Young Discoverers Blog 18/4/18
Let’s Get Outside
Blog by Ruth Newton, Director Young Discoverers Day Nursery, and Zac’s Club Before & After School Clubs.
What a relief that the good weather appears at last, to be with us, although for all of our Little People, there’s a good argument for them being outside in all weathers. Kathy Wainwright, Nursery Manager at Young Discoverers has a mantra:
“It’s not unsuitable weather that stops play, just unsuitable clothing.”
This is the absolute truth, so my best tip for enjoying the great outdoors whatever the weather is to be prepared. For wintry weather you need wellies, warm jumper, gloves, woolly hat and coat, and ideally an all in one puddle suit to go over the top of everything. We know the English weather can be unpredictable, so you may not need all of this garb, but pop it in the car, just in case. For the better weather, your essentials will include sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, hat, comfy shoes, shorts and t shirt, and a cardigan and showerproof jacket.
Right, so you’re all kitted out, now where to go? The great thing about our varying weather is that the seasons give us such choice and adventure. What little person doesn’t love mud, puddles, snow, flying kites in the wind, sunshine and growing nature? At Young Discoverers, one of our very favourite places to be is the woods, but try the beach, a village walk, the park or even a busy town or city can have much to offer.
Who wants to come on a Gruffalo hunt with us?
Me, me, me! So, take the book, look for all the animals featured in the book, and the places they live, bring our inside stories into the open and real life. Not inspired by the Gruffalo, then what about “We’re all going on a Bear Hunt”? Just look through your child’s book shelf for inspiration for your next adventure. Could it be “Stick Man”, or simply just having a teddy bear’s picnic?
Look what we’ve just found?
For the investigators among us, and the budding scientists, your trip out may want to have a different mission. Invest in a magnifying glass and some small tupperwares to collect natural objects of interest that you can look up on the internet. You may want to make a seasonal picture from the goodies you collect when you get home. Be careful to encourage your children to collect fallen items such as leaves and twigs, and discourage any picking of flowers, as well as taking responsibility for ensuring we keep our natural environments flourishing and special. You may even want to initiate a litter pick for this purpose. Many of our local villages have taken to hiding decorated rocks for others to find and re-hide. Have a look and post on Facebook what you found, and you’ll soon makes loads of new friends. There’s also https://www.geocaching.com/play which bills itself as the world’s largest treasure hunt, and anyone with a GPS signal can take part.
But why is the outdoors so important?….
Boys in particular, (but by no means exclusively) are fabulous outdoor learners. All children see things differently outside, but even those reluctant to experience the great outdoors can be encouraged by bringing out their favourite activities that they would normally do inside into the open. We can draw outside, in fact, why not get the chalks out and go wild wherever you want to? It will wash away! You can draw in the sand too. It makes learning fun, and a much more memorable experience. Think back to your own childhood adventures and if you mainly remember them in an outdoor context, then you have your own proof of the value.
Grow your own
You may feel ambitious, and want to enter your produce in the county show, but for many children, the fact that you can produce something yourself that you can eat is an absolute wonder. Start easy, and with something you have more or less guaranteed success for example mint. You can grow it in a pot (in fact better if you do, as this plant grows so well, you may have trouble containing it if you don’t). Runner beans are great to start indoors, and see them shoot up some canes in the garden, and whilst tomatoes do need a touch more nurture, you can get some good crops quite quickly. Root vegetables take time, but grow really well, and it’s great fun digging them up. If you fancy flowers, start with sweet peas. They smell lovely, grow quickly, and flourish the more you pick them.
Pack up a picnic
Well done and congratulations if you have grown something to pack in the picnic, but even if you haven’t, make the whole preparation part of the event. Have fun cutting up carrots and cucumbers, making sandwiches, and picking out what else you want to take.
Ready, Steady, Go!
It’s not going to cost the earth, there are parks, nature reserves, beaches, walled cities, public commons and much more to explore for free, as well as your own garden of course. Annual memberships of things like the National Trust are great value and add to funding our heritage, and there are other events that don’t cost the earth summer fairs and fetes. Young Discoverers themselves are sponsoring the Discovery Day run by Hagges Wood Trust http://www.haggewoodstrust.org.uk/events/ on Sunday 24th June 2018. Adults pay just £5, and children go free, yes free, so pop it in the diary, and we look forward to seeing you there.
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