Inspire Outdoor Learning: 5 Woodland activities for Spring
As the weather slowly gets warmer and the forest starts to wake up from its winter slumber, the flowers come into bloom and turn from brown to green with new shoots for a new start. We too also feel a wake up within ourselves and it’s the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and get back outdoors with renewed enthusiasm.
It is a well known fact that spending time outdoors is good for all of us from a mental, physical and emotional stand point. However even when we have the best intentions most of us find it hard to gather the inspiration and the will to go out as much as usual during the colder Winter months - and that can take its toll on us. But never fear, here are a few fun and easy ideas to get you and your children excited to get back out there.
1.Springtime Spotter sheet
There are some fantastic online resources where you can find spotter sheets, or make your own and print them out and create yourself a little treasure hunt trying to find everything. There are some fantastic things to find in the forest during spring such as Snowdrops, Primroses, frogspawn and Catkins all making an appearance so set your kids a challenge to tick off as many as possible.
2. Make a Leaf ID poster
Head out into the woods with a tote bag and get your children to collect as many different leaves as they can. When you get home use a poster size piece of paper with some glue and stick the leaves on, then find which tree they belong to and write it down next to each leaf, not only is this fun but also very educational.
3. Pinecone Bird feeder
Pine Cones are all about this time of the year so pick up a few when your in the woods next time and take along some peanut butter and bird seeds as well as some jute string and a butter knife. Get as much peanut butter onto the pinecones and then roll them in the seeds and hang them up around the woods with the jute string. A nice way to give back and leave a nature friendly gift to the forest.
4. Get creative with a Green Man
Pick up some non toxic biodegradable clay and take it out with you on your next forest adventure. Find a good tree or flat surface and let your kids go wild with making green men faces, boggarts, mud pies and forest trolls. Use twigs and leaves as hair and ears and leave them there to spot the next time your out in the forest.
5.Go on a Fungi Hunt
First of all never touch, eat or pick wild fungi or mushrooms and always have an adult present when going on a fungi hunt. Spring is the perfect time to spot a variety of different kinds in the woodlands from Morels to Jelly Ears. If you keep your eyes open you will find an array of different kinds on any given day. You can download mushroom and fungi apps to help you identify each one and keep a notebook of all your findings.
Of course if you want minimal hassle just stick on some wellies and go searching for the best puddles you can find or get the kids to be creative and make a den in the woods and don't stress when it comes to mess as mud and dirt are all part of a natural childhood.