Week 18 – The Nature Detectives

Hello and welcome to Week 18 of our Giving Tuesday campaign! How are the summer holidays going for you so far?

Have you taken the plunge, and gone away for a few days? Or are you enjoying a staycation in your back garden? Whatever you’re up to, finding activities for the little ones can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to fulfil your paid employment expectations as well as your parental ones.

We hope that our Giving Tuesday activities are helping you, by suggesting things that you might enjoy or by inspiring you to try new things.

This week, it’s all about being a detective (but not the crime-fighting type)!

If you’re like us, you’ll be keen to keep your children learning through the summer holidays (if only so you can feel less guilty about the amount of electronic time they’ll end up getting!) and what better way than to turn them into Nature Detectives.

There are so many activities online, but we’ve already done some research and put together our favourites for you to try:

Beautiful Butterflies

First on the list is the Big Butterfly Count… this is one for both younger and older children.

This week (w/c 3rd Aug) is the last week of the UK’s Big Butterfly Count and if you haven’t taken part already, it’s not too late!

Simply go to the Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count website to sign up, then grab a pen and a copy of the chart from the website and record how many of the UK’s butterflies you can see in 15 minutes.

We also found this awesome Butterfly iDial you can print out from the Woodland Trust.

Or if your children prefer something a bit more art-orientated… why not try out some butterfly symmetry art as explained in this video:

Terrific Trees

Younger children might enjoy finding out about how trees grow. You could pose questions such as: “What do trees need to grow?”, “How are their seeds dispersed?” or “What trees grow in your area?”.

Here’s a video suitable for toddlers, explaining how trees grow, from seed to fully grown:

For older children, why not set them some tree knowledge questions. There are plenty available from the Tree Tools for Schools website to get you started, and anything they don’t know can be made into a research project.

Prefer something arty? How about drawing some of the trees growing in your area, or you could gather some leaves from the trees and do some leaf rubbings (a great activity for little ones).

Be a Nature Detective

If you’d like to try out some other nature-based activities, check out the Stem.org.uk website where you’ll find some excellent educational resources, the Scouts website, or the Wildlife Watch website.

For much older children, why not ask them to join in a national recording scheme looking into the science of biodiversity? A great place to start is the National Biodiversity Network.

Lego Competition

If you’re children love playing with Lego, and love nature… then you won’t want to miss out on this competition. The Lego Group and National Trust have challenged children across the UK to bring out their creative side outdoors for the chance to win a year’s supply of Lego.

This ‘play-cation’ idea is to use their Lego bricks to create something imaginative and adventurous and using nature, create a scene which they photograph and send in to the panel of expert judges.

To find out more and enter the competition, click here. Good Luck!

As always, we would love to hear how you and your children get on with these activities. Don’t forget to share your pictures and comments across our Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.

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