30 Days Wild- Nature and Art for Kids

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Yesterday’s 30 Days Wild found me strolling around one of my favourite places, the National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey, which luckily for me is just up the road. Normally I go just to have a wander and an explore but yesterday I had a purpose. I was feeling creative and wanted to have a think about the role of nature in art, especially with children. I am a huge believer in helping children see the links in the world and I think linking art and nature is a wonderful start. Not only does it help the children be creative but it also gives them an opportunity to observe nature in a bit more detail and from a different perspective.

As I was exploring I came with these handy ideas for getting children to think about art in nature.

Explore texture/ colour / shape

Once I started looking for interesting textures, colours and shapes in the nature of Anglesey I couldn’t stop finding some gems. I even filled up my SD card with pictures! Getting children to photograph what they see would be a great way for the children to observe the nature around them. You could get them to focus on finding different shapes in nature of different colours of the rainbow? Depending on the age of the child you could give them a range of different things to look for that use their senses. These photos could then be used back home to generate their own art work using different textures. Have a look at some of the photos below for some starter ideas.

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Look at the smoothness of this bark. It just calls out to be looked at and remarked upon. Whenever I wander around Anglesey I always happen upon someone remarking on its smoothness and colour!

These pictures would be good for looking at patterns in the world around you. These patterns could then be recreated back home. Warning- pattern spotting can be quite addicting!

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You can’t beat Spring and Summer for a lovely bit of colour! (ok, ok Autumn and Winter has some beautiful colour as well!) This would inspire me to do a bit of colour mixing to try and recreate some of these stunning colours. This would also be an ideal opportunity to find out what difference it would make if you used different paints and materials. How can you create different strengths in colour?

Sketching

You don’t have to have all the art fun at home! Get the kids to take their sketchbook with them and do some on location sketching. This would also be a great task for their nature journals!

Come back later in the month when I will share some more creative ideas for combining art and nature! Have a great day!

30 Days Wild Day 1- Close to Home

 

Happy 1st June! The internet is ablaze with people sharing their Day 1 #30DaysWild adventures. I have loved seeing what everyone has got up to for Day 1. So here is my first update!

At Home- Close to Home

The past few months have been busy and as such I have barely got into the garden. So this afternoon I took the time to potter about and see some of the colour that has recently erupted. I find I rarely take photos of the garden and so I thought it would be an ideal chance to appreciate and remember what we have close to home. And that is the wonderful thing about #30DaysWild, you can explore and be wild as far or as close to home as you want. There is plenty to see in your local area!

At School- It is half term so I used my time in school to get some jobs on my to do list done as well as making a start on our Nature Table. I would love to have this up year round but I just don’t have the room in the classroom I have this year so I have had a bit of a move around and now have some space for the month of June. I will post some pictures when it is finished! I can’t wait for the kids to arrive back on Monday and for us to start our class 30 Days Wild!

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Are you taking part this year? If so please leave me a comment below and let me know what you have got up to! I can’t wait to hear!

30 Days Wild 2017

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If you have been following the Daylight Explorers for a few years you will know that we are big fans of the 30 Days Wild initiative led by the Wildlife Trust. As someone who craves a regular wander around the woods or gets excited to see a ladybird land nearby I can’t help but love another reason to get outside. So it is with great delight I signed up for this year’s 30 Days Wild. For those of you who are new to 30 Days Wild here is a very quick overview!

“Make room for nature this June – no matter where you are or how busy your life! When you sign up to the challenge, we’ll send you a pack full of ideas, encouragement and Random Acts of Wildness…
What is a Random Act of Wildness?

A Random Act of Wildness is anything that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. They can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours!”

http://www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild/

Interested? Want to know what to do next? Go sign up!

After that it’s up to you! Below are some tips for helping you get the most out of your 30 Days Wild Experience!

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1) Make your own Nature Journal to help you keep a record of all the fantastic things you see and do.

2) Check out the hashtag on social media! #30DaysWild is a brilliant source of community and ideas!

3) Check out my ‘Nature and Wildlife’ board on Pinterest for more nature related ideas.

https://uk.pinterest.com/daylightexplore/nature-and-wildlife/

4) Read some nature related books. In the month of June I am going to be sharing some great nature themed books that can be shared with kids at home and at school.

5) Get involved with your local Wildlife Trust!

 

Tweet me or leave me a comment to tell me all about your #30DaysWild adventures! Come back through the month of June to see what the Daylight Explorers get up to!

 

 

 

Letterbox Lab- The Interview

Over recent weeks I have been very excited to hear about Letterbox Lab, a fab new subscription box for kids to get them enthused about Science! Today I am lucky enough to share an interview with the folks behind Letterbox Lab and if you come back later in the week I will be sharing the contents of the first box I have received from them. Excited? Yes! But for now let’s find out a little bit more about Letterbox Lab!

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How did Letterbox Lab begin and why?

