Into the wild: Using the winter break to connect with nature

Into the wild: Using the winter break to connect with nature

This year has been a year of long breaks for the people of UAE, and here comes the winter break before the year ends. It is perfect timing to connect with nature while getting the family to bond over something meaningful with beautiful weather. There are many ways you can teach your child to interact with nature, even when living in a desert country like UAE.

Here's our roundup of ideas for you to help your kids get in touch with nature this long holiday:

Go on a nature trail

Going on a nature walk isn’t just the perfect activity for your children to explore the environment, but also fosters a special bonding experience if done together as a family. It is also an opportunity for them to learn to observe with all their senses. In addition, it can be a peaceful, reflective experience for you and your children. In Dubai, try The Green Planet; they recreate the tropical forest with its rich biodiversity or The Aventura Nature Trail, which offers a guided activity where visitors can go for over an hour's walk through the woods.  

Experiment with the wild side

Zoo visits are a great place to start to learn about animalsand promote understanding and compassion towards nature. For instance, observing and discussing animals create an interest in conservation and the realisation that animals have an essential role to play in our biosphere. Dubai Safari Park is an eco-friendly zoo with 2,500 animals, including elephants, giraffes, lions, birds, and camels. Further out, Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi has an impressive wildlife nature reserve where thousands of animals roam free.  

Indulge in some bird watching

From our backyard and balconies to parks, almost any habitat has a variety of birds. They are always around us, yet most never really see them. In the winters season, many different species of birds make a migratory pit stop in various parks across Dubai. Visit Zabeel Park for a nice barbeque or visit the wetlands of Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, which gets tens of thousands of birds. In Abu Dhabi, the Jubail Mangrove Park provide a fantastic ecosystem for a vast array of birdlife and wildlife.

Take care of the sea and sea creatures

While ocean creatures and their ocean habitats are essential in keeping various ecosystems in balance, many ocean animals serve as food to humans and other animals worldwide. These are some reasons why learning about and understanding ocean animals are essential. Visit Dubai's Turtle Rehabilitation Project to learn about the threats faced by marine turtles and how we can help. Initiatives like beach clean-ups, planting a Ghaff Tree, and underwater cleaning are gratifying and fun for the family. However, you should take necessary approvals from authorities beforehand.  

Have fun at home!

Simple things at home can teach children a lot about nature:

  • Insect watching – Every home with an outdoor area is home to a variety of insects like spiders, ants, flies, wasps, bees etc. Encourage your kids to observe them. Watching a spider create a web is a magnificently wholesome experience.
  • Plant an indoor plant – This holiday, plant a seed or plant. There is magic in watching plants grow as we tend to them along with them.
  • Backyard camping is simple and can be done with minimal equipment  and preparation.

    According to a poll by YouGov, 65 per cent of young people in the UAE want to protect the environment, and 72 per cent of young people in the UAE want to spend more time outdoors with nature. Organisations like Yes4us encourage children to connect with and learn about nature through their Club and Workshops. Email us at hifive@yes4us.org or WhatsApp us on +971 55 310 6638 to get to know more or how we can support you to make your child active and gadget-free. 

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