Nature on Our Doorstep #81-90

17th 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.


Floral Crowns.  The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and an event that has been marked for thousands of years with rituals celebrating our link with nature. Join in by creating a floral crown, as they do in Sweden. Weave long grasses and bendy stems like ivy into a circle and tie in summer flowers. For a simpler version for young children, use a cardboard crown with (double-sided) sticky tape.


Great Yorkshire Creature Count.  Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are on a mission to discover how many different wildlife species we can collectively record in 24 hours. They are recruiting Yorkshire people to look for and record what they can see from their own doorsteps, whether that’s looking and listening out of a window, peering under pots or scouring through a leafy garden. No expertise required – sign up today and take part this weekend!


Walking Sticks.  It’s always fun finding the perfect walking stick, but have you ever wanted to give it its own special hand grip? ‘Whipping’ is the technique of tying cord around the handle without having an ugly visible knot. It’s pretty neat and will impress your family, who won’t be able to guess how you did it. Make a loop across the stick, wind the rest of the cord around the loop. As you get near the bottom of the loop, thread the end through the loop and pull the loose end tight inside handle.


Blindfold trail!  Sighted people rely on their eyesight a lot, but have you ever explored the world using just your senses of touch and hearing? Use scarves or sleep masks and create a blindfold trail – can you lead your partner over and around obstacles on the ground?! Or set up a rope trail to guide you and experience the world in a very different way. Warning – be careful of long hanging branches!


Playing in the rain!  A day of rain can be something to be embraced! Get your waterproofs and wellies then adventure out. You can try puddle splashing, mud jumping, rain catching. Take your time along a familiar walk and notice how the rain changes the colour of leaves, the texture of the ground, the smells in the air.


Story sticks!  Decorate a stick to create an interesting character and use it to tell a story. Selina the Storystick (featured in the photos) has been on many woodland adventures, each one with a different tale. Whoever is holding the stick tells part of the story, then passes it on for the next person to carry on. Try ending your turn with an exciting connective to prompt the next storyteller e.g. when suddenly…


Grasshead people!  For this activity you’ll need wood shavings and grass seed – you can gather seeds from the tops of long grasses. Use the foot from an old pair of tights, put a large handful of grass seed inside, then wood shavings until it’s really full, then tie a knot in it. Use elastic bands to create a big nose or ears then dip the whole thing in water until it’s soaked. Place it seed side up on a sunny windowsill and remember to keep it moist. In a couple of weeks, the grass seed will grow. Cut hair as required!


Handwashing! There are some ingenious ways to keep hands washed while out and about. We’ve been using these amazing ‘Spataps’ for some of our Forest School sessions. And we also use a simple device called a ‘tippy-tap’, that works by using the foot to tap a lever to tip water out from a container. It means hands can be washed without touching the stand – therefore stopping the spread of dirt and bacteria. Why don’t you have a go at making one? Tippy Tap Instructions here


Bike Week 2020!  There’s only a few days left of bike week, so make sure you get out on those two wheels if you can! It’s awesome fun and a great way to fit in your daily exercise. You can do the rides as part of your commute to the shops or to take a break and enjoy fresh air and the outdoors.  Last year thousands of people took part and tracked their daily updates on social media using hashtag.    Bike Week website


Tree climbing!  Have you ever climbed a tree? It’s a fun skill that would have once been important for survival but now helps us develop balance and cognitive skills. Just follow some basic rules:
• Always test a branch before you put any weight on it. Dead branches or ones that are too small will snap
• Keep 3 points of contact as you climb; at least 2 feet and one hand or 2 hands and one foot at all times
• If you go up, you need to come back down! Start small and build confidence slowly. Young children enjoy even a small amount of elevation. Older ones need supervision and an appropriate height limit