Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Happiest when one with Nature

Megha had always been the happiest when she is outdoors, one among the nature. As much as I try to take her out, I am guilty of the fact that at times I curtail her time she wants to be outdoors. That happens more often when the cold weather starts to approach. Something happened and for some reason (I lost track), Megha and I seemed to be spending our days indoors more than outdoors. I am determined to change that going forward and go back to the olden days when we spent a lot of time outdoors. Chores do get in the way. I really need to make an effort (a better effort) to engage her in things where she can learn from looking at the nature and being one with it.

Of course during vacations, we are always outside.

So here are some things we did during this year where she had tons of fun. Here are 13 fun ways to learn things without spending a penny! All you need is an urge to just observe along with the child of yours.

1.       Snow Melts:
She learned that ice melts when it’s hot enough outside. She was awestruck and why not? This was early this year.
We had so much fun jumping up and down in the freezing water. Runny nose can wait until we get home to treat ourselves with something warm.

2.       Taking the little one’s help: Kids love to help and they love it when we involve them in our day to day activities. Its even more accomplishing when they learn as part of a fun process. Here is Megha helping me bake cupcakes. Here she learned that if she is not careful enough, the dough falls around the cupcake liners.

She also learned that cake batter really is delicious :) She licked her fingers and the bowl clean!

3.       The colors of Spring: Early spring is really the most beautiful time of the year. While its still a little cold outside, the real bite usually is gone and the parks and lawn soon display their bright yellow colored flowers (don’t know why they are called weeds) dandelions come out.
Here Megha wanted to collect the flowers. She soon realized that its not possible to pick all of them though; so she just played with a few :)

4.       Here the dad and daughter are keeping an eye out for the train. What a beautiful evening it was. I am yet to come across a little kid who is not fascinated by trains. Taking Megha close to the train only added to her joy. This track runs across a conservation park and so, we got a chance to observe a lot of nature here.

5.        When we went to strawberry picking, she had learned how to pick strawberries. She learned that they grow on small plants. She used to watch an episode of Special Agent Oso where he picks strawberries. She applied those principles here. She learned that ripe one’s came off easily.

6.       Somersaults/ Tumbles: While playing in the park, she looked at a school going kid do tumbles and she of course wanted to do them herself as well. She is really getting very good at it!

7.       Playing in the rain: There really is nothing more beautiful than listening to the rain drops fall on the window. And can you blame me when I don’t use an umbrella when its raining? Megha loves the rain too. Correction. Megha loves water. There is no stopping her from jumping into (how much ever freezing) the lakes! Its only mother in me who keeps thinking, “she may catch cold”. I know I know. Kids don’t catch cold unless they come in touch with cold virus.

8.       Making fire: Up north at our cottage, it always is a lot colder than in Milton/ Toronto. So, even in August, we at times light the fire. Here is our fire pit. Megha loves watching the fire and she just hanging out with us that evening. Now she knows fire keeps us warm but that we have to be careful around it.

9.       Picnics: I always loved picnics when I was a kid. I still love picnics. When we were little, we only used to go to picnics once every year or so. During those times, I had always wanted to go for more of those. After Megha was born, I wanted to take her to picnics as often as I can. But alas, if only I could whenever I can! At the cottage, we make it a point to be as active as we can. Recently we bought a little sit-out lunch table for Megha. She sits on it and has her lunch/snack. At times, we put a mat under the Christmas tree and hang out until the mosquitoes are too over whelming.

10.   Games: Megha absolutely loves it when Anand and I join her in her play. Especially at the cottage we say no to TV and spend as much time outdoors as we possibly can manage. Kicking or catching a ball is no small feat. It needs a lot of hand-eye coordination. I noticed she had improved remarkably in the way she kicks the ball or catches one. After spending so much energy playing outside, she eats and sleeps like a baby that she really is.

11.   Trusting her: Megha loves taking pictures on my phone. She is really getting good at taking pictures without shaking the phone! Had I refused to give her the phone, she would probably not have the joy of experiencing something which her momma does. Here is one of the selfie which she took.

12.   Be a farmer for a day: Take a trip to the nearby farm one of the days. It fills you with sights/smells/sounds of so much nature that the city/town you live in would feel like a different plannet altogether. While playing on the hay, we smelled the hay, touched it, ignored the people who give us looks, jumped up and down, let the wind ruffle our hair, learn about the protruding roots, feed the chickens, pick the pumpkins and weigh them and be 2 little happy children.

13.   Leaf-Raker: Rain, snow or Fall, we love it all! We truly do! When the leaves fall, we rake. Megha helped rake all the leaves from the front yard yesterday. She jumped on a few piles, scattered them and then helped me gather them again! Oh what fun to pick the different colored and sized leaves of the same tree! Fun part is to examine them and wonder at how one tree can actually produce so many colored leaves.

Being a wonder struck friend/ companion in Megha’s world has made me more complete. I have much to learn from Megha and her simple ways. She is far more enlightened than me, for, she knows to smile at things simple. We are to learn how to live life from kids and not the other way round. Kids know how to be happy; isnt that exactly what everyone of us is searching for? If only we truly can leave them as kids and not rush them into becoming adults (and fall into the trap which we adults already did). I often hear the words “grow up”. But I want to ask, “what after”? While it is important to guide kids away from danger, its equally important to just let kids be kids.

Incidentally, of all the things I did in the last one year, the highlights of those days are the days that I had spent with family (Megha, Anand and people from India). Not the work, not the 100’s of loads of laundry i did, not the disagreements which Anand and I may have had and not even the TV programs which I like. My highlights are truly the one’s that had spent outdoors with Megha and the couple of movies which Anand I had managed to go to in the last one year. Then why don’t I make more of an effort to have more of these rich days? It’s a question I had asked myself and it’s a question which I strive to answer in the coming months.  


  1. It is an awesome idea to preserve all these wonderful moments for future. Never let yourself down, by feeling guilty for not doing few things you have planned or visioned. You cannot control last minute foreseen circumstances. You are a super mom diddi. Keep it up. Goodluck to you all.