Nature on Our Doorstep #41-50

6th May 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.


Balance  We can learn all about the physics of weight and balance outdoors rather than the classroom. For instance a home-made see-saw easily demonstrates who is heavier, but what happens when the heavier person moves nearer to the middle? Can you try to make a weighing scale out of a coat hanger, string, and flowerpots? What is the secret to getting it to balance?


Journey sticks!Look for natural items while out on your daily walk and combine them to make a souvenir of your adventures. Use wool, string or elastic bands to tie your finds to your stick to help tell the story of your walk.We found a feather from a bird that reminded us of the birdsong we heard, and a beautiful red flower petal.


Wild garlic foraging!  Spring is the perfect time to go foraging for this versatile and pungent plant, which can be whipped up into a delicious soup or pesto. The leaves and flowers are edible. Young leaves are delicious added to soups, sauces, and pesto. Always be sure you can positively identify any plant before you pick it, and never eat any plant you are unsure of. Only pick from areas that have a plentiful supply and wash it well before eating.


Nature Webcams!  Ospreys, puffins, peregrines, owls…and more! Watch wildlife on webcams provided by Wildlife Trusts across the British Isles. Webcams allow an unrivaled view of intriguing behaviours: from courtship, nesting, and hatching to a peep into the first few weeks of a chick’s life. Our favourite is the Woodland Trust’s Ospreycam.  Be warned – it’s addictive viewing!


Pick up sticks!  A family favourite, testing hand steadiness, and flushing out those with a competitive streak! All you need to play are around 20 – 30 sticks, you can get them from the garden or when you’re next out on a walk. Choose sticks you can easily hold in your hand. To play, let them fall onto each other on the floor, or table, then take it in turns to pick up one stick at a time without moving any others. If you move any surrounding sticks in the process, you must leave the stick and the next player takes their turn. The winner is the one with the most sticks at the end!


Tadpoles!   It’s tadpole time! While out on your daily walk can you find any of these wriggling wonders?  Tadpoles (also sometimes called polliwogs) hatch from eggs called frogspawn and soon start to grow legs before losing their tails and maturing into frogs.   If you do take any out for a closer look, please put them back where you found them


Leaf Painting!  This is a great activity for little ones. Use flowers and leaves to create interesting paintings either by printing, or, using them as your actual paintbrush! How many different textures can you see? Is it easy to paint with a leaf? Can you use lots of colours on one leaf to make a rainbow print? Children can also be involved in collecting the leaves and flowers, keeping them busy for that little while longer!


Make a nature character.  For today’s activity can you use wobbly eyes or stickers to create a character from a natural object? How about writing a story about your creation? What is their personality like, what do they eat, where do they live, what adventures can they get up to? Let your imagination. run wild!



Colour hunt!
One for the whole family. While out for your daily activity, choose a colour and see how many different examples of it you can find. We found 12 reds and 15 blues; how many do you think your family will be able to find?  Use the game as an opportunity to learn about the difference between natural and unnatural and the role colours play in our world.


Memory Tray Game.  This memory skills game is fun for children and adults alike, as well as being a good one to fit in whilst sitting down with a cuppa!  Find some items from your garden or from a walk you’ve been on, we picked up things like feathers, sticks, pieces of bark with moss on, interesting stones, leaf skeletons, leaves, etc. Place them all on a tray and let everyone take a good look, then cover with a tea towel, remove one item, uncover, and take it in turns to guess which the missing item is! Once you get the hang of it you can start removing more than one thing at once, or adding things in.