WHOOSH… It’s Spring!
Spring is such an exciting time. I have always loved the Spring/ Easter holidays and as a keen gardener it is a time to relish getting outside, cleaning tools and pots and really starting the growing season. However, you don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy this season. There is so much to enjoy from the longer days, brighter light, colourful daffodils and tulips, the sound of happy tweeting birds and the first signs of new shoots poking through the soil. Spring is a time for hope, awe and wonder.
Over the holidays as a child we spent lots of time outdoors happily playing, creating and exploring. Here are some ideas for exploring outdoors with very little cost and oodles of fun and open-ended opportunities – perfect for little explorers!
Helping birds in our gardens
Birds are becoming very busy collecting twigs, feathers and moss to build their nests. I always like to help our feathered friends out a little at this time of year because they can get overworked and tired with all this preparation! So, I always supplement their nest building supplies with wool, string or if you have a tumble drier you collect the fluff from inside and put them in an open bird feeder. You will notice that the birds will begin to collect what you leave out. Not only will it help create a cosy bed but it may add some colour to their nests from the different fibres!
Collect some natural materials from outside and with your child think about how a bird may create their nest. Think about weaving the natural objects to create a strong structure. Once you are finished, place your nest in the garden or in a tree and you never know a little visitor may come and try it out!
This is a great activity and one of my favourites. When out for a long walk, collect a stick about the length of your arm and take some elastic bands with you. Wrap the elastic bands around the stick and as you enjoy your walk, your child can collect treasures and attach them with the elastic bands. This is a great activity for encouraging children to become inquisitive about the world around them, it helps them to tune in and explore and REALLY look at what’s beneath their feet. At the end they could make up a story using their collected treasures or transform their treasure stick into a wand! Happy exploring 😊
Hapa Zome -Leaf Bashing
At this time of year, you can create the most amazing leaf prints from fresh, moist leaves. Collect a few fresh, moist leaves and place them on a flat surface e.g. chopping board, floor or tree trunk. Cover it with fabric or paper and then gently tap the fabric with either a hammer or flattened thick stick. Continue to tap until the whole area has been covered and then gently peel off. The colours from the leaf should have stained the fabric and left an imprint behind. Happy tapping😊
Hunting for signs of spring
Enjoy designing a springtime nature hunt. Write up a list of things to find outside in the garden and enjoy finding these treasures together.
Make spring perfume
As a child, I was happiest when making little potions in the garden with pots and pans! Many petal perfumes were created and sticky mud pies! There is nothing better than creating something that no one has made before you! So, before you head out into the great outdoors, grab some little containers for collecting some natural treasures. Encourage your child to collect the items from the floor so not to damage living plants. Add them into your collecting tubs and then once back at home, add some water and use a little stick to mix the scents altogether. Make a few different perfumes and then compare the scents – which one do you like the most?
Take a moment – breathe and listen
We all live such busy, busy lives and taking the time to STOP and LISTEN can be a challenge at times. When out in the countryside, find a little space, a ‘sitting spot’ and take the time to sit, rest and really listen. Nature has a rich orchestra and springtime is a wonderous moment in the nature calendar where everything is waking up! You will be really surprised that when you really ‘tune in’ how many different sounds you can hear. The sound of the leaves rustling, birds tweeting their unique and individual calls and the sound of scratching as a squirrel hurries up the tree are to name a few of natures instruments. Enjoy, catch your breath in our busy world – relish the time.
So, all that is left for me to say is enjoy the start of this special season. Grab your coats, collecting pots and set off to explore our amazing natural world. Oh and remember … for children there is nothing better than finding those muddy puddles so remember your waterproofs!