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Posts Tagged ‘free holiday activity’

Here are 3 activities to get the kids outdoors and away from the television, games console or their phone:

DIY Build Your Own Bird Nest Box Kit

Build a nest box for your garden

This week is National Nest Box Week (14-21 February) and it’s the perfect time to put up nest boxes in your garden as many birds are now paired up and looking for a nest site. There are lots of different types of nest boxes available which are suitable for different species of birds, if you want to attract a good variety of birds why not put up a few different boxes, some species of birds like to build their nests near to each or in a colony these include House Sparrows, Tree Sparrows, House Martins and Swifts so put up 3 boxes together. If you want to get hands why not make your own Nest Box with a Build Your Own Nest Box Kit, it contains everything you need to make a nest box that is suitable for House Sparrows, Great Tits or Nuthatches, who will be first to make their home in your Nest Box?

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Make a Den

Go for a walk in the woods, there should be lots of dead twigs and branches on the ground that have been blown off in the recent windy weather, first collect the larger branches, place them upright with the tops together to form a wig warm shape this can be freestanding or around the trunk of a tree, if you have some rope tie these together, next find medium sized branches and place onto your structure to fill in the gaps, then collect smaller twigs and them leaves to camouflage it. Use your den as a hide to watch birds and wildlife. If the weather is cold and wet why not make an indoor den with clothes maidens, tables, sheets and pegs – behind the sofa is always a favourite spot.

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Skim Stones

Skimming stones can be tricky at first but with a bit of practice it can be easily achieved, for best results you need a calm sea, still river or pond/lake then you have to find the ‘right’ stone it should be smooth, round and flat, the flatter the stone the better, throw your stone hard, low and horizontally and it should bounce across the surface of the water, large bounces at first getting smaller until finally it disappears into the water. Have a competition with family or friends to see who can get the most bounces.

Lets hope that the weather is kind to all of us this week

Have a great holiday

Gill

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Dinosaur garden

Children have a great imagination and love being outdoors so… this half term holiday why not take the toys outside and make a miniature garden, there are lots of themes that you could choose, here are a few suggestions:

A Farm complete with tractors and farm animals

A Railway with trains, tracks, bridges, people and stations

Wild West with Cowboys, Indians, horses with Sand, Cacti and Succulents

Construction Site with Diggers, Trucks, sand and gravel, why not use your sand pit

An Enchanted garden with Fairies, wooden toadstools, small animals

Prehistoric Garden with dinosaurs, volcanos

Jungle with lions, tigers, monkeys,

Creepy Crawly World with bugs, spiders and minibeasts

A traditional mini garden complete with paths, flower and vegetable beds and a scarecrow

Choosing your container

You can make your garden any size you like why not use an ice cream container, seed tray, large pot, window box, old sink, plastic storage box, or make it on the lawn, in the sandpit or in a corner of your garden.

Materials

As well as your toys have a look around your garden/kitchen/play room for props and accessories.

Lollipop sticks and twigs can be made into fences, gravel and pebbles into paths, shallow containers, lids, tin foil or mirrors can be used to make a pond, use sand to create a desert or beach, Small rocks, old branches and pieces of bark to create a jungle/woodland feel. Girls may wish to use Coloured aquarium gravel, glass pebbles or sand with shells and beads why not sprinkle glitter for frost or as fairy dust, you can also use modelling clay to make any extras.

Plants

You can use freshly picked flowers from your garden these need to be put in water and sadly will not last very long, it is better to use plants that are growing that way the children will see their garden mature and develop and be encouraged to look after it, if you are using plants in a container check that there are adequate drainage holes at the base. Ferns and grasses are good structural plants, moss can be used as a lawn, low, small and slow growing plants such as Alpines and Thymes are ideal, Cress can be used to fill any gaps, dried Seed heads, tree seeds and cases (an acorn shell makes a nice cup) can be used, plant ivy at the edges to trail over the sides and hide your container.

There are so many variations let your imagination go wild.

