Going out into nature with children to have healthy exercise and lift the spirits is still encouraged so long as we respect social distancing by choosing locations near to where we live that are not over-frequented.
Spring is the perfect time for a discovery walk. Sometimes it is enough for children just to wander about and be in the moment with new shoots, flowers, birds and other wildlife to get close to. But often they prefer a sense of purpose and adventure and this is where trails and scavenger hunts play their part. These may be quite specific, itemising what to look out for with directions and pictures, or generic with questions such as,“How many…?” “What kind of…?”, “Can you find…?” “Can you spot…?, “What can you hear…?”
We have found it useful for children to take containers with them on their walks in which to put bits and pieces of nature that they find interesting or appealing. They love to have a magnifying glass at hand and a pair of binoculars but these are not essential.
A key proviso here is to ensure children collect what is safe and plentiful so that they do not leave nature depleted in any way.
From what the children collect, they can do so much. For example, they can:
– start a nature scrap-book or a curiosity box to build up over time, finding out more about their treasures from books and the internet
– draw and paint what they have seen
– make collages or cards which they can give to friends and loved ones
– make rubbings, prints and stencils
– make bird and animal masks
– make mobiles
– make bird-nests
– make decorations to brighten up the home.
If there are other activities you would like to suggest, please do share them by contacting us.