Its Spring break! One of the best seasons in the year for youths in the West. It is also that time of the year when concerned Muslim parents build up all kinds of imaginations about the well being and condition of their teenage kids. During this season, most teenagers are often seen in clusters at the beach side tanning, at parks and on road trips. Meanwhile, muslim parents are always caught in between decisions. Of course, if you have to convince their children not to mingle at the beach with their age mates, then they have to come up with something that’s even better. Well, aside trips to amusement parks, swimming lessons and barbecue parties, have you ever considered a walk through a neighborhood park or conservation area? I bet not! Here’s a suggestion- why not give it a shot this spring? This article looks into a few ideas to make it worthwhile.
Apply some hands-on Science
Children are always curious. As such, involve them in some touch and observe situation and talk about some of the common things you might come across while walking through the park or woods. Discuss about the leaves, fruits and tress how they are made, their constituents, uses and benefits. Rekindle their natural curiosity. Well of course, as for those you who don’t know, apply the “lets take some samples home for further studies” trick.
As the going gets deep, try to create a relationship between all that we see around us both living and non living and Allah, as He is the Creator of All things. Science can go a long way in explaining a lot of things, yet, it has its limits. Make reference to the holy Quran and tell them about verses from the holy Quran which shed more light on earth and its creatures as well as how they were made. “Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise” (2:164).
An opportunity to exercise
Children these days hardly participate in any form of physical exercise, mostly busy on their handheld devices, internet and games. Let it serve as a means for them to exercise by engaging in long walks around fresh air which is vital for the mind and body.
Teach them why to conserve
Most of the times, children are told to and not to, without telling them why. Ask your kids, how every living thing they see benefits us and remind them of their responsibility towards the environment. The prophet (SAW) said: “The world is green and beautiful and God has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves…” (Muslim). Also engage them in suggesting ways we all can help conserve the environment.
Identify species and sounds
One common children fantasy, is the sight of a child playing with his parents in the park. Try to help them identify trees, rocks, flowers and birds that catches the eye. Try to recall names of animals and count how many you spotted.
Strengthen your bond
As you walk and talk, it provides an opportunity for you to strengthen the bond with your children. Talk about school, their hubbies, extra curricular activities, future plans and if any, where they would have been. Moments like this go a long way in building a better relationship with your children.
Clear their mind and lungs
One of natures gift to humanity is constant supply of fresh air. While you and your children are on a walk through the park you are been served fresh air as a token of appreciation for visiting.
Pick up navigation skills
There is one important skill we usually pick up each time we are in contact with nature; navigational skills. Learn to teach your children this unique skill and practical example on how to use a compass. Map out a route using a map and follow it using your tools.