Underwater ecosystems whether a pond or an aquarium offer a set of unique benefits for children and parents alike. From the expected educational opportunities such as science but also mindfulness – yes, mindfulness! – fish can teach a lot.
We’ll run through some of the more traditional benefits first. You’ll probably agree with us that aquariums and ponds are an open invitation for children of all ages to explore the unknowns of the underwater world. Here are the top 4 reasons kids and parents should have access to them:
It encourages learning. It pushes kids to explore and discover the world under the sea they would otherwise hardly encounter.
“How does the starfish move from the rock to the glass?”
“Why is Nemo hiding in this coral?”
“What is the shrimp picking off the fish?”
From science and social interaction to problem-solving and critical thinking, even a small ecosystem with a couple of fish and corals can help understand a lot. From hard to explain concepts to much more, it allows for a child to come to his own conclusions. Same for adults!
It stirs imagination and creativity. Children look at these aquariums and they see a whole new different world.
Two of the most vulnerable attributes children thrive on find a place to go wild in the underwater world of fish, crabs, shrimps, live sand, soft and hard corals, turtles and so much more.
The colors alone are so brilliant and inspiring in a saltwater aquarium. But add to that the beautiful movements only found in water, the multitude of textures and shapes never to be found on land and the unknown “animals”, and imagination and creativity will be on overload.
Keep those attributes alive in our children and help adults get back in touch with them!
It creates a sense of responsibility and brings children and parents together. Taking care of pets can make an impact on how kids develop their social skills. It also opens a forum to interact with parents through learning and growing together.
As parents we are always longing for the “teachable moments,” those times where we can pass our knowledge along to our little ones while they are still interested and while they still think we know everything. It reinforces our parental sense of responsibility towards our children. On the same token, we can teach them to take care of pets.
It fosters Mindfulness.
Watching the sequences of moments that make up the lives of the fish and how independent they are from each other brings to life the concept of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is defined as living in the moment. Human’s signature ability to carry the past and wonder about the future are both a blessing and a curse. The concept of being mindful is often explained by turning to nature and how animals care only about the “right now’. Your pond or aquarium is a plethora of moments in which children and parents can focus on what’s happening right now.
Aquariums also offer an ideal physical focus point to disconnect from the hustle of every day activities and meditate. The soothing rhythm of the aquarium system – think pulsating xenia – eases the mind into a state of calmness by promoting the regulation of our breathing. This is a fantastic way to teach children the breathing techniques for meditation.
Whether you own an aquarium or pond or whether there is one at school, the pediatrician’s or at your office, the benefits of really taking in what they have to offer us is priceless. Let the fish teach kids and parents how to master life’s most important skills!