“Don't you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?”

~ Sarah Addison Allen

To make this half term that little bit easier we have done a round up of our favourite nature hacks to get your littles of screens, out of the house and into nature 💫

Here are some of our own in-house favourites ~

Outdoor Obstacle Course: Create a fun and challenging obstacle course using items like cones, hula hoops, ropes, and tires. Children can race against each other or challenge themselves to complete the course as quickly as possible.

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items commonly found in nature such as pinecones, different types of leaves, flowers. Give each child a list and let them explore the outdoors to find these items. Download our Free Printable 'Adventure Find Checklist' to get started! 

Den Building: Gather some sticks, branches, and blankets, and let children use their creativity to build their own dens or forts outdoors. This activity encourages teamwork, problem-solving, and imagination.

Outdoor Art and Potions: Set up an outdoor art station with watercolours paints and natural materials like leaves and flowers. Let your children create beautiful outdoor artwork and fairy potions to while away the day. 

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Jessica Hatcher-Moore has shared the most wonderful journal with us on How to get your children out for a walk in January, which remains relevant throughout the year! 

"Run ahead and devise a game where you become a train station. Allocate jobs on the train and then move onto the next station. Your imagination can carry you a very long way. Race them. Chase them. Get a tickling stick from the hedge ..."

You can read her full article packed with inspiration here.

We asked Africa from the Vitamin D Project ~ What is your favourite nature school hack?

"My favourite nature school hack is creating small world nature-based play invitations. Before the kids join me outside, I'll bring down a few pots from the kitchen and fill them with a few bits from outside to make a lovely little wildlife setting with a few of their Schleich toys. Think a handful of cut grass, flowers, pebbles, rocks, twigs -all grouped to make a little interactive scene and tuck a few of their animals inside it also. They can entertain themselves on their own for a good half an hour and when they're just starting to get bored, I like to add a second element like water or runny mud to keep the fun going even longer!"
Read the full interview here.

We asked Jacqueline, who's London garden is the ultimate sanctuary ~ What is your favourite nature school hack?

" On our walks collect things - stones, sticks, leaves and try to make things from them like stickmen.  It can lead to fun chats as we walk around and really gets Martha looking at what she’s picking up and notice the colours the textures.  We might not make works of art but as long as she’s looking at things I’m happy."

Read the full article here

We asked Becs, an allotment enthusiast, mama of two and professional photographer ~ How do you get your children engaged in gardening?

"For us it’s all about having fun. And being outdoors, digging in the dirt, and watering things is a great way to start. Nico, our one year old, adores just getting messy and following her big sister around with a watering can, whilst Bella, who is almost five, is fascinated by growing things and learning about the natural world - it’s pretty amazing to see it all through the eyes of a child for us as well."

Read the full article here

 We asked Laura Brand, author of The Joy Journal for Magical Outdoor Play ~ For parents wanting to disconnect their children from screens, what is the best way to get children interested and engaged with nature?
"We recently stopped our own daughters watching screens during weekdays and it immediately had an amazing impact on their play, their imagination and interaction with each other. All children are so very different and so knowing what sparks their individual curiosity and interest is the first step towards a successful transition. It could be that your child likes quiet time in nature and something like a scavenger hunt using homemade cards or a map might work, or like mine, they might enjoy messy play so a simple mud-kitchen set up with some water, wellies and an “anything goes” attitude will be a winner."

Read the full article here

For those more visually minded, our Watch & Create channel has a selection of glorious activities to keep your little ones entertained through the holidays.