Joy of the outdoors

The outdoors are a palpable and experiential entity. The learning universe of a child is not a package deal. It has within it the sights, sounds, colours and fragrances of the natural world. Through the pandemic, nature has been a great healer emotionally, physically and mentally. Its calming journey has brought inner change and holistic insight. It has impacted creativity and connected it to life and living. The right to live, play, engage with the environment sensitively, is essential for our children. I think it is time that we had the courage to take that foot forward and bring our children out into the big world of nature. This will help in expanding their minds and bodies and feel one with nature. Active pursuits such as games, sports, athletics, adventure trips, camping, hiking and trekking impact the visual, cognitive and kinesthic abilities. Sports and outdoor activities cater to multiple intelligences and help in leading meaningful lives. Group games, exercises, yoga, simple gymnastics and dancing rhythmically illustrates refinement in physical development. Social development takes place with a focus on building friendships and a deeper engagement with society and the school. Outdoor play, adventure and sports are a very powerful medium to develop life skills and shape behaviors. The socio-emotional wellbeing of youth and children is greatly affected by them.

They helps in relationship and confidence building along with team work. Children learn values of collaboration, co-operation and sharing. Sports agencies need to modify activities for children with special needs with generous sessions of movement and games both structured and unstructured. An outdoor sports curriculum can be conceived with the assistance of physical education teachers, coaches, trainers and NGO’s. This is a great opportunity for adventure programme agencies and NGO’s to come together to create a sports curriculum along with the schools for finding innovative uses for physical activities. The National Education Policy has laid great emphasis on yoga, mindful walking, traditional play and other physical activities. Programmes like martial arts and wellness exercises will help in creating novel ways in exercise regimes. An agency like Rocksport has always pioneered outdoor initiatives by bringing families, friends and fitness together for a healthy and happy world.

All it requires is nature, self and a moment in time…

The contributor of the blog is Dr. Ameeta Mulla Wattal – Principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road

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