What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us, Summertime with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine, and if you’re lucky the ocean. As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you’ve not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it’s up to you as parents to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.
Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone, or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of children.
Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has shown decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.
One in four people is estimated to experience bouts of mental ill-health and it’s on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants is also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments is also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost-effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more.
We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside. Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature.
This is what it looks like:
From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there’s plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site
for step-by-step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.
Rock pooling near the ocean in the summer can be a fun and educational activity for kids to explore marine life and coastal ecosystems. Here are some tips on how to do safe rock pooling with children:
- Choose a safe location: Select a rocky shore with accessible tide pools that are easy to navigate and not too slippery. Look for areas with gentle waves and shallow pools where children can safely explore.
- Check the tide times: Plan your rock pooling adventure around low tide when more marine life is exposed in the pools. Be aware of the tide times and ensure you have enough time to explore before the tide comes back in.
- Wear appropriate footwear: Encourage children to wear sturdy, non-slip footwear such as water shoes or rubber-soled sneakers to protect their feet on the rocky and potentially slippery surfaces.
- Respect the environment: Teach children to tread lightly and respect the marine life they encounter. Remind them not to touch or disturb animals and to leave shells, rocks, and plants in their natural habitat.
- Use a bucket or container: Bring along a bucket or container to safely collect and observe any interesting finds. Encourage children to carefully scoop up small marine creatures for a closer look before gently releasing them back into the pool.
- Stay together and supervise: Always accompany children during rock pooling activities and keep a close eye on them, especially near water or rocky edges. Set boundaries on where they can explore and stay together as a group.
- Identify marine life: Help children identify and learn about the different marine creatures they discover in the tide pools. Use field guides, apps, or online resources to assist in identifying species and explaining their behaviors.
- Stay hydrated and sun-protected: Bring along plenty of water, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect against the sun’s rays while out exploring the rocky shore. Take breaks in the shade when needed.
- Safety first: Watch out for slippery rocks, sharp edges, and incoming tides. Remind children to take care when walking on wet or uneven surfaces and to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
Rock pooling near the ocean in the summer can provide children with an exciting and hands-on opportunity to discover the wonders of the intertidal zone and marine biodiversity. It’s a great way to spark their curiosity, learn about coastal ecosystems, and enjoy a memorable experience exploring the natural world. Remember to prioritize safety, respect the environment, and have fun while rock pooling with kids.
Making an easy bird feeder with children in the summer is a fun and simple activity that can attract birds to your backyard and provide an opportunity for kids to learn about wildlife. Here’s a quick and easy way to make a bird feeder with children:
- Peanut butter or vegetable shortening
- String or yarn
- Tie a string: Cut a piece of string or yarn and tie it securely around the top of the pinecone, leaving enough length to hang the feeder.
- Spread peanut butter or vegetable shortening: Using a butter knife or spoon, spread a thick layer of peanut butter or vegetable shortening all over the pinecone, covering it completely.
- Roll in birdseed: Fill a shallow container with birdseed. Roll the sticky pinecone in the birdseed, pressing gently so that the seeds stick to the peanut butter or shortening.
- Hang the bird feeder: Find a suitable spot in your backyard or garden and hang the bird feeder from a tree branch, hook, or bird feeder hanger.
- Observe and enjoy: Encourage children to watch as birds come to feed on the homemade bird feeder. Help them identify different bird species and observe their behaviors.
- You can customize the bird feeder by mixing in dried fruit, nuts, or suet with the birdseed.
- Make multiple bird feeders and hang them in different locations around your outdoor space to attract more birds.
- Provide children with binoculars or a bird identification guide to help them learn about the birds that visit the feeder.
Making an easy bird feeder with children in the summer is a wonderful way to engage with nature, observe wildlife, and create a welcoming environment for birds in your backyard. It’s a simple and rewarding activity that allows children to connect with the natural world and appreciate the beauty of birds right outside their window. Enjoy spending time together watching the birds enjoy the homemade feeder and learning more about the feathered friends that visit your outdoor space.
Making an insect hotel with kids is a fun and educational activity that can teach them about the importance of insects in our ecosystem. Here’s how you can do it:
- Gather materials: Collect items such as small branches, twigs, pinecones, bamboo sticks, straw, rocks, and any other small natural materials you can find in your backyard or local park.
- Choose a location: Find a suitable spot in your garden or backyard where you can place the insect hotel. Make sure it is a quiet and shaded area where insects can find shelter.
- Build the structure: Start by stacking the materials together to create different compartments for the insects to hide and lay their eggs. You can use a wooden box or crate as a base and fill it with the materials you have gathered.
- Create different habitats: Make sure to include a variety of materials in your insect hotel to attract different insects. For example, provide small holes in wooden blocks for solitary bees, bamboo sticks for ladybugs, and straw for spiders.
- Add finishing touches: Decorate the insect hotel with leaves, flowers, and other natural elements to make it look pretty and inviting to the insects.
- Monitor and maintain: Check on your insect hotel regularly to see if any insects have taken up residence. You can also add new materials and make repairs as needed.
- Learn and observe: Encourage kids to observe the insects that visit the hotel and research them to learn more about their habitats and behaviors.
By creating an insect hotel with kids, you not only provide shelter for beneficial insects but also encourage them to appreciate and respect the natural world around them.
Building a survival shelter with a child can be a fun and educational activity that teaches them about basic survival skills and fosters a connection to nature. Here’s how you can build a simple shelter using debris and leaves in a garden:
- Choose a location: Find a suitable spot in the garden where you can build the shelter. Look for a flat and dry area that is away from any hazards like falling branches or insect nests.
- Gather materials: Collect debris such as branches, sticks, leaves, and twigs from the garden. You’ll also need a tarp or large plastic sheet to cover the shelter and provide protection from the elements.
- Build the frame: Start by creating a basic frame for the shelter using the larger branches and sticks. Lean them against a tree or sturdy structure to form a triangular shape, leaving one side open for entry.
- Fill in the walls: Once the frame is set, fill in the walls with smaller branches, sticks, and leaves. Make sure to pack the debris tightly to provide insulation and protection from the wind and rain.
- Add a roof: Cover the top of the shelter with the tarp or plastic sheet to provide additional protection from the elements. Secure it in place with rocks or sticks.
- Create a floor: Clear the ground inside the shelter and add a layer of leaves or grass to create a comfortable and insulating floor. This will also help keep the shelter dry.
- Personalize the shelter: Encourage the child to decorate the shelter with additional leaves, flowers, or natural elements to make it feel more like home.
- Test it out: Once the shelter is complete, encourage the child to spend some time inside and test how well it protects them from the elements. Discuss what could be improved for next time.
Building a survival shelter out of debris and leaves in the garden is a great way to bond with your child, learn about nature, and develop important survival skills. Make sure to supervise the child at all times and prioritize safety throughout the building process.
Helping birds avoid windows can be a fun and educational activity for children during the summer. Here’s how you can do it:
- Create bird-friendly window decorations: Gather materials such as colorful stickers, stencils, and window markers. Encourage your child to create fun and eye-catching designs on the windows to make them more visible to birds.
- Install bird window decals: Purchase or make bird window decals that can be placed on the outside of the windows. These decals can help birds see and avoid the windows, reducing the chances of collisions.
- Hang hanging ornaments: Hang hanging ornaments, such as wind chimes or shiny objects like CDs, outside the windows. The movement and reflections can help birds notice the windows and avoid flying into them.
- Plant bird-friendly vegetation: Create a bird-friendly garden with shrubs, trees, and flowers that attract birds. By providing a natural habitat with food and shelter, birds are less likely to fly into windows.
- Educate your child about bird behavior: Teach your child about why birds may fly into windows and how they can help prevent collisions. Discuss the importance of protecting birds and their habitats.
- Encourage birdwatching: Set up a bird feeder near the windows and encourage your child to observe and identify the birds that visit. This can help them develop an appreciation for birds and learn more about their behavior.
- Monitor and make adjustments: Keep an eye on bird activity around the windows and make adjustments as needed. If collisions continue to occur, consider adding more decorations or decals to make the windows more visible to birds.
By helping birds avoid windows with your child, you not only protect the birds in your area but also teach your child important lessons about empathy, conservation, and the natural world. Make it a fun and engaging activity by involving your child in the process of creating bird-friendly window decorations and observing the birds that visit your garden.
Making a small raft for ponds with children can be a fun and creative activity that allows them to learn about buoyancy, construction, and the natural world. Here’s how you can make a small raft using natural materials:
- Gather materials: Collect natural materials such as sticks, twigs, vines, leaves, and any other lightweight items you can find near the pond or in your backyard. You will also need a piece of cork or foam to help the raft float.
- Build the frame: Start by creating a square or rectangular frame using the sticks and twigs. You can lay them out in a crisscross pattern and use vines or string to tie them together at the corners. Make sure the frame is sturdy and secure.
- Add a base: Place a layer of larger sticks or flat pieces of wood across the frame to create a solid base for the raft. This will provide a surface for the children to sit on and help stabilize the raft in the water.
- Decorate with leaves and vines: Encourage the children to decorate the raft with leaves, flowers, and vines to make it look more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
- Attach the flotation device: Cut a piece of cork or foam into a small square or circle and attach it to the underside of the raft. This will help the raft float on the water.
- Test in shallow water: Take the raft to the edge of the pond and gently place it in the water. Make sure to supervise the children closely as they test the raft to ensure their safety.
- Watch it float: Once the raft is in the water, watch as it floats and moves with the current. Encourage the children to experiment with adding weight or adjusting the design to see how it affects the raft’s buoyancy and stability.
Building a small raft for ponds with children is a fun and hands-on way to explore nature, experiment with materials, and learn about basic principles of physics. It also provides an opportunity for creative expression and imaginative play as the children design and decorate their own floating creation. Remember to always supervise children around water and prioritize safety during the activity.
Creating a mammal tunnel with children can be a fun and educational project that allows them to learn about wildlife, animal behavior, and the importance of conservation. Mammal tunnels, also known as wildlife tunnels or critter crossings, are designed to provide safe passage for small animals like squirrels, rabbits, and other mammals to cross roads or areas of human activity. Here’s how you can make a mammal tunnel with children and attract mammals to it:
- Choose a location: Find a suitable spot in your backyard or near a natural habitat where mammals are likely to pass through. Look for areas with signs of wildlife activity, such as tracks, droppings, or chewed vegetation.
- Dig a tunnel: Using shovels or hand tools, dig a shallow tunnel that is wide and tall enough for small mammals to pass through easily. The tunnel should be at least a foot wide and tall enough for the children to crawl through comfortably.
- Line the tunnel with natural materials: Line the tunnel with leaves, sticks, and twigs to create an inviting and natural environment for the mammals. You can also add rocks, bark, and other materials to make the tunnel look more like a natural burrow.
- Create entry and exit points: Designate entry and exit points for the tunnel using branches or boards. This will help guide the mammals through the tunnel and prevent them from getting lost.
- Add bait or attractants: To attract mammals to the tunnel, you can place bait or attractants at the entrance, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, or birdseed. This will entice the mammals to investigate the tunnel and hopefully pass through it.
- Monitor and observe: Encourage the children to keep an eye on the tunnel and watch for signs of mammal activity. Use trail cameras or binoculars to observe the mammals as they pass through the tunnel.
- Document and record: Have the children document their observations by drawing pictures, taking notes, or creating a wildlife journal. This can help them learn more about the mammals in their area and understand their behaviors.
By creating a mammal tunnel with children, you not only provide a safe passage for wildlife but also inspire a sense of curiosity and connection to the natural world. This hands-on project allows children to actively engage with nature, learn about local wildlife, and make a positive impact on their environment. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your children and foster a love for wildlife and conservation.
Observing moths at night by creating a light trap can be a fascinating and educational activity for children during the summer. Here’s how you can set up a simple light trap to attract and observe moths with children:
- Choose a location: Find a suitable spot in your backyard or near a natural area where moths are likely to be active at night. Ideally, the location should be dark and away from bright lights that could interfere with the trap.
- Gather materials: You will need a light source such as a UV light, black light, or incandescent bulb to attract the moths. You’ll also need a white sheet or cloth to hang near the light source, as well as a container to collect the moths.
- Set up the trap: Hang the white sheet or cloth near the light source and position it so that the light shines onto the sheet. Place the container at the bottom of the sheet to catch any moths that are attracted to the light.
- Turn on the light: Once everything is set up, turn on the light source and wait for the moths to come to the trap. Moths are attracted to light and will likely gather on the sheet to feed or rest.
- Observe and identify the moths: Encourage the children to observe the moths closely and identify them based on their size, shape, color, and patterns. You can use a field guide or online resources to help with moth identification.
- Record your findings: Have the children keep a record of the moths they observe, noting their characteristics, behaviors, and any interesting observations. This can help them learn more about the diversity of moth species in their area.
