Nature is the best teacher for the little ones (and not so little ones)
When was the last time you connected with nature, that you closed your eyes and listened to its sounds? Lately, when I lose concentration and control of my emotions, I just sit in a quiet place to breathe, feel and listen.
Being at home can help us improve the connection with our family and with nature, involving the little ones in our home to learn how to take care of nature will encourage us to lead a healthier lifestyle, from our diet to our mental state. I invite you to take advantage of the time you can spend with your family and do these activities for children at home, they will learn to take care of nature and you will feel more connected with both: your children and Mother Nature.
1.- Plant your own garden
This has been one of the most rewarding activities I have ever done with my favorite little people. Every step, from choosing what to plant, being attentive to new sprouts and timely watering, fosters complicity with the little ones. Regardless of your age or mood, a newly sprouted seedling will brighten your day.
Tip: Remember that a large space is not necessary, just choose a small place where you can put your seedlings, near a window is ideal. Nature always finds a way to fill every inch with life, so you can use everything, from an eggshell to sow your seeds in peat pellets. The mini greenhouse tray in the photograph can be found at the supermarket. We also tried suspending the top of a carrot and wait until it gets roots.
2.- Make your own homemade compost
Making our own plant fertilizer helps us see nature as an energy source and appreciate that there is no waste in nature. It is the best way to explain to our little ones the cycle of life and how the most nutritious food waste can provide their nutrients through the earth to feed us again.
Tip: Choose the place where the compost will be made, you can use a plastic pot, a wooden box or, if you have the opportunity, a hole in your yard. You will have to alternate layers of soil with layers of organic waste (leaves, fruit peels, pieces of wood, newspaper, etc.), and make sure that it stays moist and warm. After three months, check its consistency and color, if it has a dark earthy appearance, you can apply it to your plants.
3.- Play “nature gives us …”
This game is about choosing a letter and saying everything that nature gives us which name begins with the same letter. For example, C: carrots, cucumber, coffee… Another modality of this same game is to choose a color. For example, blue: sky, blackberries, flowers, etc.
What is the smell of nature?
If you’re working from home, you may feel like you suddenly need a break, take time to smell what nature gives us and enjoy it with your children!
Tip: Look for those gifts that nature has in your house, it can be cinnamon, coffee, flowers, different types of leaves, fruits and vegetables. Cover the eyes of your little ones and bring them closer so that they can smell them and guess what they are. If they are old enough, ask them to describe the smell. Make sure that the pieces are clean and edible for them to try, even a little. What could be better to strengthen our connection with nature than to enjoy it with all our senses!
4.- Find your way in caring for nature
If you have a nature lover kid at home, talk to him or her about the professionals who dedicate their lives to caring for our planet. Without a doubt, the professions dedicated to achieving a more sustainable world are more than what we show you in this infographic, but rest assured that as they grow up they will be able to find their way to the area that best suits them.
5.- Let’s draw nature
We all take care of what we appreciate and value. It is time to stop thinking about everything that trees give us and how vital they are in our lives.
Tip: Take a notebook or poster board and ask them to think of the most beautiful tree they have ever seen and drawn it. Now, write down everything the trees give us: oxygen, shade, paper, pleasant temperature, a place to recharge, fruits, etc.
Now, ask them to think about their favorite wild animal, do research on it and everything we need to do to take care of it, encourage him or her to become a protector of its habitat. You can even search for documentaries to learn about their customs and needs. On Netflix, you can find “If I were an animal” or “Our planet”. Sit down to watch them as a family and talk about what they can do at home to take care of the different ecosystems.
I hope that these activities help you improve your connection with nature and your little ones. That it brings you happiness and, above all, that we manage to appreciate that it is in nature where our energy is, with the awareness that all our actions have consequences. Let’s continue to enjoy our moments together and strengthen our relationship with the world in which we live.
What other games or activities do you know to learn how to take care of nature as a family from home?
Comunicóloga enamorada de la cocina mexicana y la fotografía, comprometida con la responsabilidad social y el respeto a los derechos de la niñez.