Outdoor activities are not only the much-needed-energy-vents for a toddler but also develops his ability to observe and reason. Visit to Nature preserves are great for learning about local habitat and vegetation.
Navi Mumbai is blessed with lots of greenery. If you want to skip the malls sometime, and spend some time in nature's lap (maybe a picnic or a day out), here are few that I recommend.
1. Pavana Lake
The first time I visited this place I was totally awestruck with its beauty. If you want to be away from the noise and pollution of the city, this is the best place to go. This is an artificial lake but is perfectly placed among the Sahyadri hills.
The best time to visit this place would be winters and monsoons. The ride to the lake is surrounded by picturesque spots but the roads are really bumpy. Also there are no open spaces for kids to run around. The kids can make note of small things here like what fishes did they see etc which can be used for a scrapbook activity later.
2. Karnala Bird Sanctuary
This place is fun for kids who enjoy running around. It is a small sanctuary centred around the Karnala fort.
This is a place worth visiting any time of the year. Due to dense vegetation, you do not feel the heat of the sun. Please carry lots of water for your child. Make sure they are wearing the right footwear to run around. If you are taking a baby along with you don't forget the pram. You can also create activities for the children while walking like make silly faces like a monkey or draw silly faces using chalks on the roads. Older children can collect leaves etc for scrapbook activity.
3. Gadeshwar Dam Panvel
Gadeshwar dam is a very good picnic spot near Panvel. It has a splendid view all throughout the year.
This place is worth visiting in monsoons and winters. Carry sunscreen for yourself and your child. Carry enough food and water. Do not plan to stay after sunset as the area is not lit well. There are ample activities that can be done here - They can make a booklet about the insects they have seen. Younger one can see different shades of green we can see in the environment and later identify them in crayon sets. For example, the green of grass is different from green of trees.
(Gadeshwar Dam images from google)
To check out other parks and gardens to visit, read this article - Places to visit in Navi Mumbai
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All pictures in this article are original and have been contributed by the author.
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