What is the issue here?
Due to progressive urbanization in Singapore, natural spaces are being reduced while the built-up areas have doubled. Hence, children are less connected to the environment than those 20 years ago and usually prefer indoor entertainment (e.g. computer games) to playing outdoors. This lack of interest in nature results in a lack of understanding and appreciation of the environment, which is a concern given that our natural environment is in critical need of a future generation that has a desire to protect and conserve it.
How is outdoor play beneficial to my child?
- Better equips them to cope with environmental issues in future
- Playing outdoors provides healthier lifestyle than being cooped up in the house
- Improve motor and physical abilities
- Stimulates cognitive abilities, inquiry and creativity
- Increases scientific knowledge
As a parent, what is my role in this?
Our Nature Adventure Walk (NAW) provides only a once-off interaction with nature. What we want to do is to spark off children’s interest in nature through our activities, so that they will be more open to nature-related activities. However, this is not enough. They need sustained interaction with nature, which can only be done if we have the support and help from parents. This is what you, as a parent, can do to ensure your child’s interest in nature is sustained:
- Bring them to parks
- Bring them to nature trails/guided walks
- Conduct own nature activities at home
- Encourage playing in the natural environment
This will benefit your child in the best way possible.
How should outdoor play be structured?
These are 3 of the most important aspects of outdoor play:
- Natural, wild environment. According to experts, this is the best kind of setting for play.
- Engaging children with natural elements. There are few boundaries/ restrictions.
- Frequency of outdoor play. This is to allow concepts of natural appreciation to be ingrained in the children’s minds.
What are some activities I can do at home or at any park?
- Have a picnic in nature (Singapore Botanic Gardens is a conducive place)!
- Scavenger Hunt: Look for interesting natural objects, but remember to put them back. Alternatively, you could take photographs of the items that your child finds.
- Plant seedlings as a family and make sure it is properly cared for – your child’s dedication to taking care of their plant will sprout leaves and grow into a beautiful plant.
Are there other nature activities I (and my family) can take part in?
Here are some recommended activities that you may consider bringing your family to!
|Jacob Ballas||8 May||Mad Lesson on Pangolins: learn more about pangolins and their conservation||5 – 10||$15|
|29 May||Young Mathematician of the Garden: application of mathematical skills to the plant world||9 – 12||$6|
|29 May||Fun with Math & Plants: explore basic math concepts using parts of a plant||5 – 8||$6|
|HortPark||29 May||Butterfly Garden Guided Tour: learn about species and stages of butterflies||All||Free|
|Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve||Weekends||Mangrove Walk: learn about our marine life and mangroves||All||Free|
|Botanic Gardens||8 May||Forest Walk: spot forest creatures, strange plants, and learn about rainforests||Young children||Free|
|22 May||Evolution Garden Guided Walk: the story of how our plants came to be||Children||Free|
|Fort Canning||Every 2nd Saturday||Trees of the Fort: appreciate a unique pocket of biodiversity in our urbanized city||All||Free|
|Pasir Ris Park||Every 3rd Saturday||Mangrove Walk: observe flora and fauna found in a mangrove||Young children||$4|
|30 May||Beach Critters: I Want My Lunch! Learn about the feeding habits of marine animals||6 – 10||$4|
For a more complete list, please visit http://wildsingaporehappenings.blogspot.com/.
If I need further help, who can I contact?
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com should you have any further queries! We will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Please also drop us an email if you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter! Each newsletter has a different theme, and is specially catered to children. It includes fun facts about nature and fun activities they can try, among other interesting things.
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