Exploring Nature Through All Of Our Senses #30DaysWild

Yesterday for 30 Days Wild, I used all of my senses to explore the natural environment around me. Even in a small urban garden, this is a very simple activity that really connects us to the world around us, and helps us to feel balanced and calm at the same time.

Sight

Looking around for natural items, I could see an array of colours. All around there are a variety of flowers, different types of grasses, a few weeks, a tree in our garden with many more in the distance, our growing area, a mass of tiny wildlife hiding in every corner. Such a wealth of things to see.

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Smell

Not just the flowers, but the air in general. Does it smell clean and fresh? Or maybe something is polluting it? Some of the common smells from an urban garden might be things such as freshly cut grass, food, rain, flowers and herbs, smoke, earthy smells etc… Focus on the natural ones. My favourite is when it has just rained!

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Sound

Listen to the sounds around. I could hear alot of other noise; an ice cream van, people talking, lawnmower, some kind of DIY, the bouncing noise of a trampoline… I tried to filter all of these out and tune into natural sounds. If I listened carefully, I could hear four different bird calls.

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Touch

I touched the grass, then took off my shoes and walked barefoot through it. We did this same activity, called Grounding, last year and I wrote about it briefly here.

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Taste

I didn’t taste anything. However, I could have made nettle crisps so that is perhaps inspiration for some other time! I would also love to learn more about foraging in general, since at the moment I don’t feel confident doing it (except for berries)!

#30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild

Nature Printing Pebble Art #30DaysWild

Inspired by The Pinterested Parent, I sat in the garden yesterday afternoon and tried to create some beautiful nature printed pebbles. I say tried, because it turned out to be harder than it looked – or at least for me! 

However, this didn’t bother me in the slightest. Just as I teach Squiggle, it wasn’t about the finished result, it was for the sheer enjoyment of doing it. Plus it is relaxing. I love to be artistic simply for pleasure not gain. Sure, creating something that looks pretty at the end is very satisfying, but if it doesn’t work out, it is no loss. 

I found the painted leaves and grass quite interesting, and photography is my favourite creative outlet, so I decided to compose a couple of photos. However, regardless of how the original idea turned out, this was a really fun creative activity!

Remember this week’s linky is open to share your ‘wild’ adventures too! 

Fun Family Activities To Celebrate Earth Day

​Today is Earth Day. So here are some lovely ways you can celebrate, either today  or any other (because really, everyday should be Earth Day anyway!) 

  • Nature art. There are lots of fun nature art activities that you can do as a family. One that is particularly great for Earth Day is to collect some large pebbles, arrange them in a solid circle, then paint them with a map of the world (I decided to add a peace sign too!)

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  • Make an Earth Pom Pom. Check out this super cute creative activity over on Monkey and Mouse!
  • Sign up to Global Guardian Project to get their monthly digital multi-media resource (learning capsule) full of stunning pictures, useful information, inspirational ideas and activities, and wonderful facts about the amazing world that we live in, and how we can care for it. This month the focus is on Israel. Use my affiliate code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY to get 10% discount off subscriptions. (Usual price $14.99 per month). This discount code can also be used for their new special edition National Parks capsule too.

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  • Go on a nature walk. Use all your senses to explore the natural environment around you. Stop for a few moments, be still and listen. What do you hear? What do you see? What can you smell? Touch the bark of a tree, go barefoot on the grass. Take it all in and connect with our earth.

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    • Make a paper mache globe. This project takes several days but is lots of messy creative fun! Head on over to The Crafty Classroom to for a detailed tutorial.
    • Give the earth a helping hand. Do something that helps protect our environment. Small changes can have a BIG impact. Maybe a 5 minute litter pick in your local park? Find ways to reduce energy consumption in your home? Pledge to say ‘no thanks’ to plastic straws with your drink? Or perhaps buy yourself a reusable cup rather than using disposable coffee shops ones? You could even try to give up single-use plastics completely! The possibilities are endless and remember, every small change helps. Other ideas can be found on my previous Make A Splash blog post.  