- Release the moths: After observing the moths, gently transfer them from the sheet to a safe area where they can continue their activities undisturbed. Help the children understand the importance of respecting and protecting wildlife.
Observing moths at night using a light trap is a fun and engaging way for children to learn about nocturnal wildlife, biodiversity, and the role of moths in the ecosystem. It also provides an opportunity for children to develop their observation skills, curiosity about nature, and appreciation for the diversity of life around them. Make sure to supervise children during the activity and prioritize safety and respect for the moths and their natural habitat.
Working out with children in nature during the summer is a wonderful way to engage in physical activity, spend time together outdoors, and enjoy the natural environment. Here are some fun and creative ideas for working out with children in nature:
- Nature scavenger hunt: Create a scavenger hunt with physical activities mixed in. For example, challenge the children to find a certain number of tree branches or rocks while doing jumping jacks or running in place between each item.
- Nature trail workout: Take the children on a nature hike or walk and incorporate bodyweight exercises along the way. Stop at certain points to do exercises like lunges, squats, push-ups, or jumping jacks.
- Park playground workout: Visit a local park with playground equipment and challenge the children to complete a workout circuit using the swings, monkey bars, slides, and other structures. Encourage them to climb, swing, and balance for a full-body workout.
- Outdoor sports: Play games like soccer, basketball, Frisbee, or tag in a grassy field or open space. These activities not only provide a great workout but also help improve coordination and teamwork skills.
- Yoga in the park: Find a quiet spot in a park or natural area and practice yoga with the children. Teach them simple yoga poses and stretches, focusing on relaxation, balance, and mindfulness in nature.
- Nature obstacle course: Create a nature-themed obstacle course using logs, rocks, tree stumps, and other natural elements. Encourage the children to climb, crawl, jump, and balance through the course for a fun and challenging workout.
- Water play workout: On a hot day, incorporate water play into your workout routine. Set up sprinklers, water balloons, or water guns for a refreshing and playful workout session that keeps everyone cool and active.
- Outdoor dance party: Play some music and have a dance party in nature. Encourage the children to move and groove to the music, letting loose and having fun while getting some exercise.
Working out with children in nature provides numerous benefits, including physical fitness, improved mood, creativity, and a deeper connection to the natural world. It’s a great way to bond as a family, promote a healthy lifestyle, and instill a love for outdoor activities in children. Plus, exercising in nature offers an opportunity to explore and appreciate the beauty of the environment while staying active.
Setting up a nature table with natural objects for children to explore in the summer is a fantastic way to encourage curiosity, creativity, and a connection to the natural world. Here’s how you can create a nature table for children to explore:
- Select a table or display area: Choose a designated space in your home or outdoor area where you can set up the nature table. This could be a low table, shelf, or any flat surface where children can easily access and interact with the natural objects.
- Gather natural materials: Collect a variety of natural objects such as rocks, shells, pinecones, leaves, flowers, feathers, sticks, acorns, and any other interesting items you can find in your backyard or during nature walks.
- Arrange the objects: Place the natural materials on the table in an inviting and organized way. Consider grouping similar items together or arranging them by color, shape, or texture. Leave some space for children to add their own discoveries.
- Provide magnifying glasses and tools: Include magnifying glasses, tweezers, brushes, and other tools that children can use to examine the natural objects up close and explore their details.
- Encourage exploration and discovery: Invite the children to explore the nature table and interact with the objects. Encourage them to touch, smell, listen, and observe the natural materials, sparking their curiosity and creativity.
- Offer opportunities for play and learning: Use the nature table as a springboard for open-ended play, sensory exploration, and learning experiences. Encourage the children to engage in imaginative play, sensory activities, or art projects using the natural materials.
- Rotate and add new items: Keep the nature table fresh and engaging by rotating the objects regularly and adding new items throughout the summer. Encourage children to contribute their own findings from nature walks or outdoor adventures.
- Document and reflect: Encourage children to document their observations, sketches, or discoveries from the nature table in a nature journal or art project. This can help them develop their observation skills, creativity, and appreciation for nature.
Setting up a nature table with natural objects for children to explore in the summer is a wonderful way to inspire a sense of wonder, curiosity, and connection to the natural world. It provides opportunities for sensory experiences, creative play, and hands-on learning that can foster a lifelong love for nature and environmental conservation. Make it a collaborative and interactive experience by involving the children in collecting, arranging, and exploring the natural materials on the nature table.
