Spring foraging activities:
Foraging is a great way to get children interested in their natural environments and engaging with different types of plants in new ways. Below are four basic and easy to find foraging plants that you can find on walks around the countryside and in hedgerows to make delicious drinks and meals with:
A really simple thing to do is pick the fresh leaves and chop with butter, toasted on some bread makes a yummy garlic bread. For more wild garlic recipes and how to find it click the link below:
To most, dandelions are just weeds, however the whole of the plant is edible and can be used to make natural dyes, salads and even a natural coffee! See below for how:
(You can skip the dehydrator stage if you don’t have one)
This versatile weed can be made into a yummy crisp snack or used in more filling meals such as nettle soup:
(See images below for an alternative to this recipe).
Goose grass/sticky weed spring tonic
Not just a funny trick to throw on your friends back, sticky weed is packed full of goodness:
What natural food and drink creations can you find and make?
Why not take a break from the pressures of ‘home schooling’ and make a DIY cinema in your home? Get all your duvets, comfy pillows and beans bags on the floor, find the biggest bowl for popcorn or your favourite snacks and kick back with a great film. You could take inspiration from drive throughs and make your own cardboard cars to watch the film from! Older children could even get creative designing their own film tickets and set up ticket booths.
It’s important to remember how vital spending fun and quality time together can be in times where emotions are running higher than normal. Children will be absorbing a lot of the ‘adult tensions’ floating around at the moment and struggling to understand why they aren’t going to nursery or school and why they can’t see their friends or family members. Time spent with your child/ren which is focused solely on supporting their mental health and wellbeing will be ensure they feel safe and comforted during a stressful and uncertain period in their lives.
With all the glorious sunshine we’ve been having it’s the perfect weather for making shadows! If you can get outside experiment with making your shadows bigger and smaller, can your shadow ‘catch’ someone else’s?
Indoors you can hang up a sheet or use windows and lights to make your own shadow puppet shows either using props, your hands or why not make your own puppets? These kinds of activities support children’s literacy skills, imaginative play and their creative thinking, allowing them opportunities to explore story structures retelling favourite tales or making up their own.
Here's some shadow play inspiration, let us know what you get up to:
Let’s talk bubbles!
Bubbles are an amazing activity for children of all ages. Some of the many benefits of bubble play are:
As well as using a bubble machine, you can make your own giant bubbles using some basic toys or resources from around the house so you can have giant bubble fun outside or make your own bubble tunnels.
See below for some giant bubble recipes and activity ideas:
Anyone else enjoying some bubble play at home?
This morning I took a much-needed mindfulness walk to the Badger Woods. Mindfulness is something we encourage the children to take part in, especially at the end of our Forest School sessions. We use the time to sit or lie quietly looking up at the trees and seeing what different sounds we can hear. This time helps ground the children after a busy session and supports their transition into the next period of the day. We are lucky enough to have a whole range of different birds to listen to when we are down in the woods – how many types of birds can you hear in this video?
When feeling emotional and anxious it helps to take a minute for your self and find some peace where ever you are, which applies for both adults and children! Whether it’s outdoors or in, try and find a quiet spot and pause for a minute today.
Physical development is vital for happy and healthy children. The NHS guidelines state that children should be physically active for at least 3 hours a day. This can become more challenging whilst at home, especially if you do not have access to an outdoor space.
This morning we made an assault course in the big garden, which could be replicated on a small scale within your own gardens or indoors using objects and furniture from around your home. The children were involved in the designing of the assault course, choosing where thing should go and how it should work, which in itself provides multiple opportunities for creative thinking and imaginative play.
What creative physical opportunities are you coming up with for your child at home?
Play is a vital part of Early Years education and the all round development of children and young people. More than ever it is essential that we remember the importance of play for the children we care for.
See below for an interesting read about why play is so important:
As the sun is shining and there are beautiful blue skies why not do a spot of bird watching? We often talk about and point out the different local birds we see when we are on our vineyard walks or doing our Forest School sessions. There is a pair of buzzards we regularly watch and plenty of crows, pigeons, sparrows and great tits who hang out in the garden. Over the last few weeks we have been making bird feeders for the orchard by stuffing pine cones with a bird seed and lard mixture. This is something really simple that can be done at home for your gardens or put on windowsills so you can watch the birds who visit.
See the link below for the RSPB’s bird food recipe:
Baby Room made their own binoculars a few weeks ago using toilet roll tubes (although we appreciate these might be few and far between at the moment!!), but rolled up paper or other recyclable rubbish will do just as well.
The RSPB has a useful list of all common garden birds for you to spot:
Let us know what birds you find, this morning on our travels we were lucky enough to see a red kite perching in a tree!
For those not sure how to broach the craziness going on around us with your children, here is a lovely resource which can help explain it to younger children. Thanks to Melissa for the find: