As I recall our childhood summer holidays I hope our kids get to enjoy theirs as much as we did. 

The berry bushes in the dense green foliage on the hillocks may now be replaced by concrete buildings and tarred roads but there is still a little forest cover left. The predominantly pedestrian village roads, which served as our playground for ring, seven tiles and football, may now be busy vehicular roads but there are a few parks, albeit a car drive away for many, and some larger compounds where they can play. Since we have a lot of seeds, leaves and twigs, the kids use them like we did… as ingredients and firewood in make-believe cooking games.

It is important that children get to experience, and if possible play, in natural surroundings too. In our cities and towns (and now even in villages) they end up playing on swings and slides in children’s parks. It is a good thing but climbing on trees, hiding behind bushes and swinging from aerial roots leads to a greater appreciation and respect for nature from a young age. One should strike a balance between the two so that children have a balanced view of life. 

I also feel that it is very important for children of different economic strata to play together. This is easier outdoors in a setting comfortable for all parents. We need to teach our kids to love and care for all, even if we have grown up with barriers. 

We complain that the kids want gadgets all the time, but it is we who have destroyed the outdoors, forcing them to live within the four walls of our homes.

Now safety is also a major concern. We could cycle around or go for strolls in the village without any worries. But in today’s world, despite having better connectivity with mobile phones, neither small kids nor teenagers and youth are safe. Crime rate is high. 

As a society we need to watch out for our kids’ safety as well as save our mother Earth for them. To do this we need to appreciate God’s creation in totality and share our love for our flaura, fauna and humans with them. Spending outdoor time together goes a long way, not only in protecting our planet by educating children, by setting an example of how to take care of our surroundings (not littering, carrying cloth bags, personal water bottles, bags for waste, etc) but also in strengthening  our family bonds. Cheers to creating memories outdoors.

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