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Nature on Our Doorstep #21-30

14th April 2020

During the current crisis, we’re unable to run our outdoor programmes, but know that connecting with nature and the changing seasons is important and helps us all feel good.  As schools are closed and families stay at home, Get Out More is sharing on social media a fun nature-based idea-a-day for children and families to try together at home or in the garden.

Please follow the latest advice: stay at home, only go out once a day for exercise, keep local and avoid busy places like parks and playgrounds.

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #30;

Children love a treasure hunt.  Draw a map or get them to help create the treasure map as well! The treasure can be anything, their favourite toy, a book or something you’ve found outdoors. The map can lead them around the house and garden, ending up on a big chalked ‘X marks the spot’. Our kids used the map in their own games all afternoon once we’d finished the hunt – great fun!

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #29

Roll up, roll up – make your own puppet theatre! Use sticks, scrap paper shapes or even an old sock. Characters can be decorated by collecting leaves, dandelion petals and grasses. Make sure you ask an adult to help you with any tricky cutting out. If there are only a few flowers, leave them there and search out a place where there are plenty growing.  Give your puppets characters and act out a tabletop or wall top play!

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #28

Counting with natural objects. A great way to practice maths with things we can find in house or garden. Can you count out leaves, pebbles or daisies?  Adding and subtracting is easier to learn when we can hold objects, so why not try playing shopkeepers? It’s so much more fun with tactile natural objects and there’ll be no queues at your shop! We played for hours and even made a wooden mobile phone for business calls…but that’s a post for another day!

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #27

Making shadows. Find a sunny wall inside or out and get moving and bending! Find the perfect place to stand to make shadows. Can you create different animals and characters?  Shadow puppets theatres have been around for thousands of years – what stories can you tell?  Or what about challenging yourself to the make the shapes of the entire alphabet? Take photos of your favourites, we would love to see them!

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #26

Barefoot walking! Ditch the shoes and feel the grass beneath your toes, it’s great for your feet and helps you connect with nature! Toddlers learn to walk  barefoot for a reason – it helps to get balance right and uses more muscles.  Try picking things up with your toes and walking on different surfaces. Remember to make sure there’s nothing sharp underfoot

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #25

Get messy with smudge art. Extract the colours from nature to make an original banner or artwork. You’ll need masking tape and fabric – ask if there is an old sheet you can cut up. Collect colourful materials; dandelion flowers, big green leaves and earth all work well.  Tape your message or design on the fabric then rub the leaves and flowers over the whole thing, squishing the colour into the fabric.  Pull off the tape at the end for the big reveal – ta dah!

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #24

Washing line art! A nice and simple idea for the younger child. Hang a string across an indoor or outdoor space, collect leaves or petals and peg them to the washing line. Brilliant for developing fine motor skills.  To develop the idea, try making an ordered collection of different things such are ordering leaves small to large or shades of green dark to light.

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #23

Listen with your deer ears! Deer can hear far better than us humans as they need to know what’s around them all the time. They can move their ears in any direction without turning their head – what an incredible skill! Cup your hands around your ears, now try cupping them backwards. Can you hear the differences in sound? How long can you stay quiet and listen to the sounds coming from all directions? How many different sounds can you hear?

NATURE ON OUR DOORSTEP #22

Growing carrot tops!  Put aside some carrot tops next time you’re using some cooking. Place them on a saucer and put enough water to cover them half-way. Leave them in a sunny window and replace with fresh water each day. Ours took 10 days to start sprouting new green shoots but, once they appeared, they grow quickly as you can see from our photos! These green shoots can be used in salads once they get big enough, or simply as an experiment to see how high they can get!

NATURE ON OU DOORSTEP #21a, b and c.

Easter egg hunts with a difference! We tried some different takes on traditional Easter egg hunts to suit different age groups – chocolate not always necessary.  From wrapping rocks in foil, to numbered clues around the garden to hiding clues in blown eggs, all the Get Out More children (aged 2 – 17) had a smashing time.  See the different methods on our Facebook page.