Nature on Our Doorstep #71-80

4th June 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 most children remain at home and families are still restricted, Get Out More is 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.


Mirror walk.  Have you ever walked in the trees? On a mirror walk, you’ll feel like you are up high in the treetops, without having to leave the ground. Place a hand mirror on the end of your nose and angle the mirror so it reflects the trees above. Try walking up to the trunk of a tree or underneath a low bough. The odd sensation of being high in the tree is amazing! It’s helpful to have a guide by your side to avoid tripping over tree roots and other unseen obstacles on the ground



Pooh sticks!  This is a timeless classic that never gets boring, made famous by Winnie the Pooh and his gang. On your exercise, visit a river or stream with a bridge. (Always supervise children around water and roads.) Each player selects a stick and throws it in the water on the upstream side of the flow, then waits to see whose stick comes out first on the downstream side. According to scientists, for a fast stick you should consider size, buoyancy and drag coefficient, but we prefer to just keep playing until we win!


16-word nature poems!   You’ll be amazed at the results two or more people can create together through this simple format. First, think of a nature word to start your poem, let’s say ‘daisy’. The next person thinks of the first word that comes into their head when they think of daisies e.g. grass. Then the next person thinks of something to do with grass and so on. After the first 4 words, you put the 5th word at the end of the 2nd line with a word that rhymes with the 4th word. The next words go from right to left – as in the picture. If you snake your words around like this, after 16 words you’ll have a perfect little nature poem!


Foraging: Elderflower cordial!  The Elder bush comes into flower in June and their beautiful heady scent is one of the signs of summer. You can capture the flavour in this easy Elderflower Cordial recipe from the Woodland Trust. Go foraging this weekend to make your own but sniff each one first and make sure to pick only the freshest blooms for the best flavour!


Go for a full moon walk!  There is a nearly full moon tonight – why not go out as a family and walk a familiar route at after dark. It will give you a whole new perspective on your area as sights and sounds are transformed. If you can, leave the street lights behind and go somewhere really dark. It takes 20 minutes for our eyes to adjust to the darkness, but our night vision is very good, so leave the torch behind and discover what wildlife prowls in the darkness!


World Environment Day!  Its World Environment Day – a time for the whole world to come together to celebrate our amazing planet. The theme this year is biodiversity, a call to action to combat the degradation of the natural world. Download the practical guide with lots of ideas for how we can help; from recording species near you, to finding out which cosmetics contain harmful microbeads, we can all do something


Dream catchers!  Dream catchers not only look beautiful but really capture the imaginations of children. It is also a good activity that takes very little time to master and results in something that they can proudly display in their rooms. Once the frame and webbing are complete, natural items can be added for more decoration. You could use things like feathers, dried flowers, leaves – anything that takes your fancy!


Bug hotels!  Another activity for budding engineers – create your own bug hotel! These can be any size. Start with brick or stone in each corner to create a square and then create an ‘H’ frame on top with wood. Or you can stack old pallets to create a frame.  Repeat until you’re happy with its height then fill in the gaps with little loose pieces like bark, hay, cardboard, stones, moss, etc.  Check out this step by step guide by the RSPB


Bird nests!  Have you ever wondered how birds make such beautiful nests, using just their beaks and bodies? Some birds favour sticks, some prefer mud, others like moss, and some even make use of man-made materials they find like plastic and wire! Have a go at making your own nest using materials you can find. Look at pictures of different types of birds nest or even spot them in real life. They all look so different but all have the same aim – to protect those precious eggs from harm


Nature spells!  Looking to encourage imagination and language? Take a slightly different view on nature items you find on your walk and grant those deemed most interesting with special powers! A stick with an interesting pattern could be a magic wand! A stone could grant you superpowers! A piece of moss could turn the holder invisible! See what thoughts emerge and help them create an on-going story for each item.