20 activities to get children enjoying Nature

26 January 2018

Dear friend,

Did you know that inmates spend more time outside than kids? I was shocked when I saw this report from BBC Newsnight. Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris spoke to BBC Newsnight about their book, The Lost Words.

The Lost Words explains how all over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood and sadly this vocabulary is being lost.

Children need to spend more time interacting with the natural world. A recent study of 2,000 parents commissioned by the Eco Attractions Group found that just half of children have built sandcastles at the beach, with a similar number saying they've never had a picnic outside.

Nature is good for kids’ minds.

  • It builds confidence 
  • It promotes creativity and imagination 
  • It teaches responsibility 
  • It provides different stimulation 
  • It gets kids moving. 
  • It makes them think 
  • It reduces stress and fatigue

Children who play outside develop better language skills, are fitter and have fewer behavioural problems. Research shows that children also use five times as many words when they play outdoors and we know that there is a direct correlation between obesity and lack of time spent outside.

I have two computer mad boys but every weekend we get them out from behind their screens and explore nature. It enables us to spend quality time together. I think it is a really important part of our family life and miss our adventures if the weather is too wet or one of us is sick. Getting out into nature doesn't need to cost a lot either. There are plenty of activities you can do that cost nothing.

20 activities to get children enjoying Nature

  1. Camp out
  2. Go Bird watching
  3. Go on a Treasure Hunt/Scavenger Hunt
  4. Share a skill; skim a stone, make a daisy chain, blow a grass whistle
  5. Be a Nature Detective
  6. Take Photos
  7. Make a bird feeder
  8. Collect seeds, pine cones, nuts for a craft activity
  9. Make a mud kitchen
  10. Go for a picnic
  11. Put on wellies and splash in puddles
  12. Plant a garden
  13. Go on a MiniBeast hunt
  14. Make a nature map
  15. Build a fort
  16. Watch the clouds
  17. Climb a tree
  18. Go for a bike ride
  19. Make a collection
  20. Make a nature notebook

What would you add to the list? 

One Moment in Time with Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

3 January 2018

Welcome to one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. Welcome to Claire from Life, Love and Dirty Dishes. I was so happy when Claire contacted me as I love her blog and the way she tells her tales of parenting with a sparkle in her eye and a good dash of humour. Thanks for joining me!

Oh this photo!  It is far from the nicest photo I have of my two boys.  It’s not the best quality or composition.  There are no smiles, in fact they look downright miserable (they were).  But it absolutely captures a moment in time, it tells a story.

This photo was taken Five days in to the Big one having a mild case of the Chickenpox and about Five days before the Little one got a severe case of the Chickenpox.   Five days of being confined to the house had taken their toll.  Everyone was grumpy and fed up.  Even the weather matched our moods with storm Doris raging outside. 

Big couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him go to school.  He was devastated to be missing his class assembly.  He was supposed to be a narrator and welcomes any chance to be the centre of attention.  He was in full on meltdown mode about it all and was past the point of reasoning.  Pushing my patience to the limit he was sent to the naughty step to calm down. 

Of course, where ever Big goes Little follows, and he joined Big on the naughty step and displayed the same attitude in a show of solidarity for his beloved big brother.  Matching frown to boot.

It was one of those moments when they were both staring at me with their big blue eyes and faces of thunder, that I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it.  You earn some badges of honour as a parent; being puked on, scooping poo out of the bath, surviving nits.  I knew in that moment that Chickenpox was one of those stories we would later laugh about, and it wasn’t going to beat us.

After I took this photo I tickled them senseless until everyone was giggling, then we ate ice cream and watched The Lego Movie for the 57th time that week snuggled on the sofa with a duvet and the aroma of calamine lotion.

Now when I look back on this photo, it always makes me smile.  It reminds me that parenting is sometimes tough, but we get through it, and we can always turn a situation around. 

It also reminds me that these two have each other’s backs, and when Daddy is at work I will always be outnumbered and outwitted!

You can read about our time in the Chickenpox house over on my blog.

Find Claire on...

Twitter:  @lifeloveanddd
Instagram:  lifeloveanddirtydishes

Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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