While global warming is very real, how many of you are actually taking that one step forward, towards a greener planet? A percentage of this generation is making an attempt, but not many of them understand the beauty and joy that comes with nature in all its glory. Their childhood wasn’t spent the same way their parents spent it! Outdoor events are few and far between, and that is exactly what Nehal Shah set out to change. “Considering I spent a majority of my childhood surrounded by plants and animals, playing outdoors was second nature to me. I couldn’t find anything that that would get my son involved in nature, which is why I started researching,” she explains.
While doing her research, she came across several facts that stated a child enjoyed an experience and cherished it more when a family member or loved one accompanied them. Not only is there more of an impact on the child, but as a parent, you get to spend time bonding with your child in a way that is relatable. “When Heart And Soil started a year and a half ago, it simply started as a result of my research. Like-minded parents would join in, and once it took off, it became more of a passion!” Nehal laughs. The entrepreneurial mother used to have a full time job till she took a sabbatical in September to spend more time with her son—thereby making more time for Heart And Soil.
Every month sees about two well-planned events, that normally stem from ideas from her own son. While he learns in school, or develops an interest in certain things, she takes cues from him and then makes it her own. Currently, in the month of June, she has a Jungle Siesta and Nature Trail set up, but in the past she has even put together a camping trip alongside a river, complete with strawberry picking! “I think one of my favourite events that we put together, has to be the Meteor Shower. No one slept in their tents that night! We just put out blankets, laid back, and literally counted the shooting stars as they went by.”
Flamingo walks are also a popular event, along with farm visits, that give the kids a hands on experience—right from feeding the animals, learning how to milk cows, planting seeds, and understanding how food is grown. Nehal swears by the fact that all her events are simple activities, for all age groups. In fact, their youngest camper has been only a year old!
“If you believe that having a young child stops you from travelling, that’s rubbish. In fact, it’s super entertaining! I went on a backpacking trip to Dharamsala with my son, and we went through homestays, cold climates, and two days just travelling. Don’t deprive your child, AND yourself of these experiences,” says Nehal, as she prepares her itinerary for the weekend.
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