Have lots fun and enjoy your holiday

Gill

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Beach

You can’t beat a day at the seaside there are lots of activities to keep you busy:

Paddling or Swimming in the sea

Building Sandcastles

Burying dad in the sand!

Rock pooling

Playing ball games/flying kites

or Beach Combing

There is so much you can find on a beach that has been washed up by the sea, unfortunately most of it is man-made litter, there are millions of tonnes of rubbish in our seas not just around Britain but worldwide only small amounts get washed up on the shore, this is a big problem which is getting worse, harming birds, animals, fish and sea creatures.

I love beachcombing you never know what you will find:

Colourful pebbles – worn smooth by the sea

Seaweed – I didn’t realise there were so many different types

Driftwood – Bleached and smooth to the touch

Shells – Cockle, Mussel, Periwinkle, Whelk, Razor, Scallop, Limpet

Crab Shells and Claws, Cuttlefish bones

Whelk Egg Cases and Dogfish Egg Cases also called Mermaids Purses

Sea monster 2

Why not make a Sea Creature with your beach treasure?

What you will need

Collect as many shells, pebbles, sticks, strands of seaweed, etc. as you can find

What you need to do

You can either make your creature on the beach or when you get home, we made ours at home.

Start off by making a body from damp sand or if you are at home you could use modelling clay, and firm your shells into place on the body, then add arms, legs, a mouth, eyes, hair, claws, tails and wings. This is your Sea Creature be creative you can make it how you want, it can have 2, 4 or 6 legs, 2 or 3 heads or tails, you can give it wings or claws and as many eyes as you want.

Sea Monster 1

How we made our Sea Creature

  1. Firstly we got a storage box lid and covered it with a blue plastic bag to represent the sea; you could also use a tray or cover it with kitchen foil.
  2. We then got a piece of white modelling clay, made it into an egg shape and pressed it onto the lid.
  3. We covered the modelling clay with Mussel shells to make the body, and used broken Razor shells for the legs, the curly tail was a large Whelk shell.
  4. For the head we used a Cuttlefish bone for the lower jaw and the top was a Spider Crab shell, two eyes were made out of small Whelk shells which were stuck on with the modelling clay, I drew on two eyes with black marker pen.
  5. The crowning glory was the three Dogfish Egg cases that we placed along his back.
  6. To finish it off we sprinkled sand on the lid and placed some shells and Whelks egg cases around him to make him feel at home!

It is a good idea to buy a guide to the seashore so that you can identify and learn all about what you find on your day out.

Have fun on the beach this summer, enjoy all that the seaside has to offer and help to preserve it for future generations by taking you litter home with you – the British Coastline is stunning and home to many amazing and unique plants, animals, fish, sea creatures and birds.

Love your environment

Gill

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If you enjoyed taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch in January this year or maybe you missed out why not take part in the RSPB’s ‘Make Your Nature Count’ Survey next week from Saturday 2nd June to Sunday 10th June.

To take part all you need to do is to watch which birds and creatures visit your garden or local park for one hour during those dates and record the highest number seen at any one time then send in your results before 2nd July 2012.

Square Ground Bird Table

Square Ground Bird Table

This survey is a bit different than the Big Garden Birdwatch as creatures e.g. Bagdger, Grey Squirrel, Slow Worm, Muntjac Deer, Hedgehog, Roe Deer, Mole and Red Squirrel and Blackbird, Robin and Song Thrush chicks can be included. Only record the birds that land in your garden or park with the exception of Swifts and House Martins as these are most likely to be seen in flight. To help you to identify the species there is a Counting Sheet available to download.

Hedgehog Snack Feeding Bowl

Hedgehog Snack Feeding Bowl

By taking part in the UK’s largest garden wildlife survey you will be helping to build a picture of the wildlife that visits green spaces in summer.

This is a great free half term holiday activity that all the family can take part in, all you need is a pencil, paper and if you have some a pair of binoculars plus a little bit of patience!  If you are watching the birds on the park why not take a picnic as well.

We will be taking part too, Thomas can’t wait.

Happy watching

Gill

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