5 Wild Activities for the Summer

1. Shake a tree and see what comes out!!

We took part in this activity as part of the RSPB WILD CHALLENGE.

It’s quite simple and a lot of fun. Find a sheet, put it under a small tree, or a tree with low hanging branches and shake. Look on the sheet and see what comes out. Use this resource to identify what you have found!

2. Paint some stones

Find some lovely smooth stones out in the wild. Use acrylic paint or/posca paint pens to decorate your stones. Finish them off with an acrylic varnish, especially if they will be living in the garden.

3. Pond or River dipping

You need a net and a tray for this activity. First of all put some pond/river water in your tray then use your net and see what you can find. Tip any finds into your water and have a good look. Also check out this great resource for identifying what you have found.

4. Decorate a stick

There’s so many activities you can do with sticks. We got some wool, ribbon and beads to decorate ours. Later in the day it had turned into a bow, the arrows were imaginary!

5. Get out the play dough and make a herby garden

You can either make your own, check out the link, or use shop bought. Find a herb garden and do some chopping. We enjoyed rosemary, mint, sage, blackcurrant sage, oregano and chives. Use all those herbs to make a lovely smelling garden.

What are your favourite Wild Activities?

 

 

This only works with a good imagination 

We recently took this book ‘Grandfather Tang’s Story’ by Ann Tompert out of the library and started to explore using tangrams to make pictures.Processed with VSCO with s1 presetThe tanagram is an ancient Chinese puzzle. A square is cut up into seven pieces and then used to create silhouettes of a shape, that could be a person, a animal, an object. All seven pieces should be used, they should be touching each other, though not overlapping.

Our little munchkins made all the tanagram pictures in the book. Here you can see a fox, a fish, a rabbit and a swan. Some of the silhouettes really do require a lot of imagination to see what the picture is meant to be. We created a rather dodgy looking lion and the fish was a little bizarre.

In the world of imagination anything can be anything so I think we will be okay!

Our little munchkins started to create some pictures of their own. We did cheat on some occasions by not using all seven pieces.img_1567Tanagrams can be a great educational tool. Have a look at this article from Parenting Science for more information and ideas.

Do you know of any ancient games or puzzels that are fun for children? Please comment below

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

How to make Geodes

We have this lovely book all about rocks. A rock is lively by Diana Hutts Aston. It’s all about the ingredients that make up rocks. It has some beautiful pictures in it, in an attempt to recreate some of this beauty we made some Geodes. Geodes are rocks with sparkling crystals inside them.

We made our geodes by slightly heating up some water and dissolving as much salt as possible.

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetWe mixed the salt solution with food colouring inside some egg shells and left them. It took many days for our geodes to develop

The best geodes that we created were the egg shells in pots that started off with the most salt solution in.

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetWe loved how the molecular structure of the salt changed and in some instances created what looked like perfect squares.

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetWe’d love you to share with us about any fab science experiments you’ve done, please comment below. 🙂

When Okido meets Skittles

 I love our Okido Magazine that pops through the door every month. I shouldn’t really say I love it as it’s aimed at 3-8 year olds, but I do! And so does our son (who definitely does fall in correct age bracket).

This months magazine had a fabulous experiment that our children really wanted to try. We got together some skittles, a plate, a bowl and a jug of water.

After arranging the skittles around the upturned bowl, we removed the bowl and poured a small amount of water in the middle of the circle.img_0934We then watched and enjoyed the colour from the skittles dissolving in the water creating this beautiful pattern. It was fun to watch the colours mixing and inevitably turning into a brown mushy colour!

We were interested to see that when we turned over the skittles there were small dots of colour where the skittles were resting on the plate and the water didn’t come into contact with the skittle and therefore the colour didn’t dissolve away.

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Nice one OKIDO!

Whats your favourite kids magazine?

 

DIY 5 minute bird feeder 

These bird feeders are super quick to make and I’m hoping they will encourage some birds into our community garden.

All you need is some pine cones, bird seed, lard, twine and a blunt knife.

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Use the blunt knife to spread lard generously on the pine cone. Cover the lard in birdseed and tie a piece of twine tightly around the pine cone.

Hang up the tasty treat on a tree and wait for some birds to come looking for their lunch!

You need to find something like this near to you.

Jungle Parc… I was really impressed and gutted that is soooo far from where we live 😦

Jungle Parc is a tree top adventure course that starts for children as young as 4. I loved the way the course started low to the ground and steady and progressively got higher and more challenging.

