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!

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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!

Friendship

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Forgive.

Respect each other.

Include others.

Ears- be a good listener!

Need anything? Think how you can help a friend out.

Different- We embrace our differences.

Share.

How are you? Take an interest in others.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Patient.

 

This week it is Anti-Bullying Week, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. I am always keen to get the children thinking about the positives of friendship and so found this to be a nice activity to get the children to think about what friendship means.

What would your words be? Please share in the comments below!

30 Days Wild- Days 1-12

Hello! How are you on this lovely Sunday evening? I have been sharing my #30DaysWild adventures on Instagram and Twitter (take a look here and here) but thought I would do a little round up on my blog.

I am absolutely loving #30DaysWild this year and have really enjoyed all the social media sharing that has been happening, especially on Twitter and Instagram! The first week of June was half term and so I was ‘wilding’ it all on my own. However Monday we went back to school and boy did I make the most of it with my class (armed with my super duper teacher pack!)

 

I devoted nearly the whole day to a nature themed lessons, in Literacy we made nature journals and then carried out an A to Z of nature in our school. Maths was a lesson on measurement which was actually taken from the Wildlife Trust resources. On Tuesday I took my class to Hunstanton and we had great fun sharing #30DaysWild on the beach as well as exploring nature by the seaside.

The children are really enjoying our experiences and next week I am going to be heading out into the KS1 and KS2 playgrounds to do some activities at lunchtime with the children. I can’t wait and will definitely share here some of the things we got up to!

 

30 Days Wild 2016

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It’s nearly June, it’s nearly June! And that means it is finally 30 Days Wild Time!

I blogged last year about the background behind 30 Days Wild (I will wait patiently whilst you go and check out the link here which includes a squirrel with a light sabre! Back? Good, I will carry on) and I am so pleased to be taking part again. I will be blogging here and sharing some of the #30DaysWild activities I get up to with my class. Excitingly we will also be blogging on my school blog as well:)

I love these words from the Wildlife Trust,

Feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature by doing something wild every day for thirty days this June.

No matter where you live – from an urban jungle to a windswept mountain – wildlife and wild places are all around, waiting to be discovered by you.”

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Are you ready to discover the wild around you this June? Head on over to the Wildlife Trust to find out more!