Outdoor Adventures – Hunting for Signs of Spring

In Nature Studies, Outdoor Learning, Physical Education, Science, Subjects by PrudenceLeave a Comment

The sun came out today and wasn’t it uplifting? As soon as we pulled back the curtains this morning we knew that our plans had to change. One of the greatest aspects of home education is the freedom that it gives you as a family. We aren’t restricted by school hours and can take full advantage of opportunities when they arise – this morning was one of those opportunities.

I quickly printed out a couple of spring themed spotter sheets from the Nature Detectives website. If you haven’t used this resource before, I urge you to give try it. There are all kinds of nature themed resources available which makes getting outside even more exciting for children. The boys added the sheets to their homemade woodland books and Tristan grabbed his spotter magnifying glass. 

It was glorious. We headed off into our local woodland to hunt for signs of spring. Tristan drew our attention to the beautiful birdsong. We think that it was mainly a song thrush but we may have been mistaken. 
Tristan found a fairy garden with a magical pathway which he was in awe of. It is actually part of a community herb garden but he doesn’t need to know that just yet. As far as he is concerned it has been made entirely by elves and fairies which I think is beautiful.
We then greeted the old man of the woods. Theo respects this sculpture even more since he read a story about a giant in an recent edition of Aquila magazine because he fears that it might wake up. Tristan was peturbed because someone had stuck a twig up the figures nose which he made me retrieve incase it was stoping the man from breathing properly.
They spotted snowdrops, daffodils, blossom and bluebell shoots. They really enjoy ticking off the boxes on the spotter sheets and it makes me happy to know that they are learning the correct names for various plants and flowers. 
The greatest find of the day was frogspawn. My heart leapt when they found it because it signifies the very real beginning of spring to me. We always follow the frog life cycle with interest and make a point of visiting the same site frequently to check on the progress of the frogspawn. 
We waded in the stream at which point I realised that my left Wellington boot had obtained a rather large hole. I need new welly boots every few months – I look forward to the day when I purchase a pair that will last. 

I walked back to the park with a very soggy foot much to the boys amusement. They completed more of their worksheets in the park and Theo drew a lovely picture about our walk. Tristan set about using twigs to write his name on the floor. This is a lovely little exercise which encourages young children to read and write in a fun way.
We had a quick look at the den and made an alarming discovery – some irritating person has added to it with bits of junk. We removed the old ironing board, bit of metal grill and plastic seal to an area set back from the den. I have asked the council to remove them, I hope this happens soon. The shelter needs a bit of work to get it back to its previous condition.

Tristan continued to write about his adventure in his workbook back at home whilst Theo was out at his violin lesson. We looked at the spotter sheets and recounted our journey in detail. His favourite thing about his walk was the birdsong. 

I printed out a beautiful poster from the Nature Detectives website along with some stickers. I laminated these for the boys so that they can use them again and again. The activity asks children to place various plants and animals in the correct location on the scene. The laminated pieces can now also be written on and wiped clean.
Theo spent the afternoon writing a story. I set him a broad theme to get him started – ‘trees’. He wrote five A4 sides and has asked if he can write it up neatly tomorrow. 

We had a morning enjoying the great outdoors and an afternoon inspired by the adventure. Any Wellington boot recommendations would be gratefully received.

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