Making a blackberry crumble with children in the summer is a fun and delicious activity that allows them to get hands-on in the kitchen. Here’s a simple recipe for blackberry crumble that you can enjoy making together:
- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a baking dish or pie dish with butter or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the blackberries, granulated sugar, and cornstarch. Toss to coat the blackberries evenly and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly and well combined.
- Place the blackberry mixture in the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the blackberries, covering them completely with the topping.
- Bake the blackberry crumble in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the blackberries are bubbly.
- Allow the crumble to cool slightly before serving. You can enjoy it warm on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
While making the blackberry crumble, involve the children in different tasks such as washing the blackberries, mixing ingredients, and sprinkling the crumble on top. Encourage them to be creative and have fun in the kitchen while learning about cooking and baking. Enjoy the delicious blackberry crumble together as a sweet treat to celebrate the summer season!
Decorating a tree with natural materials for bird and wildlife benefit is a wonderful way to engage children in nature, teach them about conservation, and provide resources for local wildlife. Here’s how you can decorate a tree with kids in the summer:
- Gather natural materials: Take a nature walk with the children to collect natural materials such as pinecones, sticks, leaves, seed heads, dried fruits, birdseed, suet, nesting materials like twigs or yarn, and other items that can attract and benefit birds and wildlife.
- Choose a tree: Select a tree in your backyard, garden, or a nearby park where you can decorate with the natural materials. Look for a tree that is easily accessible and visible to birds and wildlife.
- Create bird feeders: Help the children make simple bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Spread peanut butter on the pinecones and roll them in birdseed. Tie a string to the pinecone and hang it on the tree.
- Provide nesting materials: Place bundles of natural nesting materials like twigs, dried grass, and yarn in mesh bags or small baskets. Hang these near the tree to provide nesting materials for birds building their nests.
- Decorate with natural ornaments: Use biodegradable materials such as popcorn strings, dried fruit slices, or seed garlands to decorate the tree. Children can make these ornaments by stringing the items onto twine or yarn.
- Hang suet feeders: Hang suet feeders on the branches of the tree to provide high-energy food for birds, especially during the summer months when they may be raising young or molting.
- Create a wildlife shelter: Hang a birdhouse or nesting box in the tree to provide shelter for birds looking for a safe place to rest or raise their young.
- Monitor and observe: Encourage children to monitor the decorated tree and observe the birds and wildlife that visit. They can keep a journal to record the different species they see and any interesting behaviors they observe.
Decorating a tree with natural materials for bird and wildlife benefit with kids in the summer is a hands-on, educational, and rewarding activity that helps children learn about nature, conservation, and the importance of providing resources for wildlife. It also allows them to connect with and appreciate the natural world around them while making a positive impact on local bird and wildlife populations.
Creating a wildlife pond with children in the summer is a fun and educational project that can provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife, including insects, amphibians, birds, and other creatures. Here’s how you can make a wildlife pond with children:
- Choose a location: Select a suitable spot in your backyard or outdoor space for the wildlife pond. Choose an area that receives some sunlight for aquatic plant growth and is easily accessible for children to observe and interact with.
- Plan the pond design: Decide on the size and shape of the pond. You can create a small pond using a plastic liner or preformed pond insert. Consider adding shelves or shallow areas for different types of aquatic plants to grow.
- Dig the pond: Enlist the help of children to dig the hole for the pond. Make sure to create varying depths to provide different habitats for aquatic life. Use the excavated soil to create mounds for landscaping around the pond.
- Install the pond liner: Place the pond liner or preformed pond insert in the hole and carefully position it to ensure there are no wrinkles or folds. Secure the edges of the liner with rocks or soil.
- Fill with water: Fill the pond with water using a garden hose. Allow the water to settle and de-chlorinate if necessary before adding plants or wildlife.
- Add aquatic plants: Introduce a variety of native aquatic plants to the pond, such as water lilies, pondweed, rushes, and floating plants. These plants provide habitat, shelter, and food for wildlife.
- Decorate with natural materials: Enhance the pond with natural elements like rocks, logs, and branches to create hiding spots and resting places for wildlife. Children can help arrange these materials around the pond.
- Monitor and maintain: Encourage children to observe the wildlife pond regularly and look for signs of wildlife activity. Teach them about the importance of maintaining water quality, cleaning debris, and managing plant growth.
- Create a wildlife-friendly environment: Plant native flowers, shrubs, and trees around the pond to attract pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. Consider adding a small bird bath or insect hotel nearby to further enhance the habitat.
