30 Days Wild – Day 1: Nature In Our Garden

Today marks the start of the #30DaysWild challenge, which continues throughout June. For those who don’t already know, this is organised by The Wildlife Trusts; the purpose is to bring people closer to nature and to connect with the natural environment.

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Day one: ‘Nature Growing Wild In Our Garden’.

Firstly, Squiggle and I discussed what the challenge is and came up with ideas for future activities. We decided that for today we would go out into the garden to look at the plants and flowers growing naturally, then take some photos to share.

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Squiggle’s collage of photos she took herself today.

Squiggle decided she wanted to share her photos with everyone and chose to present them as both a collage and a video clip.

Squiggle created this video clip herself using the nature photos she took today in our garden. She was very keen to have varied and colourful backgrounds for each photo, which makes her video clip somewhat interesting and unique. I feel this matches her personality very well- and I love the fact that her finished work is a true reflection of herself!

“All our lives are better if they are abit wild.” ~ The Wildlife Trusts

Donna Nook

Amazing day out yesterday, seal watching at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire. Stunning place to visit. Seals arrive at the beach around beginning of November to birth and mate then go again by the end of December. It is an absolute privilege to watch these fascinating animals in their natural environment during this time. The photos, aside from being taken on a camera phone 😉 lol, do not do the incredible real-life experience justice in the slightest. But here they are anyway…

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Take a break from whatever your schedule might be and take a visit. You won’t regret it. Updates are posted by the Warden via their facebook page here

Why Do Nettles Exist?

Whilst we were sat outside on a bench at KIDS playground yesterday, Squiggle asked ‘why do nettles exist?’ She said she was curious because she knows they sting people but do they have a purpose as well, are they useful in any way? And do they sting other animals or just people? What about insects? When we got home, we did some research together to answer her questions. She was interested to discover that nettles can be used as a medicine, as well as food and drink. Insects don’t get stung as they move between the spines without activating the sting. Animals do get stung in theory but only if it touches their skin, so often their fur protects them. This was a useful website for our research www.nettles.org.uk. Squiggle then suggested that maybe stinging nettles are also a way of teaching people to be careful of plants and be more aware of where they are walking.

 

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This is just one example of how natural curiosity leads to discussion and learning. And what better way to foster a child’s natural curiosity and interest in the world around us than simply to be out in it, surrounded by things to wonder about? To me, this is what education is all about!

 

Signs of Spring

Today we went on a walk to the local woods to look for signs of Spring. As always, all of these photos were taken on my phone. I admit I don’t even own an actual camera!

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Signs of Spring on the walk to/ from the wood.
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Photos taken in the woods.

Here are some of personal favourites from today…

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Woodland ‘swamp’
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Ladybug
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Flowers in Spring
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Daffodil
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We noticed how this had grown through a tiny gap in our driveway fence.

Following Interests: Seals

A couple of months ago Squiggle developed a keen interest in seals. Therefore some of her recent learning experiences have been related to seals in some way. Below are some examples of how we have followed this interest in various ways and covered several subjects doing so.

Drama (and imaginative play): Squiggle acted out Christmas day with her seals. (19th November 2013)

Seals acting out Christmas 19.11.13
Seals acting out Christmas 19.11.13

Geography: Her lost seal ‘returned’ from Germany, which sparked a discussion about countries and travelling. We also looked it up on the globe. (26th November 2013)

Seal returns from Germany 26.11.13
Seal returns from Germany 26.11.13

ICT (and research skills): She wanted to know the difference between seal lions and seals, so we researched on the internet (2nd December 2013)

Literacy: She made herself a seal book (2nd December 2013)

'That's Not My Seal' book she made herself 02.12.13
‘That’s Not My Seal’ book she made herself 02.12.13

Maths: She realised Maths Seeds has a walrus in, which is a similar enough to a seal for her liking, so she played this for several hours over the course of a couple of days. (3rd and 4th December 2013)

Using a number line to add and subtract 04.12.13
Using a number line to add and subtract 04.12.13

Design and Technology: She did some baking with her daddy and tried to make the mixture into seal shapes. (15th December 2013)

She tried to make her baking into seal shapes (with daddy) 15.12.13
She tried to make her baking into seal shapes (with daddy) 15.12.13

Maths: She used scales to compare weights of seals, using mathematical language. (25th December 2013)

Comparing weight 25.12.13
Comparing weight 25.12.13

More maths: She also used her toy seals for counting and calculating within her games several times.

Counting and calculating within her game of seals on the bus 27.12.13
Counting and calculating within her game of seals on the bus 27.12.13

We then visited the Sea life Centre in Weymouth to see real seals close up and observe their behaviour. She really loved this, especially as she was able to watch them peacefully for long periods so we spent several hours watching them, over the space of a few days. (13th- 15th January 2014)

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Naturally Growing Foods

We have really enjoyed discovering what fruit is naturally growing in our garden over the past couple of months, we have been lucky enough to have a delicious range of food including raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, tiny wild strawberries and crab apples. We also visited our local ‘Pick Your Own’ fruit farm a couple of times where we picked (and enjoyed eating of course!) yummy blackberries, red currents, black currents, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries. See website http://www.hawkswickfruit.co.uk/ We now plan to expand this interest further by growing some more of our foods in the future.

Reaching up to pick crab apples from the tree in our garden
Reaching up to pick crab apples from the tree in our garden
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Tiny wild strawberries growing in our garden
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Picking gooseberries from the fruit farm
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We enjoyed picking our own fruit from a local fruit farm