Five things to make and do outdoors this half term
Summer’s just around the corner, and that means lots of playing outside! Parks and woods offer plenty of entertainment for everyone: trees to climb, swings to swing, hide and seek to play, but if you want some more inspiration for getting your fix of nature this half term, here are our top five ideas.
Make a flower crown
Late May and June is ablaze in floral colour, and what better way to celebrate than unleashing your inner royalty?! With a bit of hunting around, the woods or garden offer all you need to make a beautiful crown – though if you use some string, tape and crafting wire to ensure success, that’s ok too! Here’s how to do it:
- Find some bendy twigs (hazel and willow are good for this), or use vines, such as jasmine. Twist them into a round to form the basis of your crown and bind them with tape. Use string or wire to reinforce them if you need to.
- Collect leaves and flowers – only select flowers that you have permission to pick. If in doubt, stick to a few dandelions, buttercups and daisies.
- Poke the leaves and flowers through the twigs to decorate the crown. The wire can come in handy here too, if you want to attach your flora more securely.
That’s it! Go and be regal!
Birds are making their voices heard at this time of year! The RSPB has lots of information and activities suitable for young children, including this fact page on common garden birds. Or for little ones, you could make up your own spotters guide. For example, can you find birds that are:
- Hopping about
- In a tree
- Eating bugs or worms?
Make a bird’s nest
Continuing with the bird theme, you could use the birds as inspiration to create your own nest. The scale is up to you – you could make a bird-sized one to leave in a tree, or maybe go large, and make a boat sized one that you can picnic in (if you can find enough twigs!).
This is a great engineering challenge if you want to get competitive about it – who can make a next that holds together without using tape or glue? What other natural materials are helpful (e.g. grasses, leaves, feathers, mosses)?
Build a den
Building a den is good at any time of year, but maybe especially so with light nights. You can use chairs and blankets as your base, or twigs and branches if you’re in the woods (though don’t damage living things – only use materials from the forest floor). If your structure holds, why not eat alfresco in your very own homemade shelter? And if a late night adventure appeals, you could spot the stars as they start to appear.
Create a seed bomb
Seed bombs are a fun and easy way of both getting messy and brightening up dull patches – so that’s a double win! There’s still time to make one this year, but do it by mid June to give the flowers time to germinate. You’ll need:
- Native wild flower seeds (around 2 tbsp)
- Clay (about 5 tablespoons)
- Compost (about 2 tablespoons)
- Water (about 1 tablespoon)
Firstly mix the clay, compost and water together in a large bowl. You’re aiming for the consistency of play dough. Add more water if you need. Then mix the seeds in and keep mixing until they’re spread throughout the dough. Roll the mixture into small balls and leave to dry for a day or two. Then go and find somewhere that needs brightening up and launch your seed bombs!