Love books, love nature play…
Nature Play and Learning
A lot of visitors to this blog are looking for the posts about children and nature. Here’s the motley collection that I’ve written over the years.
A quick overview can be found at this post
Lots of nature’s treasures!
Rocks and Stones
Just the ticket for any time of year.
Big immoveable rocks provide a context for philosophy.
A multitude of creative uses
Looking at earth processes taking place all around us
Everybody needs a rock
More ideas, especially art ones for using stones
Collecting and admiring the beauty of litter
wherever you look, there’s stones to be seen
An amazing geology trail. The potential is mind-boggling
Ways over overcoming issues around sand play outside
A budget approach to creating any size of a sandpit that works in schools where digging up the tarmac is not possible
Just a wee contribution to International Mud Day 29th June
The art of rock balancing – suitable for all ages
The brilliant dance of potential when nature is used to explore maths and art concepts. Just sit down and play! Perfect for the beach or sand pit.
Great examples of dry creeks and practical advice from Australia
Story stones are one of the most versatile creative literacy resources. Time to create some and get those stories flowing! Great for writing as well as talking and listening.
Sticks and wood
Almost all my maths posts involve using sticks. So hop over for a quick look.
A sticky subject about a versatile resource!
Using sticks to create the human body outside!
Looking at this versatile product and what can be made from it.
Great big loose parts for great big play experiences
Have you got any of these wonderful play features in your neck of the woods?
The answer is likely to be “yes” and everyone is just fine
looking for and matching leaves outside.
How to keep your secret messages secret outside!
Nature jigsaw and a lovely art activity.
Creating plant diagrams from loose parts and natural materials
Using photo booth to create alien plants from common local ones
Reflections on flowers and the humble crocus
One pansy. One play. One photo. One act of homophobic or transphobic abuse is quietly acknowledged. Please support this guerrilla gardening arts project by Paul Harfleet.
Big or small, you can now press plants easily and quickly when out and about.
Start collecting seeds in these DIY packets. Create a seed exchange with local schools.
Games, recipes, activities and challenges galore!
A free and found natural resource with plenty of maths potential
An nature-art approach to learning about and exploring the properties of 2D shapes
Using a natural soap for hand washing – easy to grow and use.
Top tips from RSPB Officer, Claire Marsden
A natural alternative to traditional hangers and bird feeders with curriculum ideas included. A must read.
Lots of uses and suggestions for activities for all ages
No it’s not quackers! It’s a great idea!
Heads down and walk through the town to see the history of activity
Using ropes, ribbons and enthusiasm
Finding out about beavers moving in
A few stinging comments about children, wasps and bees
The need for looking after these native mammals
Squirrel proof bird feeders
Finding out about seafood through exploring the leftovers! Not as gross as it sounds!
Exploring a variety of man-made minibeast dwellings. Upcycle, recycle, be artistic and creative and enjoy seeing the wildlife move in.
A selection of very simple and doable ideas for making your grounds more welcoming for our little creatures.
It’s surprisingly hard to find lots of ideas about using shells – I hope you enjoy this selection. I think it belongs in this category…
Lots of wet weather challenges and exploratory activities.
When older children made one for the nursery and P1 classes
Big water experience for all ages
Ditch the parachute and balls for this challenging alternative
A wonderful resource – a must for any pre-school or school
An essential resource for water and other big play experiences
Lots of lovely ways to learn around and about puddles
Exploring pattern outside
An arty activity in the snow
Lots more snowy activities
What to do with non-native sitka saplings
Star gazing events for schools and clubs
Just a few musings rather than specific activities
And it’s not even Christmas. This works well throughout winter.
Stencils, sprays and syringes and using them outside.
Inspiration from Norway
Using a camera to view the world differently
Several of my favourite activities, all in the one place!
All year round activites for exploring properties of shadows
Photo Booth provides an alternative way of investigating an capturing shadows
A few simple resources for developing imaginative play
The story of the holly, the pine and the robin. A little Christmas tale to warm your heart.
Learn tables naturally with leaves
Inspiration for leaf art from Alan Kain’s Go2Play session
How to collect and prepare conkers. Some games to play with conkers (Buckeyes)
An essential outdoor resource
An engaging activity collecting berries and autumn fruits
Autumn and dealing with death
Mushrooms in schools are a lot of fun
Creative thoughts about leaves
An autumnal harvest focus to looking at berries
A war time solution to avoiding scurvy!
Shiver me timbers! A landlubbing activity looking at sycamore leaves for work on numbers
A simple follow-up activity to help children remember an outdoor experience or walk and to celebrate autumn
A belated Earth Day activity
How to make the perfect Pace Egg
Why snowdrops show that spring is coming
An Earth Day story
Reflections on flowers and the humble crocus
A super context for fantasy small-world play outside. It’s been an ongoing project in Westpark nursery.
Play and Learning in Nature
Ideas about the unique nature of a woodland which gives it high play potential?
Nature Nurture Project, Camphill Aberdeen
A free play project for vulnerable children
Family fun in the woods with lots of pre-school children
Super example of a woodland developed by a school in partnership with rangers
First of three post about outdoor activities in CZ nurseries
A couple of clips
An afternoon spent with St Paul’s nursery.
A photofest of ideas from a Swedish pre-school’s outdoor space
An account of a morning on a Mulle Walk!
What happened in Scotland when the children met Skogsmulle
A special place for special people. Wonderful natural outdoor space for little children
This is where you’ll find me on Fridays
A Swedish outdoor pre-school
Find out more about Germany’s approach to outdoor nurseries
Great fun in the woods! A fantastic set up for children
When public art and play features come together on an accessible woodland walk. Great ideas for transferring to other places such as school grounds
Finding nature in the heart of the granite city. In the middle of winter. Amazing and inspiring.
A positive, peaceful tradition which can be established in a peace garden or other special place.
A specially designed free play space in the bush – in the heart of Perth, Western Australia
General Nature Commentary
Using these seven themes advocated by David Sobel to plan and develop outdoor learning and play opportunities
ways of engaging children when studying plants
A child in a tree
A few reflective thoughts and photos
A wonderful setting for a training event outdoors.
Would you be up for doing this as part of your teacher training?
the real play park around a play park
In celebration of International Mud Day
A childhood memory re-lived
Kite flying with my son
A sustainable way of having an outdoor fire
Super new book by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield full of activities for all different sorts of weather
Using books as a springboard into learning outside.
A good way to introduce or revise the concept of pairs