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    What are you doing for Earth Day? Tell me in comments, I look forward to reading about it!

    Global Guardian Project

    Global Guardian Project is an inspirational digital multimedia resource – called a learning capsule- designed to educate children (and adults!) about caring for our planet, and to empower children of any age to take action and be change-makers. 

    “Our mission is to create learning tools that support the entire family in making simple, daily changes that will become positive habits.”

    Each learning capsule is delivered monthly to your inbox. Subscription costs $14.99 per month and can be cancelled anytime. You will only ever pay for what you receive. You can also buy one-off capsules for $16.99. 

    The capsules are beautifully presented, and contain a wealth of information and activities. They include things such as endangered species, interviews and spotlights, DIY and art projects, recipes, and guided meditations.  Each one focuses on a different country. The current one is about Sweden and coming next, on 15th April, it will be Israel. Here are some page samples from this month’s Sweden learning capsule…

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    I cannot express how much I love the aim and approach of this fabulous initiative. As home educators, we are always excited to find awesome new resources. But this one is an absolute dream because it matches our own values so perfectly. So I am genuinely SO delighted to have teamed up with them to offer 10% discount on subscriptions using my code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY To subscribe, click here and enter the code at checkout. Remember you can cancel anytime. 

    If you are not sure if you want to commit and would like to try it out first, you can get a free India capsule, worth $14.99, simply by signing up to the newsletter here. They send out useful emails once or twice per month. No junk. Promise.

    You can also download the free Oceans capsule here. This is a mini capsule, about 50% of the content of the full size subscription version. But it gives you a great idea of what the capsules are all about. And I am so happy that this one is dedicated to the ocean!

    Remember, if you decide to subscribe, my code is LIVINGLIFEOURWAY for your 10% off discount! I hope you love it as much as I do!!!

    *Disclosure: I am an affiliate. This means I get paid a referral fee for each person who subscribes using my discount code. You save money, I receive a fee, Global Guardian Project gets subscribers and our planet gains a tribe of protectors. Everyone wins! 

    Stay Wild: Fun Family Activities For Autumn

    The evenings are getting darker and there is a crisp chill in the air. There is no doubt about it; autumn is well underway. So grab your coats and get outside to do these great autumn activities while you still can!

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    1. Use the natural resources to create some temporary art. Be inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy and other artists who use nature to create temporary art. Autumn is the perfect time for this fun creative activity, because there is an abundance of natural items laying around ready to use. So just grab some natural resources and let your creative juices flow! This is a fun activity that can be as quick or long as you wish and is suitable for all ages.

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    Nature art

    2. Catch the falling leaves from the trees. A simple concept but challenging game that is best played on a windy day! It is harder than it looks, so time to get energetic; who will catch the most?

    Living life our way, autumn, family fun, educational ideas, outdoor activities, autumn activities, get outside, nature activities, seasons, autumn leaves
    Squiggle catching leaves

    3. Go on a photography walk. Autumn has so many beautiful colours so why not grab a camera and take some seasonal shots. Even young family members can join in the fun with the help of an older sibling or parent/ guardian. Share your favourite pictures and make sure you tag me so I don’t miss it! I shared mine in a prevous blog post called Autumn colours.

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    Autumn colours from my photography walk

    4. Go on an autumn themed scavenger hunt. Autumn scavenger hunts are great fun because there are so many interesting things to find at this time of year. I created a free printable to download or you could make up your own!

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    Squiggle on a scavenger hunt

    5. Make a bug hotel. Bugs are much harder to spot at this time of year, but make a bug hotel and you will realise how many are still around!

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    This wonderful bug hotel is at Littlesea Haven Holiday Park.

    6. Make a DIY bird feeder. Let the local birds know where they can find food over the winter months by getting prepared now. Build or make your very own bird feeder; it can be as simple or advanced as suits you! Squiggle made a simple one from cardboard.

