Aap Aur Hum
SANTA MARIA INTEGRATED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
4- Green Avenue Lane, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
AAP AUR HUM
OUR QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
January - March 2020
Nature is a Part of the Young Child’s World
Five- year- old Shahid was fascinated by the procession of ants passing through the corridor. He stood there and watched them going in a line. He followed them. He was curious to find out where they were going.
Swati is delighted to see how a pigeon is feeding her little ones and teaching them to fly. She observed them growing from being little ones into full-grown pigeons. If she learns to observe and admire this, she will have learned one of the greatest of all lessons in nature. This is a part of life that is common for all living creatures.
Kabir has always shown interest looking at the sky and finding out different constellation of stars and their position. This nine-year-old boy reads to find out the details of movements and positions of stars.
While there is no end to what can be learned about nature, the process starts with learning to look and observe. Children feel close to birds, animals and flowers for they themselves feel a part of nature. In fact, these are the lessons that children find easier to learn. As you pay more attention to the nature that lies around you, you will find that your own understanding steadily increases, helping you to share the world of nature that your child feels for. Once you start showing the living world to your child, you will be surprised to see how much of it is a part of your own everyday experience.
We all want for our children a world filled with beauty and wonder and delight. This wonder and delight exists all around us. It lies in nature. Children are born curious and are interested in understanding the world that they live in. We need to guide their enquiring minds about the beautiful world of nature. We must remember that one question leads to another, and finding the answers is a game without an end.
How do we help them develop an interest in nature?
Children love playing with water and sand. Give them an opportunity to do this. This not only helps them to be in harmony with the rhythm of nature but also to develop skills of exploration.
Help them to nurture plants. You do not require a big garden for this, even a small plant in your balcony or the little space in front of your home will do. Caring for plants helps children to discover that plants grow. They learn to build up a sense of respect for nature and environment.
Encourage them to listen to the sounds of birds, animals, and insects and help them to observe their living and eating habits.
Children should be encouraged to observe natural phenomena, for instance, sunrise and sunset, or the changing seasons. This again helps them to understand and appreciate the rhythm of nature.
Go out for a nature walk. Children acquire enormous amounts of knowledge from interacting with nature. They learn concepts of colour, size and shape by observing things around them. Facts of nature are so well integrated with life that children enjoy acquiring knowledge from nature.
Allow them to collect things whenever they go out for a nature walk - objects like things, leaves, feathers and nests. Encourage them to speak about the things they have collected and help them to write about the things they see and hear. It is these experiences that they carry throughout their lives, which make the world vivid place for them.
The power of wonder and curiosity in influencing the lives of children as they grow is truly amazing. It deepens their wisdom. The more they know, the more they find it interesting. This sense of boundless mystery comes to all of us when we gaze at the stars. Teach your children to look up and wonder. Show them the constellations in the clear night sky. The more they learn about the world around them, the more reverence they will have for it. Remember, reverence for life and nature is the very foundation for building the character of children.
Dr. Amita Govinda