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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

History Fun Day- Wandlebury

As a former history undergraduate I am a bit of a history geek. I think this stems from my love of stories and I remember at school being captivated by the past and the stories we were told. So when I saw that Wandlebury were holding a History Fun Day I just couldn’t resist visiting. In this blog post I shared a little bit about what makes Wandlebury special for families and schools and events like this add wonderfully to what they do.

I arrived to find the car park bustling with activity and took a slow walk to the main Iron Age themed event. A quick snack of cake and coffee and I was ready for some daylight exploring! There was a wide array of activities on offer including bushcraft, weapon and shield making, story telling, cooking and a variety of crafts. I was also interested to see some bee keeping information as well. I dragged myself away from the bees (promising myself one day I would live somewhere I could keep bees!) and continued to look around.

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The staff and volunteers I spoke to were warm and welcoming and all the families I saw and spoke to were having great fun! A huge thank you to these little hands and their mum who let me take a picture of them hard at work!

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After I had explored the history activities I then decided to go for a walk. I am a huge walking fan and relish any chance to get out and about. As I walked and enjoyed the nature surrounding me I stumbled across a mum and daughter following a history trail that had been set up around the site.

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Listening to their shared conversation warmed my heart and I really wanted to tag along to hear the rest of their fascinating conversations about history. And this is the thing, whether it is at Wandlebury or a site near where you live you will find so much to explore and discuss with the kids as well as getting some fresh air and exercise!

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Wandlebury hold regular events and they have some Halloween and half term events coming up! Check out the website here for more information!

Do you have anywhere recommended places for history lovers to visit? If so please leave a comment below!

30 Days Wild- The First Week in the Classroom

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The children are responsible for recording on our wall chart.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (and if you read this blog post!) you will know that I have been taking part in the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. Initially I had signed up with just me in mind but then made the choice to involve my class and my goodness it was the best decision ever! They loved it so much that we have finished our previous topic a bit earlier and launched a new nature topic to take us through until the end of term and we are very excited!

Monday 1st June- I told the children all about the project, showed them the video and our new Nature Table. All the children then made their own nature journals. We kept them very simple as 1) we wanted to get started as soon as possible and 2) we knew we would be taking them outside and so they would soon get the ‘well used’ look! I am a very keen keeper of journals and it is something I really enjoy sharing with the children. Our activity on day 1 was quite simple- feeling the ground underneath our feet! We went outside, took off our shoes and socks and just felt the grass and ground beneath our feet and chatted about what we felt! After every activity we drew or wrote (or both) in our journal. Importantly the children had a free choice and there was no pressure at all on the amount or type of recording. It simply had to provide them with a memory of the activity.

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Tuesday 2nd- Daisy Chains. In the back of my mind was an article I had read/ heard a while ago talking about how many children were not involved in activities like making daisy chains outside. After a quick survey of my class I discovered there was a large number who had never made a daisy chain before! So off we went to the field for a lesson. It was lovely seeing confident children helping those who struggled. We made short chains ourselves and then joined with friends. It was a lovely time outside!

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Wednesday 3rd- We went outside to do some sketching. After talking about the kind of things we could draw we went outside and spread across the field, each child having their own ideas of what to sketch. The idea was for them appreciate something from nature.

Thursday 4th- Learning bird songs. I have discovered this is something my class has a hidden talent for!

Friday 5th- Dancing in the breeze….with a a few spatters of rain. It had been forecast to rain and so we decided that this would be the day we would go and dance in the rain. We finished our lesson and it was raining. Perfect! We lined up, went outside and found…it had stopped raining! So instead we danced in the breeze with a few spatters of rain!

The Weekend- All through the week the children were allowed to take their journals home if they wished to do extra things with their family and it was lovely how many did! My only stipulation is they were responsible for bringing them back the next day and incredibly we almost had a 100% success rate! At the weekend I asked all the children to take their journals home. I sent home a note to parents to explain with a few ideas of what they could do but stressed they could come up with their own. You should see the work that came back! I had journals filled with writing, pictures and photographs. A group of boys gathered together to go for a walk, three boys photographed a moth and we used one of our books to try and identify it (rather unsuccessfully so far!) and most importantly children spent time with their families. It was so lovely to hear their excited stories. And so we have started on week 2 of 30 Days Wild and I cannot wait to give you the next update!

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Using the pooters to search for insects- a sneak peek at our new Nature topic!

Have you been taking part in 30 Days Wild? What have you been doing? Please share in the comments below. And remember it is never too late to join in!