Just because your children have gone back to school, it doesn’t mean that they have to spend less time outside. Here are a few tips on how to keep outdoor time after going back to school.
Our friends from Learning Resources have put together 5 brilliant activities to inspire your little adventurers and get them spending more time outdoors.
1) Woodland Walking – finding good walk routes
Going for a walk is a great way to get your little ones out of the house and on an adventure. Take them somewhere with lots to see and discover like a wood.
There are so many types of trees, animals and plants to explore. On your adventure, see if your children can collect every colour of the rainbow or something that begins with every letter in their name. With the season turning into autumn, the leaves will be changing and falling from the trees. Take advantage of this, don your wellies and bring along a magnifying glass, pencils and paper and get them drawing. Take a look at Woodland Trust to find a wood near you.
2) Go on a bug hunt
Children are natural explorers and outside they’ll find an abundance of insects to discover.
Search under stones, wood, leaves and hunt through long grass, flowers and bushes; you’re bound to find loads of creepy crawlies hiding there. Some critters to look out for are ladybirds, butterflies, caterpillars, snails, spiders, woodlice, worms, ants and many more.
Remember though, once you’ve found your crawlies, you must be gentle and treat them with care. Always let them go once you’re finished looking at them. The bugs will appreciate being returned to their own homes. A great thing to do is create a checklist for them to tick off once they have found the critter. It will be an incentive to find as many as they can! You can use an insect spotting sheet for inspiration and to keep track of what you find.
Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt. All around the world people are hiding boxes with trinkets, letters and photos for people to find and add to. Participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device to hide and seek containers called ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches’, at specific locations marked by coordinates.
Once you find one, you sign your name, date it and put it back where you found it for the next person to find. You can even leave a little something for someone to swap or trade.
Visit the geocaching website to start your adventure!
4) Investigate your garden with a magnifying glass
Your garden is full of life and adventure. Let the kids loose in the garden with a magnifying glass and see what they find.
Children can look out for different types of flowers such as primrose, pansy, sunflower, lavender and even daisies. Encourage them to look closely at the stem of the plant, the bud of the flower, the petals and pollen. They can learn so much from examining a flower closely and it can link to lessons in school about bees, pollination and flowers.
Look out for butterflies resting their wings. Carefully study the colours and patterns on their wings and note down how each one is different. Examine fallen leaves and see if you can find any holes where a hungry caterpillar has been for a visit.
5) Find a new park to play in
Visiting the same places can become repetitive and uninspiring for a child. Ignite their imagination and create adventures with somewhere new. Take a tour of the neighbourhood and surrounding areas in search of a new park. You could do it on the way home from school or on a weekend.