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The great outdoors!


Hello again folks,

Today we have a look at some ideas for things to do outdoors either in your garden or in parks and other outdoor spaces. 

 Yellow irises by river

What is that?

Why not have a go at identifying the various plants and animals that you spot while you are outside.  You could try to do it while you are out or take some photographs and investigate what they were when you come back.  In my recent morning walks I've been lucky enough to see Muntjac deer and also some beautiful yellow irises (see above) that are just coming out at the moment.  The Discover the Wild website has a range of printable ID charts to help you identify a range of plants and animals and the Woodland Trust has a handy app for identifying trees.  


Scavenger Hunts and Art with Nature

The Woodland Trust has some excellent ideas for scavenger hunts that you can do while you are out and about and here are some scavenger hunt ideas produced for the Scouts by Natural England.  Alternatively collect some fallen leaves and have a go at creating some leaf art.  You could use the leaf art on this website as inspiration. I'd love to see any pictures that you produce.


Plant and Animal Surveys

If you want to help contribute to scientific surveys that you can do in your garden/neighbourhood, then here are a few possibilities:

OPAL (Open Air Laboratories have a range of different plant/animal surveys

Bees, Wasps and Ants - record your sightings or use their extensive resources to help you identify them

Amphibians and Reptiles - record your sightings here

The Natural History Museum citizen science page includes some surveys as well as other activities.


Science and Exercise

The global Train Like an Astronaut project is already underway, but it is not to late to join up as a family.  Register online and take part in the Walk to the Moon Challenge as well as accessing a range of health and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related activities and resources.


Breath of fresh air

Have you ever wondered how your lungs work?  Why not have a go at making a model of your lungs that shows how your moving your diaphragm (a sheet of muscle under your lungs) inflates your lungs. 


And finally ...

A shoutout to Sarah Bearchell who has been working with the Lightyear Foundation to create some wonderful videos of experiments you can do at home (indoors or outdoors).

As ever, if this column has inspired you to do anything, please let me know and I'd love to see any photographs.  Do send me your own recommendations for things to do.

More next week,