Garden Adventures with Little Explorers…

With Autumn starting to show it’s colours as it were, you might be starting to think about what things you can do with the little ones when the weather might not be at it’s best. Personally, I think having a splash in a river in the rain is great fun and as I have mentioned before our little saying in our house is,

“You can only get so wet!”

But, I also know that sometimes that isn’t practical and sometimes you might not fancy it, especially when noses start running and it turns a bit colder. So it begs the question,

“How can you have Outdoor Adventures Indoors?”

The answer is simple,

“Crafts!”

And at this time of year there are lots of organisations that are happy to share their fantastic seasonal ideas to bring the outdoors indoors and (in some cases) put it back outdoors again! Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some ideas that I have found on the web and while I am out and about so keep your eyes peeled and you never know it might just be worth saving for a rainy day.

1. Build a Bug Hotel

The RHS and The Wildlife Trust are supporting Wild about gardens week and are running a Bug Hotel competition. This is a great way to help kids (and big kids too) get over any fears of creepy crawlies and teach them about working as part of a team, conservation and recycling. A great project that will benefit, not only the children, but also your outdoor space, whatever that may be. Miniature versions can be made for window boxes and yards (as seen here on Red Ted Art) so gardens not necessary.

http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/getmedia/f7323768-76c6-4937-8f8f-c2471ab8ed23/How-to-Build-a-Bug-Hotel-Activity-sheet
http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/getmedia/f7323768-76c6-4937-8f8f-c2471ab8ed23/How-to-Build-a-Bug-Hotel-Activity-sheet

2. Make a Bird Feeder

An oldie but a goodie! Making a bird feeder is a staple for any child and again, you don’t have to have a garden to benefit from it. There are lots of ways you can make these but a really fun way to do it is to make you own “fat ball” mixture. The following advice has been taken from the RSPB to ensure that the mixture is safe for garden birds:

You can make your own bird cake by pouring melted fat (suet or lard) onto a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake. Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture. Stir well in a bowl and allow it to set in a container of your choice. An empty coconut shell, plastic cup or tit bell makes an ideal bird cake β€˜feeder’.

Rather than using a coconut shell, plastic cup, or tit bell, why not have a play. Have a rummage in your cupboards for some pastry cutters, the sillier the better (if you don’t have any, they can be picked up for a couple of pound from most supermarkets) and some straws. Snip the straws to a couple of inches long. Pack 10583956_10152194267260213_507524155627781773_nthe mixture tightly into the cutters and then pierce the straw through the mixture near the top of the cutter to create a hole and leave there until the mixture has set. This will allow you to hang your feeders by threading string or ribbon through the hole.

Now all that’s left is to find somewhere to hang your feeders and buy or head to your local library and pick up a bird spotting book and wait. The kids will be identifying birds in no time at all.

Β 3. Nature Art

Requires a quick trip outdoors to collect leaves, twigs, nuts, anything you can find to bring back home. Best done in a morning so you can make your art in the afternoon. You’ll need some basic arty bits such as paint and glue and some craft paper such as sugar paper. This is an all year round activity, but is best done in Autumn to take advantage of wonderful colours of the leaves. Use the leaves to make prints or stick them on to create a lovely collage. This is the perfect rainy day activity!

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