoned quarry turned into lush greenery.
#2 Join workshops and events
To properly equip your child with know-hows on gardening, you can sign up for gardening workshops during weekends. The Art Ground, for example, hosts The Good Garden, a children’s urban food garden initiative that cultivates food, artistic expressions, collaboration, communities, diversity, and earth care all in one. You can also check out events that will educate and teach them about taking care of Mother Nature such as Earth Day Special: Sara Goes Carbon Footprinting (A Guided Tour), where they will discover what carbon footprint is and ways to make a difference on planet Earth.
#3 Visit animals in the zoo
Let your child appreciate the animal kingdom more by visiting zoos or animal shelters instead of just watching them on the TV screen. Singapore Zoo offers a wide array of activities you can choose from: from visiting Fragile Forest, a tropical rainforest habitat where children can encounter its feathered inhabitants, to going on different tours and exhibits featuring different animals.
#4 Embrace nature at your own home
Cultivating your child’s connection to nature does not have to be done outside your home all the time. If your space allows, you can grow your own garden and teach your child how to take care of her own plants. You can also decorate your home with nature-themed items. Advocating for nature can also include committing to use only eco-friendly home items and products from companies like The First Green Store and The Sustainability Project.
#5 Educate them about the importance of nature
While exposing your children to nature helps foster their appreciation for it, educating them about its role in their lives enables them to take more concrete actions towards protecting the planet. Aside from giving them books like 101 Small Ways to Change the World or encouraging them to watch documentaries like Our Planet on Netflix, you can also let them experience nature through technology. This may be through ArtScience Museum’s Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure, which transforms the museum into a virtual rainforest and can be explored using a smartphone, or Science Centre Singapore’s Climate Change Climate Challenge, which teaches kids the science behind climate change, one of the world’s biggest challenges today.