Keeping kids connected to nature during the pandemic
The new normal in the COVID times goes beyond hygiene and social distancing protocols. With home-schooling as the new norm, kids may not be able to explore and experiment while being cooped up indoors. Since being with nature is one of the best stress-busters, we have listed five ways you can integrate nature study while home-schooling your kid:
- Provide the right tools: Guidebooks, compass, magnifying glasses etc are a few tools that you can provide for kids to experiment and explore. These materials provide robust background knowledge and framework that can boost your kids' confidence to explore and study nature further.
- Backyard activities: You can integrate the traditional curriculum with outdoor activities. A simple exercise of walking and talking in a tranquil garden builds empathy and communication skills. For example, give your kid a point each for every trash item she/he cleans up from the backyard. Let your kid encash these points for some goodies. A simple activity like that can teach responsibility, cleanliness, maths, and finance!
- Bring nature indoors: Your kid can study the metamorphosis of a caterpillar in a jar, into a butterfly. You can bring botany to life with indoor plants. If you can’t go birdwatching, then keep a small bird feeder home. Also, nature has always been a part of our daily essentials. The clothes we wear, the furniture we use, the food we cook, and more come from nature. Take home-schooling as an opportunity to teach your kid the importance of sustainable living.
- Fun with learning: Learning can happen anytime, anywhere. Tickle your child’s creativity with art and craft. For example, you can make natural colors from vegetables and flowers and use these to color tshirts etc.
- Journals: Encourage your child to concretize their learning by making journal entries. Let the writing be free-flowing and imaginative. You can also help the child create action points to preserve nature in small ways.
Let the kid contribute with ideas for activities to make home-schooling by studying nature a two-way street.