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!
The season is changing. This past week we have spent some days on the beach, swimming in the sea, whilst other days we have been hunting for conkers and looking for signs of autumn.
I love this time of year. It has an air of peace and tranquility about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s like everything is shedding remains of the past and preparing to start afresh, hopeful for the future. Wonderful.
During a nature walk, Squiggle and I were lucky enough to a spot lavae, pupa and adult ladybirds, including a mating pair, all on the same plant. Such a wonderful real life demonstration of the lifecycle of a ladybird! We studied them closely for quite sometime, fascinated by our exciting discovery. Squiggle was interested to know that the two ladybirds were making eggs that would then complete the lifecycle before us.
If you look closely enough you will notice that nearly the entire lifecycle of a ladybird is captured in this one photo!
Whilst walking through a local woodland, I spotted on the path this beautiful bird’s nest…
I looked around for any signs of distressed adult birds, babies or eggs, or any other indication there had been a disruption or predator attacks, but it was clear it had been naturally discarded. A quick google search suggested it was therefore fine to remove it as it would be disposed of anyway.
Squiggle held it and studied it carefully, then we discussed how it was made. Look closely at the way the twigs, moss and grass on the outside are woven together, very impressive! We agreed that would be a difficult challenge even with fingers, yet birds manage it with their beaks. It really is so incredibly clever!
I researched and concluded that this nest was made by a Song Thrush. It is similar to a Blackbird’s nest on the outside but, as you can see from the photo below, inside it is hard, which differs from the interior of a Blackbird nest.
The female Song Thrush uses her chest to compact together mud, dung and rotten wood to form this hard interior. This technique is exclusive to this one type of native English bird.
It was so interesting to stumble across this exciting find on our walk. Very fascinating!
30 Days Wild by The Wildlife Trusts just announced a virtual ‘flashmob’ to help us all stay wild! Run outside right now, do something ‘wild’ and take a photo or video clip then share it online. So I grabbed my phone, went into the garden and looked for a rainbow of colours…
It didn’t take long at all; there are so many colours in our natural environment, even just in a small garden. The only struggle was blue; the british ‘summer’ let me down abit there, as there was practically all cloud and no blue sky, so I tried to get the tiny glimmer of blue there was and failed! But a fun challenge nonetheless! #StayWild
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 #StayWildeverybody!
Well, 30 Days Wild may be over, but our outdoor adventures and love of nature certainly is not! ‘Stay Wild’with The Wildlife Trusts and continue to share nature/ wildlife themed posts on social media using the hashtag #StayWild ~ it is lovely to see what other people are up to!
And here are some of our latest ‘wild’ activities…
Aldenham SEN playground has a lovely natural environment and some resident wild rabbits roaming around too!
Squiggle took this photo herself. I love it! I feel that taking part in 30 Days Wild has meant we both notice and appreciate our natural environment even more than before and has also really helped to develop our photography skills.
I don’t know what this is but I love it, it looks so magical!
We also spent time in the garden, harvesting some of our homegrown vegetables…
Squiggle found lots of snails in the garden, of various sizes…
And we went to Stanborough park for a walk around the lake…