Making a wildlife pond with children in the summer is a hands-on and engaging activity that allows them to connect with nature, learn about aquatic ecosystems, and support local wildlife populations. It provides a valuable opportunity for children to observe wildlife, understand the importance of biodiversity, and contribute to conservation efforts in their own backyard. Plus, it’s a great way to spend quality time together as a family while creating a beautiful and beneficial habitat for wildlife.
Creating a garden bird hide with children in the summer is a fun and educational project that can provide a safe and comfortable spot for observing and learning about birds in your backyard. Here’s how you can make a garden bird hide with children:
- Choose a location: Select a quiet and secluded spot in your garden where birds are likely to visit. Consider a spot near bird feeders, water sources, or trees where birds perch.
- Gather materials: Collect materials such as wooden pallets, bamboo poles, branches, or PVC pipes to create the frame of the bird hide. You will also need a tarp or camouflage fabric to cover the hide.
- Build the frame: Use the materials to create a simple frame for the bird hide. You can construct a basic structure using the wooden pallets or poles, securing them in the ground to form a small sheltered area.
- Cover the hide: Drape the tarp or camouflage fabric over the frame to create a roof and walls for the bird hide. Make sure the hide is well-covered and provides adequate shelter for bird watching.
- Add seating: Place a couple of chairs, cushions, or stools inside the bird hide for comfortable seating while observing birds. You can also include a small table for binoculars, field guides, or a notebook.
- Decorate and camouflage: Use natural materials such as foliage, branches, and leaves to decorate and camouflage the bird hide. This will help it blend in with the surrounding environment and minimize disturbance to the birds.
- Set up bird feeders and water sources: Place bird feeders, bird baths, or water dishes near the bird hide to attract birds and provide a food and water source for them.
- Observe and record: Encourage children to spend time in the bird hide observing and identifying birds that visit. Provide binoculars, bird identification guides, and notebooks for recording bird sightings and behaviors.
- Learn and explore: Use the bird hide as a base for learning about bird species, behaviors, habitats, and conservation. Engage children in birdwatching activities, bird identification games, and nature journaling.
Creating a garden bird hide with children in the summer is a rewarding and interactive way to connect with nature, observe wildlife, and learn about birds. It provides a peaceful and immersive experience for children to appreciate the beauty of birds and their natural habitats while fostering a sense of curiosity, respect, and stewardship for the environment. Enjoy spending time together in the bird hide, watching birds, and exploring the wonders of the natural world right in your own backyard.
Creating an insect tumble trap with kids in the summer can be a fun and educational activity that allows children to observe and learn about the insects living in their backyard. Here’s how you can make an insect tumble trap in the ground with kids:
- Choose a location: Find a suitable spot in your backyard or garden where insects are likely to be active, such as near plants, flowers, or a compost pile. Make sure the ground is flat and easily accessible for children to observe.
- Dig a hole: Using a trowel or shovel, dig a small hole in the ground, around 1-2 feet deep and wide. This will create the trap for insects to fall into.
- Place a container or cup: Place a wide container (such as a plastic cup or bowl) at the bottom of the hole to catch the insects that fall in. Ensure the container is sturdy and stable to hold the insects.
- Add bait: Place a piece of fruit, vegetable, or other food scraps in the container to attract insects. You can also add a few drops of honey or sugar water to entice a variety of insects to the trap.
- Cover the hole: Cover the hole with a thin layer of dirt, leaves, or twigs to disguise the trap and make it look more natural. Leave a small opening for insects to fall into the container.
- Wait and observe: Encourage children to check the insect tumble trap regularly to see what kinds of insects are attracted to the bait. Use a magnifying glass or bug container to observe the insects up close before releasing them back into the wild.
- Record and learn: Keep a journal or notebook to record the types of insects that are caught in the trap. Research the different insect species and learn more about their behaviors and habitats.
- Release the insects: After observing and learning about the trapped insects, release them back into the environment. Teach children the importance of respecting and caring for insects as vital components of the ecosystem.
Making an insect tumble trap with kids in the summer is a hands-on and engaging way to explore the diversity of insects in your backyard. It provides a unique opportunity for children to observe and learn about the small creatures that play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Encourage children to be curious, observant, and respectful of the insects they encounter while having fun and connecting with nature in a new and exciting way.
An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website that rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to-the-point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure. Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.
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