Fun With Nature

I absolutely love being a country bumpkin-digging about in my garden, exploring nature and being outdoors. With the emergence of the sun this weekend I couldn’t be happier and think it’s an ideal season to teach my little girl about nature with fun things to do. Here are a few ideas:

LEAF RUBBINGS
Couldn’t be easier-find a nice textured leaf and cover it with a piece of paper. Gently rub over the paper with crayons of different colours and the leaf will appear on the paper.

NATURE TRAIL
Write or draw of list of things you want your little one to find on a walk. Give them a bucket to put everything and a treat for collecting them all. You could print pictures out from your computer or cut out from magazines.

FUN WITH WATER
Two washing up bowls filled with soapy water and a selection of bowls, spoons, sieves, whisks and plastic milk bottles cup up to make scoops will keep them entertained for ages. Set up in the garden so it doesn’t matter if the splish too much

BUILD A DEN
Two garden chairs and an old blanket or duvet cover and you’ve got the start of a great den. Bring out teddy, some books and some cushions and they will enjoy their secret hiding place for ages. Be warned though- I sat in my daughters empty padding pool today- she got in and we covered our heads with a blanket. I felt slightly silly as my neighbour looked in. Oh well if you can’t beat them join them!

BUG WATCH
An old jam jar with a few leaves inside makes a great bug catcher. This weekend in my garden we have seen a centipede-great fun looking at all it’s legs, we’ve seen a woodlouse, a beetle, ants, slugs and snails. Thye might be common insects to us grown ups but it’s important to remember these creatures will be fascinating to children.

BEACHCOMBING
Last weekend we went to the beach and brought lots of goodies back for our garden. We filled a hessian bag with old fishing net, shells, driftwood and my little girl found two toys tractor wheels. She loved digging and collecting. Being outdoors is so lovely for children especially after the long winter we’ve had.

SEA GLASS MOBILE
I saw a great idea for a mobile. Collect old pieces of glass that have washed up on beaches. Sand is used to sandblast glass to give it a frosty look-this happens naturally on a beach. Collect lots of odd coloured pieces of glass and tie string around them-hang several on string and hang from driftwood. I can’t wait to try this although I don’t know how easy it will be to find the sea glass.

NUTURE
Get your children to nurture their own plant-watering it every day and seeing it grow. My garden is very exposed to the sun so I’ve opted for hardy plants and alpines. They still look nice though and my daughter loves watering them. She has her own watering can and little garden tools.

SAUCER GARDEN
Get a small plate and cover with earth or sand. Your little one can build their own mini garden on it- little stones for a path, branches for trees, small flowers, lid with water in for a pond-add some plastic animals to make it complete. When I was small we used to have great fun with these-entering them in to the village flower show.

There are so many ideas-I loved growing up in the countryside. I would rather be outdoors watching my daughter picking the heads of my pretty pink petunias and flicking the soil out of my rockery than be stuck in front of the TV.

As the theme tune goes ‘Switch off the TV set and go out and do something less boring instead!’

(Sorry for the lack of images-having trouble uploading them tonight)

Have a great week-let’s hope for more sun next weekend.

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