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    Squiggle made this DIY bird feeder

    7. Go on a bug hunt. Whilst the bug hunt I wrote about recently was an organised community event, the idea can easily be adapted to do in the garden or at a local park with family or friends. For inspiration of how to go about it, check out my Bug Hunt post. Another variation of this is to go on a real bug hunt of course, it is more difficult at this time of year but that can be part of the fun!

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    Squiggle writing down what creatures she spotted on our autumn bug hunt.

    Do you have your own favourite autumn activities? Share your ideas, we would love to try them!

    Monkey and Mouse

    Stay Wild: Bug Hunt

    Last week, we went on a family bug hunt organised by Highfield Park Trust.

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    It was a lovely morning; the hunt was well organised, fun, engaging and informative. We both learned lots of new things!

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    There were 17 questions, which could be answered by finding the different information cards hidden around the park.

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    For example, did you know ants use their head to block the entrance to their nest to keep intruders out?

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    Squiggle found out that a male wasp is called a drone.

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    I had no idea that a praying mantis only has one ear and Squiggle was very surprised that woodlice has 14 legs.

    There were sweet prizes for everyone who completed the quiz, which Squiggle was very happy about! But not as excited as she was when she spotted that they had some of their delicious apple juice for sale, made locally from apples collected from the park orchard.

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    She polished the bottle off very quickly!

    The bug hunt also inspired her to create one of her own back at home, in the garden for her toys.

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    Even a cat came to join in the fun and followed her around finding them all!
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    Great family fun, big thumbs up from us.

    Stay Wild everyone!

    FREE PRINTABLES: Autumn Scavenger Hunt

    Autumn is a great time of year to get outside and spend time in nature,  I have created a fun autumn activity to download and print off. So grab your coat and a pencil, and enjoy doing this kids autumn scavenger hunt with your little ones!

    Nature activity sheet, nature hunt, home education, resources

    Download it here…
    Autumn Scavenger Hunt

    Stay Wild: Den Building (and Yellow Meadow Ants!)

    Squiggle specifically asked me to write this post, as she is very proud of her first attempt at building her own den and wanted to share her excitement!


    Here is a video clip of her building the den…

    She also collected sticks to make her Sylvanian Families their own den in the garden…

    Under the bricks she moved to support her den, she found some yellow meadow ants, which we observed…

    And Squiggle (very carefully of course!) held some too…

    Another great day spent outdoors!

    Stay Wild: Whale Wednesday Art Activity

    Creating A Whale Print:

    I recently purchased nature print paper for this activity, ordered from amazon here. It was smaller than I imagined but I was impressed with the quality, I felt it was very effective and worked really well.

    Final edited version of my whale art using nature print paper

     

     

    Firstly, draw a simple whale or print off a (copyright free) picture to use. Cut out the outline and any details to include.
    Place the picture on a sheet of print paper, out of sunlight or strong artificial lighting. Put a piece of cardboard under the paper to support it and use cling film or clear plastic to keep the picture in place (I used a reusable plastic wallet).

    Place in direct sunlight for approx 2-3 minutes until the paper turns a very light blue. Move into a shaded area or indoors and carefully remove the items from the paper.

    Put the paper in plain water for one minute to set the picture.

    As the paper dries the picture becomes clearer.

     

    Here is my finished product…

    This was a fun activity- I had a whale of a time! Happy #WhaleWednesday and remember to #StayWild everybody!

    30 Days Wild – Day 23: Nature Art

    Squiggle loves creative activities so today she decided to do some nature- themed art. She did some leaf rubbing, observation drawing and printing. We also remembered some nature art activities that we have enjoyed doing previously, both at home and at art group too.

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    Leaf rubbing

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    Observation drawings

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    Leaf and grass printing

    My demonstration of printing…

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    Previously we have studied the work of Andy Goldsworthy, who is one of my favourite artists…

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    And we have also used twigs to paint with too (no pictures though)!