Exploring Nature, the Ira way

Ira loves nature and we make an attempt to take her to parks and natural spaces as much as we can. Recently, we saw about a workshop on FB: Nurturing Nature: Garden Exploration, being conducted by Puja Gurung of the Honey Bees Nature Club. The venue was the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain and the registration fee entailed was quite reasonable.

What was promised? (Directly from the advert)
"A hands on exploration of nature through gardening and activities. Activities include planting and sowing seeds, exploratory games, sensorial activities and nature crafts. A day to get dirty, messy and muddy and have a thrilling time while connecting with mother nature."

The experience itself
We had to report by 10.15am and being the prompt selves that we are, we were there on time. Ira of course was prepped that this is something new that she would be doing where she will be introduced to gardening. Ira during her summer camp last year was introduced to the concept of germination at school. 

Parents and kids started pouring in. However, the organizer was late by almost 10-15 minutes.
The workshop began with attendance being taken and then all of us sat on mats and were told what to expect. It would begin with a nature walk where the kids would see new things, listen to bird calls, smell some things, touch and feel the barks and may be eat something. Puja’s energy and enthusiasm was contagious and she also sang a lovely nature song (can’t remember). The song served as a good warm up and then we began the small walk. The kids were shown ants, spiders, they jumped on dry leaves, they touched the barks of trees, saw wild berries, saw the peepal tree and it’s ‘heart’ shaped leaves. They also smelt the eucalyptus leaves, collected berries and listened to the call of birds. It is a task to get 2-5 year olds to be that attentive. 

The two things that kids seem to like is holding a stick and playing with sand/mud.  Post the nature walk, we took a snack break. We ate what we had carried and we were also given a slice of watermelon and encouraged to store the seeds for planting. After this, the next activity involved collecting things from nature- leaves, twigs, berries and create a piece of art from it. While there was one main art being created, Ira made her own little thing with what she had collected.

The final segment, the kids had to fill their pots with soil and then were given seeds- methi or dil. We have to water this everyday a little and see the plant grow! As the session closed, the kids made the most of the play area at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain. It was a Saturday morning well spent! Ira sure had fun. She did come back with an ant bite on her left eye and visited the ophthalmologist on Sunday! But that is all part of growing up J

What we liked about the Workshop/activity
  •         The duration of 90 minutes works with kids.
  •         Puja’s energy is contagious.
  •          The art with nature was interesting.

What could be better?
  •         It could have been structured a bit better, with more interaction between the kids.
  •         For someone who has been a lot to parks and explored nature, the novelty factor is low.
  •         Maintaining time is paramount and for someone who is a stickler for time, I like organizers to be there prior to any of the participants.

What is important to remember?
It is a good thing to explore anything new like this for the little human beings who are inquisitive and want to know everything about every little thing! Glad Bangalore has a lot of such activities happening round the year. We personally like things in the outdoors rather than the malls or closed spaces. But that is us. So, till we embark on another new experience, we shall savor this and reminisce about the beautiful art that we created with components of nature!

#Ira #Iraisms #TalesAtThree #LoveNature #NurturingNature #NewExperiences 


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