JOHOR BARU: In a bid to avoid keeping her children cooped up indoors for too long, a former primary school teacher has signed them up for online nature classes.
The class on dragonflies, she thought, could teach her young children about Mother Nature’s wonders.
Ong Yee Min, 34, who used to teach science, said since taking the RM30 class under the recommendation of her daughter’s kindergarten teacher in August, her family’s routine daily walks in the park became more exciting.
“The lessons were on dragonfly catching techniques, tips to identify the species and information about their lifespan, among other things.
“Not only have our outings become more enjoyable for my five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son, they are also a good learning experience for us as parents as we got to learn more about nature.
“At the same time, it allows us to bond as a family, ” she said in an interview.
Ong added that they had gone to various parks in Johor Baru, Pasir Gudang and Iskandar Puteri in search of different dragonfly species.
She said the class included access to a mobile application that users could upload photos of unidentifiable insects to seek help from experts all over the world.
“We release the insects after taking photos and observing them, which also teaches my children to be kind to nature.
“Learning through nature is a good way to improve children’s imagination, concentration and motor skills, aside from promoting their emotional and spiritual growth, ” said Ong, who is a certified art therapist.
She added that the class provided a list of steps and challenges to complete so it allowed children to follow instructions, giving them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment upon completion.
Being near nature, she said, also peeled them away from gadget time so that the children could have a more balanced development process.
“Through art therapy, I have come into contact with children who spend too much time with gadgets or are cooped up indoors that they experience anxiety and stress as they have no outlet to express their feelings.
“Parents can consider taking up hobbies or activities that are relatable so they will be motivated to bond with their children and not just leave them with their gadgets, ” she said.
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