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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Anglesey Abbey Winter Lights

Silver Birch Grove Anglesey Abbey Winter Lights

The Silver Birch Grove. I love this spot.

A few weeks ago Mr Daylight Explorer and I were lucky enough to go to the Anglesey Abbey Winter Lights. I have been going to Anglesey Abbey for years but had yet to make it to the Winter Lights and so when tickets went on sale I snapped up a pair. The weather was perfect, not too cold, no wind and no rain! We wrapped up warm and set off for our evening adventure! (Is that allowed on the Daylight Explorers, evening stuff?!)

When we arrived I couldn’t believe how busy it was! By the time we arrived it was our allotted slot time and so we bypassed the marquee outside and went straight in. I was worried about having to walk around with a big group but actually the crowds thinned out quite quickly and one of my favourite parts was actually listening to all the exclamations of joy as people rounded a corner and were dazzled by the lights on show. Walking somewhere I go at least once a month in the daylight was certainly a different (and dare I use the word magical?) experience at night.

I felt for poor Mr Daylight Explorer who just wanted to walk and experience the lights because he was with me, an avid memory keeper who wanted to take photos at every point! If it had been light enough I would have whipped my journal out of my bag 😉 But instead I tried to capture the evening on my little phone camera and actually some pictures were not too bad!

One of my favourites shots came as we rounded the corner near the dahlia garden and this performer appeared from the darkness. It was a true ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ moment from the crowd!

Angelesy Abbey Winter Lights Performer

Our only regret is that we didn’t take money because, as we walked around, our senses were enticed by several gorgeous smelling eateries. We did manage to cobble together enough money for some donuts and the long wait for them certainly made us enjoy them even more! As we queued we were entertained by the music provided and it was great to take in the wonderful atmosphere.

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Families and friends were really enjoying the night together. I loved the sight of one little one draped in lights, oh how I wish I could have taken a picture! But I did manage to get a short video of some people truly having great fun! Have a look at this!

Thank you Anglesey Abbey National Trust for such a wonderful evening! I can’t wait for next year!

The Daylight Explorers

 

Belton House Garden Fete

Belton House Glass

Belton House in Lincolnshire is a fairly new National Trust property to me and I have been enjoying visiting and exploring what it has to offer. Belton House is a country house estate built in the 1680s and set in a 1300 acre deer park. There are beautiful gardens, an adventure playground, a lake and an orangery to explore but what drew me recently was a garden fete they held reminiscent of the ones from a hundred years ago to support the war effort. I booked a weekend with my dear mum and off we went, back in time to the days of Lord and Lady Brownlow who hosted fetes to raise funds for the war effort.

The weather was glorious and the staff, as usual, polite, friendly and informative. The fete was held in a small part of the front lawn. There was plenty of fun to be had by all including traditional games like tug of war, hoop rolling and quoits as well as refreshments and live music from the lovely Miss Marina Mae.

Create at Belton House

We sat in the sun and enjoyed the atmosphere and I may have partaken in a candy floss treat! We then walked over to watch some horseback displays and a History Revisited training camp.

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There was lots to see and do and people were soaking in the sun. After that we walked around the grounds and made a visit to the orangery and the gardens to see what was in bloom.

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Continuing through the estate to the lake (which we had not visited previously) we discovered the lake and boathouse and I held secret dreams of a summer writing retreat!

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This visit was in a personal capacity but as I walked around I couldn’t help but think of the learning opportunities also present. Not only a wonderful place for kids and their families to visit it would also be a great place for classes to visit too. There are plenty of objects in the collections to help meet curriculum needs and Belton House also have a handy set of Numeracy Trails already prepared. Check out the lower KS2 one here! For even more ideas check out their learning pages here.

Belton House has lots more going on through the year. Have you ever visited? What is your favourite National Trust property to visit?