Adventurous journey of schoolchildren

On a fine morning recently, the students of Government Higher Primary School, Y Hoskote led by their headmaster G V Chandrappa made their way towards the forest.

The purpose of this excursion was multifold: instilling in children a love for nature, gaining knowledge about plants, inculcating a spirit of adventure and enjoying in the lap of nature. The teachers and students identified various plants in a mango grove.

They also observed flowers of various hues and chirping birds of different varieties. En route they found rain water in a pond. They drew the water out of the pond and watered the surrounding plants

Research has shown that every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, birds and butterflies, various animals to pet, rocks and sand to play and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best of his education.

In recent times children spend little time outdoors. If children are raised with little or no connection to nature, they may miss out on the many health benefits of playing outdoors.
Nature is important to children’s development - intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically.

They develop critical thinking skills as they learn to make inferences and draw conclusions. They learn by tasting, touching, and seeing wildlife and flora in ways they could not learn from a book. They learn respect for the planet and the ways we are inextricably connected.

Adventure activities

After familiarising themselves with the plants and trees in the farm, it was time for outdoor games and adventure. They tied a branch from one tree to another and started balancing and walking on it. Others shinned up a tree using a rope and sat on the top branches.

In the midst of nature, there were no rules to follow or fear of teachers or monitors. They were free to talk and discuss, and look around wherever they wanted to or skip, jump or run around.

By afternoon, the children opened their lunch boxes and sat in the shade, sharing their food with the others. It was a different experience from the regular mid-day meals at school.

After lunch it was playtime and entertainment. The children sang folk songs and bhavageethe, played the traditional games of kolata and lagori. So engrossed they were in their activities that when it was evening, their teachers had to remind them it was time for them to go home.

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