Getting to know about nature during your child’s early years
As a child grows from a bud to a fruitful plant, every parent’s concern lies in their upbringing and the way they look out for their surroundings. During a child’s early childhood, it’s imperative to inculcate the importance of nature and its advantages to humankind. As children explore the outdoors, they become more aware of the world around them and develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Spending time in nature has been shown to have numerous benefits for children, including improved physical health, increased creativity, and reduced stress and anxiety.
Learning about the environment and the interconnectedness of living things can also foster a sense of responsibility and empathy towards the natural world. By introducing children to nature at a young age, we can help them develop a lifelong love and respect for the environment. Hence, every other school/institution is now trying to incorporate nature studies or horticulture programs into their curriculum. Expanding the universe of learning and better understanding, schools have been working on providing better insights into the aspects of mother nature. While parents are well-equipped with the concept of nature and its introduction to the curriculum, let’s look at some of the essential reasons why such programs should be made inclusion in the curriculum.
Connectivity with nature:
A connection with nature can provide children with a sense of wonder, curiosity, and appreciation for the natural world around them. By spending time in nature, children can learn and grow, promoting their physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
Evolution of immune system:
Exposure to nature can be beneficial for a child’s immune system, as it provides opportunities to interact with beneficial bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. This exposure can strengthen the child’s immune response and potentially reduce the risk of allergies and other immune-related disorders.
Value for food and its resources:
Gardening, cooking with fresh ingredients, and learning about sustainable agriculture practices are excellent ways to educate children about the significance of food and foster gratitude towards Mother Nature. Through these activities, children can gain a deeper understanding of where their food comes from and how it is grown, while also developing practical skills and healthy habits that can benefit them throughout their lives.
Introducing the concepts of recycling and composting at the school level can help children grasp the significance of conserving nature and its resources. By teaching them to become responsible and reduce waste, choose eco-friendly products, and demonstrate vulnerability towards the environment, we can encourage them to make a positive impact on the planet.
Contribution to the ecosystem:
Children can make a valuable contribution to the ecosystem by engaging in activities such as planting trees, creating wildlife habitats, and learning about the significance of conserving biodiversity.
Horticulture as a subject at school.
Incorporating a subject like horticulture can be an excellent way to introduce students to the world of gardening and plant cultivation, and help them understand the basics of plant growth, soil composition, pest control, and plant propagation techniques. Teaching horticulture as a subject at the school level can also enable students to learn about sustainable gardening practices and how to grow food organically, while developing practical skills such as designing and maintaining a garden that they can use throughout their lives. Overall, horticulture can be a valuable subject to teach at the school level, promoting environmental awareness and hands-on learning among students.
Children hold tremendous potential to become the next change makers for the betterment of the environment and nature. By educating them on the importance of sustainability, conservation, and eco-friendliness, we can instil a sense of responsibility and empathy towards the planet in their minds. As they grow up, they can carry these values forward and contribute towards building a better, greener world. With their innovative thinking, passion, and determination, today’s children can become tomorrow’s leaders and pave the way towards a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.
Aparna Sharma, Principal, Gyan Ganga Orchids The International School, Bhopal