Children’s Day is celebrated every year in India on November 14, the birthday of the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Here are five great ideas to spend time with your children on this occasion, that are fun, healthy and can help strengthen your relationship.
#1 Make It a Back-to-Nature Day
Take your kids to the park, breathe some fresh air and get some sunlight. Both you and your kids will get some exercise, have fun and get a break from the concrete jungle. Engaging in some physical activity in a space free from pollution can have a tremendous effect on the body’s health and rejuvenation. Here’s what Sadhguru says:
Sadhguru: It is well-known that what kind of air you breathe is important, but how you breathe and how consciously you do so is equally important. Especially for those of you who live in large cities, it may not always be in your hands what kind of air you breathe, so it is good that at least for a few minutes every day, you take a walk in the park, along the lake or the river, whatever is available to you. If you have children, it is important that at least once a month, you take them out far enough from the city, where nature is in a reasonably pure state, and they can climb a small hill, walk in a forest, or swim in a river, to be in touch with nature and do something where the breath is dynamic.
This is not just for aerobic exercise but because there is a constant exchange of air from within and without. The very intelligence in the body will make sure that when it senses the air is pure and alive, the way the body breathes will be different. With this exchange of air, cleansing will happen within the system. If you are in pure air, it is important to bring the breath to a dynamic state with some activity. You do not have to do too vigorous an activity – just enough to breathe slightly deeper than normal for a period of time. Especially for growing children, this is very important because it greatly enhances the body’s integrity and strength.
#2 Make Some Children’s Day Treats
With the combined onslaught of food, flavor and commerce these days, kids and even parents sometimes choose taste over health when it comes to food. But healthy food can also be tasty food. Take some time off to prepare one of the tasty, healthy snacks listed below, so it’s a special treat for your children.
#3 Read Together
Reading is known to have many benefits, including slowing cognitive decline, removing stress, and boosting memory and vocabulary. Do keep in mind that some of these benefits may be lost if you read on a tablet. Device screens are known to effect sleep quality, and may also cause stress in the system. So pick up a good book and encourage your child to do so too. Here’s Sadhguru’s insight on how reading enhances the mind’s functioning.
Sadhguru: Reading as a habit and as a culture must be nurtured. The impact of reading is very different from watching videos or playing computer games. It exercises your mind and insight in a completely different way. Audio-visual media can be very educative and it is powerful in its own way, but reading has more intricacy and depth to it. There is more profoundness to reading compared to watching a cinema or something else.
If the larger public was reading more than what they are doing right now, if they just sat down, focused on something and read, they would be much quieter, more thoughtful and would look at life with a little more depth because it is a kind of dharana [one of the eight limbs of yoga]. You are remaining focused on something – that is dharana. It definitely enhances the way your mind functions. I think in today's society, with the fascination for electronics overtaking everything else, it is very important that we don't lose the culture of reading.
People have lost the intricacy of looking at life with more depth. There is no profoundness to life. People look at everything on the surface and I think that is encouraged by audio-visual media. I am not against it because it is a great media by itself, but I don't think it is a substitute for reading.
#4 Try Some Yoga For Health, Peace and Joy
Isha Upa-Yoga is a series of practices designed by Sadhguru, and based on the science of Upa-yoga. Upa-yoga is an aspect of yoga oriented towards physical and psychological benefits. These 5-minute processes are easy-to-practice yet potent tools to enhance health, joy and peace, and can be practiced by anyone over 7 years of age. Try them out through the videos below, or get the free android app Yoga Tools From Sadhguru.
Yoga For Health: Directional Movements
Yoga for Peace: Nadi Shuddhi
Yoga For Joy: Nada Yoga
#5 Plant a Tree Together
Planting and nurturing a sapling is probably one of the simplest and most effective things an individual can do to combat climate change. Plus, caring for another life can allow a child to experience a sense of inclusiveness. As Sadhguru puts it, “Trees happen to be our closest relatives. What they exhale, we inhale. What we exhale, they inhale. This transaction is on all the time. Whether you are aware of it or not, one half of your pulmonary system is hanging up there right now on a tree! If you establish even a psychological connection with a single tree and simply remind yourself five times a day of the constant transaction between both of you, you will see the transformation in just a few days. You will start connecting with everything around you differently. You won’t limit yourself to a tree.”
Editor’s Note: Download the ebook “Inspire Your Child, Inspire the World” for more parenting advice from Sadhguru. The book is available as “Pay As You Like.” (Set 0 for free)