“Nature’s diversity is such a rich resource for exploration and sensory learning, offering stimuli for our 5 senses and allowing our brain to give these sensations meaningful interpretations.
Symbolic learning, for example, from the television or books would never equal to the experience of being there in the midst of nature! Watching a documentary about a camping trip to the jungle or forest would not be the same as actually being on the trip and feasting the senses on all the sights and sounds. When our children spend time with nature, they learn to respect and appreciate it. They are much healthier, developing gross and fine motor coordination, enjoying their outdoor activities and learning skills. They learn to socialise and interact, sharing and building relationships.”
– Dr Aw Tui Lar, Consultant Psychiatrist
Divide an empty notebook into 5 sections – one for each sense – and create your own nature logbook. Play the “I spy” game outdoors and let your child record his observations in the different sections of the logbook as he explores all 5 senses.
Walk around your nearest park and get your child to guess an item that you see. For example, “I spy with my little eye, something that’s red and has wings!”.
Take a deep breath at the beach. What do you smell? Using the same idea, get your child to guess what you’re smelling. Is it the salty scent of the seawater?
Bring your child out for a walk around the neighbourhood and pick out interesting sounds. Prompt your child to listen out for the melody of chirping birds or the breeze.
Plan a picnic by the playground. Mix in some sour cherries and salty cheddar, and let your child identify the foods while being blindfolded.
Stroll along a trail of touch at your nearby garden. Blindfold your child, then proceed to feel the textures of tree barks and flowers.