Here's a little care package for any parents limping over the line as the new school term (finally) approaches. We've tried and tested these activities with our own children, who are aged between 3 and 6, and, well, Dave. But he's 34. Just like a plaster, it's usually best to peel them away from whatever YT video they're watching (probably either that family who are always jumping about in their pool, a minecraft gamer, or occasionally the over enthusiastic man wearing blue and orange) with great speed. The immediate fall-out can seem catastrophic, but once they get outside and stuck into a project they soon recover.
So to help you out, we've put this end-of-Summer bundle together which should hopefully give you some great ideas on how to spark a passion for the outdoors in your little ones and get them outside and being active until our Autumn Activity Bundle.
# mini beach clean
What is it? Surfers Against Sewage are a marine conservation charity based here in the UK. They have a strong and active following, passionate about many causes. They have some great large scale activities, but here's one which can be done by anyone at anytime. How do we join in? For further details and guidance click here . The drive behind the campaign is to share on social media the positive work you're doing representing your coastline. What do I need? Well, pretty much a bag to put plastic pollution into, and either litter pickers or a decent pair of gloves. There is a brilliant initiative currently running by the BMC called Hills to Oceans where you can register to receive free litter pickers and sturdy collection bags too which are posted out to your home.
Making it more interesting Age dependant obviously, but drawing out a tally chart of the different types of plastic pollution is a great way to embed some maths without them even knowing it.
Big Seaweed Search
What is it? The Big Seaweed Search is a 'citizen science project' coordinated by the National History Museum, and the Marine Conservation Society. The aim of the project is to monitor the impacts of rising sea temperatures on seaweed across the UK.
How do we join in? This is one of our favourite coastline activities as no matter your results you know you're contributing to a large and important scientific study. You'll need to head down to the coast during low-tide (check tide level here) and choose a 5 meter wide pitch. With your back to the sea, you walk up your 5 meter wide section examining seaweed and recording your findings. The two main resources you'll need are:
The Official Big Seaweed Search Guide
Big Seaweed Search Recording Form
Making it more interesting If being part of a super sciencey national project doesn't do it, go all-in, take some string to measure out your pitch, take plenty of photos, you'll need a designated clip-board and pen holder too. If you have friends with children, or maybe just invite some relatives along, you could pitch up a couple of different areas and compare your findings too.
Build a Mini Pond
What is it?
The 'build a mini pond' activity is one of the RSPBs Wild Challenges. It's a straightforward activity, which you might want to do alongside a Bug Hotel. How do we join in? If you make your way to the RSPB website, you'll be able to register and 'officially' complete the Wild Challenges, of which there are loads. You can of course browse through and do which ever ones you like and not tell anyone, but where's the fun in that eh. For this particular challenge you will need to follow: The Build a Mini Pond Guide Sheet
Make it more interesting.
Why not take your mini pond and in addition build a Big Hotel nearby, you'll transform your Bug Hotel into a full-on 5* Bug Resort.
What is it? Simply setting up a tent, or shelter using sheets, in the garden to make a hide, arm yourself with snacks, and depending on age, some loo-roll taped binoculars too. How do we join in? There's nothing much to do here, but amazingly our children love it. Making it more interesting Introducing some bird feeders into your garden, and delegating some 'bird food monitoring' responsibilities has worked for us. If you buy the fat balls for your feeder, a fun job, is to put them inside a plastic bag and smash them up, which, according to Adams Nan, helps attract smaller birds.