Friday, 24 April 2020

One mans trash...

We are currently feeling very grateful that we are allowed to leave the house each day for a walk or a bike ride around our local area. We have rediscovered footpaths we haven't walked down for 10 years, discovered places we've never been before and realised that our children can walk a lot further than they let on, especially if they have a challenge to keep them occupied!

Here are some examples of the fresh air challenges we have given the children recently. All of them can be made quickly and easily using things from your recycling box and home. Text in blue demonstrates an English link (EYFS/KS1) and text in red demonstrates a maths link, just incase you're looking for ways to sneak a spot of learning into your fun!

1. Treasure Hunt

A cardboard rectangle.
A felt pen or marker pen.
Double sided sticky tape.

You can differentiate the task depending on your child's stage. Ace loves letters and numbers and is absolutely loving sounding out short words, so I used sound buttons to help him read some of his clues independently. I also specified some quantities, so he could practise his counting and so that we could ask him questions such as 'how many have you got?' and  'how many more to make 5?' For Honey, I suggested that she could try to make her blades of grass the same length and I also used synonyms for some of the words on Ace's board so that we could talk about vocabulary choices.

I was wearing a gilet, so I peeled off Ace's tape and put it in my pocket as we went along, but you could peel it all off before you begin and then leave the rubbish at home.

2. Nature crowns

Packaging paper.
Sticky tape.
Double sided sticky tape.

We used string to measure Honey and Ace's head circumference, then cut a piece of packaging paper to size for each of them. We then spread the paper out on the table and added strips on double sided tape. Finally, we used normal sticky tape to secure the ends. As we were walking, Honey and Ace chose flowers, twigs and leaves they liked and added them to their crowns. Ace was thrilled to find some pink tipped daisies and loved blowing the dandelion clocks, while Honey tried to make her crown a sea of different colours.

3. Bunting

Packaging paper.
Toilet roll tubes.
Felt pens.
Stampers (optional).

This one isn't something to take on a walk with you, but my children love seeing bunting whenever we go out, so we thought we would make some of our own. First cut the paper into a row of even triangles leaving a strip at the top so that they all stay together (you can make your strip whatever width you like). Then use your toilet roll tubes to stamp circles/ovals, depending on the shape of your chosen animals. When the paint is dry, use your felt pens to draw eyes, noses, legs etc as appropriate for your animals. Finally, use pens or stampers to add wording (if you want to). We made these for Easter, but you could make them for lockdown birthdays/anniversaries/just because!

4. Clipboard

A cardboard rectangle.
A large paper clip.
A blob of Bluetac.
A felt pen or marker pen.
A pencil.
Rectangles of packaging paper.

I made a couple of little clipboards for Honey and Ace, to add a twist to our daily walk. On our walks, we noticed that lots of people had drawn and coloured rainbows or left bears in their windows to brighten other peoples' days. A couple of times, we tried to keep count of how many we saw, but we kept forgetting our total! I drew a simple table on to a piece of packaging paper and off we went, keeping a tally of the things we saw along the way. We stopped to count our running totals (in 5's and 10's) and then found the difference between the totals once we got home. You could also use the clipboards for indoor or outdoor sketching, or for making lists of trees, flowers or types of cars you see while you're out and about.

5. Nature weaving

A cardboard rectangle.
Elastic bands (you could use string instead or cut lines straight through the cardboard).

Finally a use for all the elastic bands out postman has dropped over the last year or so! Ace's set himself a goal of finding sticks shaped like different letters, he managed I, y and t. Honey wanted to find things that were exactly the right length to fit widthways on her weaving board.

Honey wears... Gryffindor scarf by Nanna
Ace wears... Flower crown by Ace

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