Autumn is a fantastic time to get out and about and explore with your little ones. Crunchy leaves, acorns and squirrels out collecting for Winter, there’s always something to see. Being outside helps your baby and child’s brain development and can help with our mental wellbeing, especially as the nights draw in.
Next time you’re out for a walk try making a nature crown or bracelet.
This is really simple and fun.
Cut out a piece of card (perhaps from an empty cereal packet) the right size for your little one’s head or wrist. Join the ends together to make a crown or bracelet. Cover the card in double sided sticky tape, or if don’t have that, just use bits of normal sticky tape formed into loops.
Then, when you’re out and about on your walk, let your child collect small pieces of nature to stick on it (like small sticks, leaves and flowers).
When home, you could talk about what you’ve collected.
With thanks to The Ladybird’s Adventures for this idea.
We love this idea from Naturally Learning.
On your next walk encourage your little one to collect leaves, seeds, flowers, pebbles or anything that catches their eye.
Then, when you get home, put all the ‘nature treasure’ on a tray to explore and talk about it. Next, fill a tub with water, place the items in the water and freeze!
Once it’s frozen, bring the block back out and talk about what has occurred.
Then, as the ice begins to melt, talk about what’s happening.
Why not add spoons or a little more water? How does the ice feel – cold, wet, slippery?
When you are out and about today, can your little one spot any fallen twigs or sticks?
Who can find the largest, shortest, thickest, spikiest, roughest, twigieist or smoothest?
If you are somewhere where there are lots of trees around you, why not lie on the ground and see how many sticks it takes to make a circle around you (tip for the grown-ups – this is a very crafty way for you take a lie down and be still, or vice-versa).
Have a twig-tastic time!
When you’re next outside on a walk, why not take a cardboard stencil or frame with you and watch “nature’s TV?”
Using an old cereal packet, encourage your little one to cut out a frame or a shape as a stencil, and then place it in different spots.
How different things can look, depending on where it’s been positioned!
(With thanks to Forest Explorers for the images)
Hairstyles in Nature
When you’re next out and about, why not try this simple but funny activity?
Before you go out, draw a face onto a piece of cardboard (the inside of an old cereal packet will do), cut it out, then when you are having your walk encourage your little one to put it up against different backgrounds to create ‘hairstyles in nature!’
How many different styles can they make?
(With thanks to Family Days Tried and Tested for the inspiration and the photos)
When is a stick not a stick? When it’s a nature wand!
All you need to do when you are out and about, is to remember to take a roll of sticky tape with you.
Then, as you walk along, find a stick. A ‘just right’ sort of stick, not too big, not too small, not too spiky – a stick that’s perfect!
Once THE stick has been found, wind some tape, sticky side out, around it (we used masking tape).
Then, once your wands have enough tape wrapped around them, begin collecting nature treasures by pressing them to the sticky tape: feathers, leaves, flowers, seeds, grass, pebbles. Before long you’ll have a beautiful nature wand!
With thanks to SunHatsAndWellieBoots for the lovely idea, which not only encourages our little ones to explore outdoor spaces and create nature-based art, but also provides a great way to develop imaginative play and storytelling.