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Each participant is strapped into a harness which is has two straps attached that have a carabiner clip on the end. The idea is that they are always attached on to a wire with at least one of the carabiners so they won’t fall to the ground.

On this course it was the parent/guardians responsibility to ensure the child is always clipped onto the wire. However it’s the child that has to clip themselves in and out as they more around the course. This was a huge responsibility for the children as in a sense they were responsible for their own safety.

Penguin is generally very safety conscious and the harness gave him the confidence to try parts of the course he would otherwise not have tried. I could really see him concentrating over each section, some were a huge challenge, though he knew it was all up to him and did himself proud.

Jungle Parc really encourages perseverance, concentration and physical agility. It really is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Penguin was so proud of himself for completing three of the courses. I really can’t rate this place high enough. Its just a shame we don’t live locally as I would certainly be frequenting this parc.

Jungle Parc does a fantastic job of keeping their course adventurous and exciting with lots of different elements. Penguins favourite bit was the rocket!

The staff were very good, initially helping the children into their harness and then showing them how to use the carabiners, giving them safety advice and ensuring each child was confident to use the equipment. They were on hand throughout the course when Penguin needed some extra help with reaching the wire.

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There was a small practise course where all newcomers start out. This is just about 4 feet off the ground, high enough to be challenging but manageable for learning how to use the equipment. Penguin completed two green courses and one blue course within the allotted time. There are even higher and more challenging courses for older and taller children and adults. The blue course got up to about 8 or 9 feet high.

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I am guessing Jungle Parc is very similar to Go Ape’s tree top adventures, though jungle parc has courses starting from children as young as 4. Do be aware it is based on height as well as age. You have to be at least 105cm to participate. For Go Ape their junior course is aimed at 6-12 year olds.

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Jungle Parc has centres in Liverpool, Swindon and Northampton with prices starting from £14. It takes about 1 hr 1/2 to complete the courses, be prepared for a tired child at the end of it!

What activities would you recommend for children, or adults!,  that are both a physical and mental challenge? Please comment below 🙂

Estuary Fun!

We recently visited the beautiful country of Wales. We stayed in Pembrokeshire, close to Poppit Sands where the Teifi River becomes a river estuary and meets the sea. Our son loves geography so this was fab.

Our little munchkins were both interested to see the boats floating in the estuary at one time of the day and then stuck in the sand at another time of the day. We got to see the estuary from many different angles and at different times of day.

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Our little ones are definitely explorers, loving to visit different places every day.

We found some fantastic flat stones that will be great to paint on! Have you checked out Our Pebble Family? We also found this incredibly large anchor, not sure it will fit in the boot! We will leave it for you to sit on.

We haven’t yet understood why seaweed likes to stick to stones, or exactly how the moon creates the tides, or why we found some zebra rocks, but we are having fun with it!

It’s so inspiring to be in beautiful places, couldn’t we just stay on holiday!!?

Making Rain

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Ok, so we didn’t make real rain. We made blue rain, green rain,  red rain and orange rain.

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We saw this ‘experiment’ on Pinterest and thought we’d try. I’m not sure what we were experimenting, we were more creating something that looked like a clouds and rain and having fun with it.

We got shaving foam (the extremely cheap stuff for the supermarket-bought specifically for this!), some glass jars, food colouring (we used food colouring gels mixed with water), water and a couple of pipettes.

we filled the jars with water, squirted shaving foam on the top in an extremely cloud like fashion and then used the pipettes to drop colours through the foam.

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Our little ones loved this and kept asking for more. I love the patterns created in the water.

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Do you know any fabulous weather experiments? Please comment below.

Look Mummy, I made a rainbow!

Penguin and Little Missy were busy having lots of fun watering the plants at Granny and Gramps’ house and playing with the sprinkler.

A little Later Little Missy was watering the grass and she calls out “Look Mummy, I’ve made a Rainbow.” And indeed she had made a rainbow; and it was beautiful.

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It reminded me of and experiment we had bookmarked in a library book nearly a year ago. Sadly we never did the experiment and the book (having been renewed a few times) finally went back to the library. The book, Backyard Science by Chris Maynard explained how to make a rainbow and the science behind what happened when a rainbow is made.

To make a rainbow you basically need just two things, a lovely sunny day and a water sprinkler. Stand with your back to the sun and hold the sprinkler up in front of you. A rainbow will appear. How wonderful!

Sunlight is made up of different colours that we don’t normally see. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Usually we just see sunlight as white light. Sunlight hits the waterdrops and the different colours seperate and we can see them in the form of a rainbow.

Have fun making rainbows 🙂