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Fun and Simple Outdoor Activities

With Spring in the air we have gathered some fun, educational and interesting activities that you and your children can complete together in your own garden.

Whether it’s throwing it down with rain or basking in warm sunshine, there are always plenty of outdoor activities for toddlers and children in the garden, and we think you’ll love them as much as they do.

Here is a collection of some fun things to do with your child, while getting closer to nature, developing their early years skills and giving them plenty of opportunities to try new things.

Pinecone or Yoghurt Pot Bird Feeder

You will need:

- Pinecones or Yoghurt Pot

- Bird seed

- Raisins

- Peanuts

- Grated cheese

- Suet or lard

- A mixing bowl

- Scissors

- String

1. Make your bird mix. Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don't melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.

2. Add the other ingredients to the bowl. Mix them together with your fingertips until the fat holds the squidgy mess together.

3. Now group your cones together and loop the string around the top of them. Then pack the sticky bird mix around the cones with your hands, creating a ball shape.

4. If you are using an empty yoghurt pot then make a hole in the bottom of the pot to insert the string through. Then tie a knot in the string so that it stays inside the pot. Scoop in the bird mix and pat the mix down into the yoghurt pot.

5. Put your cones or yoghurt pots into the fridge to set for an hour or so. After that, they'll be ready to hang up and are bound to bring the birds flocking.

Curriculum links to explore with your Bird Feeders-

Science -

Bird feeders are an easy and inexpensive project for young children. They will enjoy spotting and naming the birds, as well as identifying the names of new birds that they may not know the names of.

Questions to ask:

- What birds do you think we will spot using our bird feeder?

- Will we see a parrot or a flamingo? Yes, No - Why not?

- What animals do we have in our local environment?


Tally charts: You could keep a tally chart for the birds you spot on your bird feeder. For

younger children just mark making and counting in 1's will be great fun.

For older children you can challenge them more, e.g. count in 2's and 5's.

Count in different languages, make predictions.

Discuss more and less.

E.g. Which bird did we spot more than the others?

For bilingual families or bilingual nannies, count in different languages.

Fairy Soup

You will need:

- Mortar and pestle

- Water

- Scissors

- A collection of leaves, petals, seeds (natural items gathered from the garden)

1. Venture out into the garden and gather leaves, petals, seeds and grass.

2. Mix them together into a small bowl of water.

3. Use scissors to shred the ingredients, crush them using spoons and mixers, and experiment with textures and colours. You could also add food colouring or glitter to make your Fairy Soup a bit more magical.

Curriculum links to explore with your Fairy Soup-

English - Making Fairy Soup is easy, inexpensive, engaging and fun!  It is the perfect activity to encourage storytelling and to excite the imagination.

You can explore adjectives, e.g. colours bright pink, dark green.

Texture e.g. bumpy, soft, rough, smooth.

Verbs can also be explored and identified whilst you are making the soup, e.g. chop, stir, pour, pick.

Questions to ask:

- What do you think the fairies will think it will taste like?

- Where in the garden do you think the fairies live?

- Do you know any stories about fairies?

- What colours can you see in our soup?

- How many fairies do you think live in the garden?

Mini Garden

You will need:

- compost

- seeds (any)

- gardening tools

- a patch of land, plant pots or a tray

1. Find some trays or pots.

2. Fill the seed tray with seed compost.

3. Moisten the surface of the compost.

4. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the compost.

5. Cover the seed tray.

6. Place the seed tray in a warm place.

Curriculum links to explore with your Mini Garden-

Science: Having their own Mini Garden will enable your child to investigate how plants grow, grow plants from seed and learn that a plant needs light and water to grow.

You can also name the flowers or vegetables that they can grow.

Maths: Talk about growing from small to big, measure growth and height and make comparisons.

PSHE: This is a chance for your child take care of another living thing and learn responsibility.

Literacy: Phonics and reading- younger children can begin to recognise graphemes, phonemes and digraphs and significant letters from the seed packets and names of the plants and vegetables. Older children can read some or all of the instructions on the packet.

Colour Matching Scavenger Hunt

You will need:

- A paper bag

- Colouring pens or pencils

- Somewhere outside (e.g. garden or park)

1. Colour some patches on to your paper bag.

2. Explore an outside area and try to match different objects to the colours and put them in the bag.

3. Do not worry if you cannot find all the colours with objects that you can gather, look at the space around you. Can you spot the colours there?

E.g. the sun, the sky, buildings, cars

Curriculum links to explore with your Colour Matching Scavenger Hunt-

Geography - e.g. landscape, Where do we live? City, garden, park, lake, mountains.

Senses - Textures, adjectives - How do the dry leaves feel? Crunchy, crisp, fragile

Maths e.g. counting, Count how many petals you may find on your Colour Scavenger Hunt. Make predictions and have competitions.

'I'm going to find 5! Can you find more than me?´

We hope that you have found these ideas helpful and that you will have a wonderful time enjoying the outdoors with your little ones.

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