Nature on Our Doorstep #101-110

3rd July 2020

Get Out More will be back running our outdoor programmes very soon but know that many children remain at home and families are still restricted, due to the current coronavirus situation. Connecting with nature and the changing seasons is important and helps us all feel good, so we’re still sharing on social media a fun nature-based idea-a-day for children and families to try together at home, on exercise or in the garden.

Please follow the latest advice: stay at home as much as possible.  When you go out for exercise keep your distance from other people and avoid busy places like  playgrounds.


Don’t step on a bee day!  Bees are amazing pollinators and can tell us how healthy their environments are all while making delicious honey & they could do with a helping hand! Take a look at Friends of the Earth’s THE BEE CAUSE to learn about ways we can help support them and reverse their decline in the UK


Tracking Animals. On a walk through a wood you are unlikely to see many wild animals, but they have been there. An observant tracker can spot the signs of animal activity; look for nibbled fir cones or seeds (squirrels), rubbing marks on trees (deer) or holes in the ground (badgers or rabbits). With practice, you’ll be able to follow the paths animals took as by following a series of clues such as footprints, snagged fur or poo!


Caterpillars. The warmer months are the time to hunt for caterpillars. Butterflies and moths favour specific plants to lay their eggs. If you know someone who grows cabbages, chances are the caterpillars of the Cabbage White will be chomping their way through right now! And don’t get rid of weeds; nettles are the home of small tortoiseshell butterfly and the unpopular ragwort flower is home to the yellow and black caterpillar which becomes the beautiful red cinnabar moth. Don’t pick up caterpillars – enjoy looking at them instead.


Cardboard Play.  Lockdown restrictions meant an increase in deliveries for lots of households and now, with large queues at recycling centres, what better way to get rid of unwanted boxes than by turning them into fun activities! It takes very little encouragement to get kids to play with cardboard, whether you turn a large box into a boat, or create smaller roleplay props. Quite often the less you do, the more they play. On a dry day you can create hideaways in the garden – perfect for endless games of ‘found you’!


Adjective games!  This is a great little activity on its own but can also be incorporated into any of the other activities where you and your children look for items, such as scavenger hunts, natural spells, finding symmetry etc. Ask your children to find something smooth, rough, slimy, wet, spiky etc or get them to hold an object you’ve found with their eyes closed, describe it to you using adjectives and guess what it is


Pressed Flowers.  It is so interesting to look at flowers and leaves close up but have you ever tried to press them? All you need is a pile of heavy books and some card or paper. Place the flowers and leaves you would like to press between 2 sheets of card or paper and then sandwich them in a pile of heavy books. Leave the plants to press for at least a week, even longer if you have the patience! When they are ready, you can use them to create a picture or decorate a card to someone special. Make sure you have permission to pick the flowers and leave plenty for others to enjoy


Fairy Dens.  Spend some time outdoors creating homes for the fairies today. This activity is a lovely one for all ages and requires little resources. All you need are some ‘fairies’ and a lot of imagination! How big a stone will you need for a chair? What could work as a door? This activity can work anywhere and is something children can keep coming back to, building on and playing with on different days


Plastic Free July!  Join millions of people reducing their plastic waste. Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?


Fly a kite! Kites are a great activity for a windy day! Tie 2 sticks together in a cross then loop string tightly around each stick end to make a diamond frame. Cut a plastic bag into the same shape then tape it to the frame. Tie a very long piece of string to the central cross and add an optional steamer to the bottom point of the kite. You’re ready to fly. Find an open space away from overhead cables. Stand with your back to the wind and have a go!


Seeds.  Have you ever noticed all the different kinds of seeds and their clever ways of being carried off to find a new place to grow? Dandelions carry their seed in the air like a parachute. Cleavers (or sticky weed – that stuff you love to stick on your friend’s back!) stick to anything that passes by with tiny hooks like velcro, while oak trees wait for a squirrel to bury their acorns and forget about them. Have a look for different seeds today and find out what their seed strategy is.