Have you ever noticed a child? Actually observed them?

The best thing to notice about them are their eyes. There is so much of curiosity in them. So much wonder at all the things around them. They notice everything – the leaves, the ants, the caterpillars, the voices, the vehicles, and the wind blowing the dry leaves, the silence too. Their 5 senses take in everything around them and their mind asks questions and yearns for answers. Their hearts celebrate the beauty and abundance that the universe offers them.

As they grow, we confine them to classroom materials, study books, projects, seminars and everything else academic, as early as 3 years of age!  An age when all their senses are just developing and they need the natural surroundings to enhance this for them. The curiosity and wonder that was so natural in them starts getting replaced by things we teach them and make them absorb. We take away their time and their connect with nature, their hobbies, extra activities and even just playing around with friends  slowly and steadily.

In recent times Covid played its own part in taking away whatever remaining link existed between kids and the outdoors. Many kids find it tough to come back to normalcy and have confined themselves to solitude and laptops and phones.

How then can we retain this?

For every human being, let alone children, the connect with nature is natural and inherent from birth. There is just the need for a slight motivation and push to find it again. Along with board games and classes and everything indoors, kids need to feel the wind in their hair and the sunlight in their eyes.  Let us allow them to explore the wide world around them, through oceans and woods and play and stories. There are  so many activities  that we can introduce them too. Both individual and group activities. Dance classes, art and painting, maybe cooking too, beach cleaning clubs, parkour, storytelling clubs, libraries, theatre groups and so much more. Another beautiful hobby that we can inculcate is reading. Not kindle but actual books. Introduce them to the land of stories, the imaginations, the fantasies, and the world across worlds that they can fly to with eyes open. Books can be a child’s best friend and a constant companion. Open a world of knowledge and entertainment all at once.

Once they find the magic in the outdoors and get connected to long lost wonders, there will be no stopping them. Kids who spend time in sunlight and have enough exercise are also healthier and resistant to illnesses.

Let them explore, let them find the magic…and for that let us be examples. Let us not coop up inside with our mobiles and laptops. Let us find the child in ourselves too, so that we can let our kids never lose the child in themselves.

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