Adventures in Nature
We’ve been bending over backwards to try out new ideas with flexible materials this April. Spring hasn’t quite sprung for us here yet (still snowing at the end of April!) but a plentiful supply of willow rods and bramble stems has provided a flexible resource that keeps on giving.
At end of March my Dad presented me with 2 buckets full of fresh willow he had chopped back from his hedge. Taking this to our Easter holiday forest schools the children soon got to work experimenting and making. The flexibility of willow meant some got snapped up for making bows and arrows, although we don’t think its as good as hazel for strength under fire. The bendiness lends itself well to some creative ideas though, and forest school practitioner Ruth McBain showed us an owl she’d made by tying up curved shapes with wool. A few forest school-ers soon wanted to make one too. (more…)
Are there two sorts of children; those that love the mud and those that don’t? In my forest school work I see both preferences on a regular basis but think that perhaps there are only those that love it and those that don’t love it – yet. In March, there are small signs that spring is on its way but mainly it’s a grey month of waiting for the world to turn green again. After winter rains and heavy feet crossing waterlogged ground, mud is one of the resources in plentiful supply and one packed with possibilities for creative play. (more…)
Come February and the half term break we may be yearning for the spring and to get outdoors, but the weather often has other ideas. I have grown to dislike the oft-quoted saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes,” as even the best dressed individual can soon get fed up when the rain is lashing down sideways for hours on end, as it has done this winter. Through working with large groups of forest school children in pouring rain or bitter cold, we have learnt a few things about having a positive experience outdoors even in the most challenging weather. (more…)
Over the years at Get Out More we have gathered a raft of ideas which make the most of the season, the weather or seasonally available materials such as leaves, berries, mud and snow as a way to connect with the environment around us. Our mission is to help people engage with nature to feel better about themselves in mind and body, so we’re always keen to share ideas that get people enjoying the outdoors. Last year I blogged about my Microadventures in a bid to show how anybody can sneak a bit of outdoor adventure into a busy life. This year, I’ll be blogging each month to share some ideas for ways to get out more and connect nature throughout the year. The blog will kick off properly at the start of February with ideas to inspire you to get out, even in really awful weather, but to get the ball rolling, here’s a January activity we enjoy as a family. (more…)
A new year’s day swim is a well established custom in this country. Like cheese rolling or fell running there is something particularly masochistic and British about our traditional customs and taking the plunge in a chilly lake or river at the coldest time of year is no exception. Still, it had been a very mild winter so far so the water shouldn’t be too cold, I told myself. However, on waking up on new year’s day I noticed a frost on the ground and wondered why I had chosen to do this. A band of fellow swimmers from the night before transformed into a team of supportive towel holders and bag carriers, but with 2015 already over I had no choice but to commit to the challenge to complete my Year of Microadventures. (more…)