When Bryan and I got married we decided to jet off and see some more of the world. We used our experience working in science centres to offer training and consultancy in the Czech Republic and Norway, then spent a few months as teachers for the children of an indigenous tribe in Malaysia. We had a lot of time to think during our nine months abroad, mostly about the various challenges that prevent families from engaging with science such as accessibility of information and equipment, cost and perceived lack of convenience. We used whatever equipment we could find in our tiny village to run engaging science lessons in Malaysia, and realised that we had the skills to make science accessible to pretty much anyone, regardless of their background or facilities. We came home and dreamed up Letterbox Lab – the ultimate way to make the most fun and engaging science easy to play with, for anyone!

What got you into Science?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t like science – I was always fiddling about with experiments and projects as a child. The only thing holding me back from science when I was in secondary school was the notion that it wasn’t a creative subject – I’ve always been quite artistic and theatrical and didn’t want to do something purely logical. I had a very inspiring physics teacher for my GCSEs who helped me realise that science is actually a highly creative endeavour that requires huge dollops of imagination. That realisation was what swung the scale for me, and I’ve never looked back!

What is your favourite piece of science equipment?

Difficult one! It depends what you’re trying to find out. I love space, so telescopes are high on my list – they give us the most fantastic images from incredible distances. On the other end of the scale but a similar vein, the images you get from microscopes – even quite weak ones – are stunning and reveal so many secrets about nature.

Who are you inspired by in Science?

People who inspire me with anything are those who can talk about their subject with passion and conviction. David Attenborough, and the bigwigs of science communication in the US – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Steve Spangler among others – have always been inspirations to me because enthusiasm oozes straight out of them. They draw you in and make you care about things you might never have even thought about before.

What advice do you have for any kids wanting to get into science?

Always relish the times you are wrong and take pleasure in not knowing things. These are the times when we make the most exciting discoveries! The greatest scientists in history were confident voicing ideas that at the time were completely against common thinking, and today they are celebrated for it. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, be prepared to learn from the times when you are wrong, and question everything.

 

Thank you so much to Mia for answering these questions for the Daylight Explorers! Come back soon for details about my box.

Kelly

Disclaimer- I purchased my box with my own money and all comments and views are my own!

Mr and Mrs and Baby Makes Three

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I am really excited to announce that the Daylight Explorer household is expanding by one in September. The Mr and I are really pleased to announce that we are going to have a baby! The excitement in the Daylight Explorer house is high and I am already making plans for all the exploring we will do as a family. Life at the moment is balancing work with reading as many baby books as possible and spending far too much time on Pinterest! But hey, what’s different there!?

From Mrs DE and Bump

xx

5 Ideas for Getting Kids Involved with Nature this Easter Holiday

5 Things Easter (2)1.Have an Easter Nature Hunt! We all know about the traditional Easter Egg Hunt but try a twist on this tradition. Instead you could focus on finding different insects or maybe looking for the signs of Spring. The possibilities are endless and could create lots of fun for the little ones (and grown ups!) in your life.

2. Find yourself a copy of Outdoor Wonderland by Josie Jeffery and Alice Lickens. This is a fantastic guide for kids to being outside. It is packed full of activities that can keep the whole family entertained. I love the wide variety of ideas on offer from Eco Art to ideas for windy and rainy days.

Outdoor Wonderland

3. Make a Field Journal. I have always been a huge fan of journaling and I am keen to find as many ways as possible to get kids involved. A Field Journal (Nature Journal) is a perfect way to get kids out there observing nature. You could even create a family journal! This great video from SciShow Kids is a perfect way to introduce kids to the idea of a Field Journal.

4. Geocaching! You don’t need a GPS device, you can get started with your mobile phone! I love Geocaching as it fits in with my love of exploring. Check out this blog post from Family Sponge for more about Geocaching with kids!

5. Check out the Daylight Explorers Nature and Wildlife Pinterest Board for a wide variety of ideas for crafts, journaling and other nature related ideas. But most importantly enjoy spreading love and appreciation for nature!

Arthur and the Golden Rope

5 Golden Reasons To Love Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd Stanton.

  1. Oh my goodness that front cover is delicious! Shiny gold, gorgeous greens and my goodness that looming face!

 

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2. The opening- who can resist a story that starts in a room filled with artefacts of great power and rarity? And books filled with tales of adventures and mysterious creatures? Win! I am sure the Brownstone family were DAYLIGHT EXPLORERS!

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3) Arthur Brownstone- An unlikely hero but my goodness he loves exploring (see I told you they were daylight explorers!). The book follows Arthur’s adventures including a grand final quest to save his village. Land of the Vikings. Check.Monstrous Black Wolf. Check!

4) The illustrations. These illustrations drew me in so much. They are filled with gorgeous detail and my Year 4 class couldn’t get close enough to me to see them. My class (who are very honest I’ll have you know) absolutely loved the illustrations and they particularly enjoyed looking for all the small details. Our book talk lasted a long time as they all excitedly shared what they could see.

5) Just read some of the comments from Year 4!

P- “I liked the illustrations.”

H- “It was a nice type of book because it was like someone was telling the story in a story.”

A- “I really liked the adventure.”

L- “I liked the way the book with written with the font and looking like a scroll.”

 

 

Many thanks to Flying Eye Books for sending me a copy of this book. This review from the children and I is completely honest and it was a lovely reading time together. Thanks so much Flying Eye Books and Joe Todd Stanton!