5 Tips on the Importance of Nature in Kids’ Childhood Development
Nature can be fascinating, especially to a child. As parents, it is essential to teach kids the importance of nature and create an early interest in the natural world and develop a love for nature.
Love for nature helps children appreciate life and natural things. Still, nature also provides children with many benefits like better mental health, strong cognitive development and physical fitness.
A research study has shown that developing a love of nature in children also helps in the overall development of a child.
However, in an urbanised place like Singapore, parents may find it challenging to enlighten their children with the importance of nature.
The good news is Singapore has plenty of attractions that allow children to interact with nature. You will be surprised to know that there are many great opportunities for children to develop a love for nature.
Importance of Nature and Outdoor Learning
The National Parks Board has worked with schools and parents to provide fun and educational experiences for Singaporean children to develop children to love nature.
Teachers and parents can bring their children on immersive natural history adventures, from outdoor learning spaces like the Kebun Baru Climbing Trail to guided nature walk such as those at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
In addition, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has also promoted outdoor learning as part of its curriculum in schools to provide children with many opportunities to learn about importance of nature.
These opportunities help children understand the biodiversity of Singapore and learn how they can be a part of caring for their environment.
How to INSTILL THE IMPORTANCE OF NATURE in Children
You may not need to wait for schools to provide nature education. As parents, you can do your part!
Here are a few ways in which you can nurture children’s love of nature in Singapore:
Nature Walks at Attractions
Natural walks at local attractions are a great way to increase outdoor activity and help expend seemingly unlimited energy on children. It also provides them with an opportunity to interact with nature.
Parents don’t have to travel very far from their homes at all! Singapore has plenty of nature-filled attractions that families can visit regularly.
Many of these attractions are just a short drive away. You can bring your children to places like Singapore Botanic Gardens, Bird Park, Zoo, and Gardens by the Bay.
These attractions have been designed to help children learn about nature and develop a love for wildlife.
For example, the Zoo has an information board for every animal exhibit so that young visitors can learn about the animals. Singapore Botanic Gardens offers children’s workshops and guided tours to help children learn about nature.
All these activities allow your children to learn something new about nature and wildlife.
Walk at the Nearby Gardens
Take your child on a nature walk around the neighborhood, where they can study the various species of trees that surround them! This outdoor exploration will allow you to observe their outdoor interest and develop life skills such as observation and research ability.
Parents can also incorporate outdoor games into their walks in the gardens. The games could be anything from outdoor treasure hunts at the playground, obstacle courses in outdoor learning centers, or even outdoor “hide-and-seek” sessions at void decks!
Outdoor Activities in the Parks
Besides gardens, there are many parks in Singapore that allow your child to connect with nature.
Trips to the various parks can allow your children to learn about nature and exercise their physical and mental capabilities.
Activities like camping, for example, allow children to experience outdoor living without traveling too far from Singapore, with three sites available for booking.
Camping with family gives children an opportunity to learn about outdoor safety and survival skills, helping them become responsible outdoor citizens.
It will also give them a chance to experience outdoor cooking and sleeping in outdoor living spaces, which may help develop outdoor love among children.
Reservoirs and beaches are also great places for family outings if camping sounds daunting for some parents. Most of them come with running and cycling tracks, so it’s still a great outdoor experience for children.
Create Small Natural Environment at Home
Most Singaporeans live in HDB flats, and creating a natural environment at home can be a challenge.
However, you can creatively bring in elements of nature to your home by having peg flower pots, glass jars, or mini gardens on your living room or balcony. These small green spaces can help to increase the natural environment of your home.
If you have the space for it, consider creating a vertical garden in your home. Vertical gardens can help create a greener space, and they are relatively easy to maintain.
You can also incorporate orchids, succulents, or air plants into your vertical garden, as these plants require a minimum amount of care.
It’s not that hard to bring in the natural environment to your home. Even a pot of herbs or a small bean sprout garden can contribute to more green spots for your child.
Every small activity at home can make a huge difference in cultivating a love of nature among our children.
Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet can be an eye-opening experience for some children who may not have had much exposure to outdoor activities at home.
A pet can be a dog, a cat, a hamster, a turtle, or even a small aquarium.
Having a pet at home helps to teach children about responsibility and how to look after other living beings. By being responsible for another being’s needs, children will understand the value of life and teach them to appreciate nature even more.
Having a pet will also encourage children to explore Singapore’s diverse wildlife instead of just staying indoors!
Regarding pets, it brings us one crucial point about keeping pets: Pets are for life! As parents, do consider the responsibilities before getting a pet for children.
Bringing Digital World to the Nature
Children today grow up in a digital world, and it seems like there is no way to detach digital devices from their lives. We can, however, creatively incorporate these digital devices when going outdoor to learn about the natural world.
For example, children can learn to use outdoor tech like GPS (e.g., Google Maps). Show them how to navigate themselves to the location that they want. Teach them how to use transport apps to bring themselves from home to the parks.
These digital apps can help children to understand Singapore’s biodiversity and landmarks at a touch of a button.
As you can see, there are many ways to bring love for nature to your children. All you need is to be creative and take every opportunity to get your child outdoors and learn about the natural world! It’s never too late to teach your children about nature and the importance of living in harmony with our environment.
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