Living in Hong Kong we are so lucky that we have such easy access to bushland all around us wherever we choose to live. There are so many amazing outdoor activities which we can do in Hong Kong such as hiking, going to the beach, participating in a variety of water sports. But how often as a family do you utilise the fantastic outdoors literally on our doorsteps?
I was lucky enough to visit Year 3 Camp in Sai Kung this week and see how much the students enjoyed being outdoors actively involved in kayaking, hiking, catapult making and shelter making. Although the students were really enjoying these organised activities I was amazed by how many of the students, both boys and girls alike loved playing in the dirt and it made me think about how often do our students actually get dirty? In a world obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness children are missing out on many of life’s simple pleasures.
Whilst on a nature hike with the Year 3 students I was really impressed by the student’s interest in everything around them. After seeing a large banana spider I got into quite a fascinating conversation with one group about where do baby spiders come from and what do they look like. We found a video online of banana spiders hatching from an egg sac which answered many of the student’s questions. It was such a great learning experience for us all, generated by being outdoors and looking at nature around us.
It is really important that as families we place value in being outdoors and in providing our children the opportunity to go on hikes to explore nature. The earlier we start this with our children the more it becomes a normal part of our family lives. There are so many direct benefits of being outdoors; learning about the world in which we live, improving our fitness, reducing screen time and just being together without any distractions.
So next time you are thinking about what can you do on the weekend try to get outdoors and just explore all that Hong Kong has to offer.
Mark Hemphill | Head of School