Nature hanging

This is another brilliantly simple activity that encourages children to explore and engage with their natural surroundings. You can easily tailor it to suit their personality as well, so for example some children might like to search for spiky, scary looking plants, rocks or sticks where as others might want to have a hanging made from only the colour purple! It really is up to them.

 

You will need…

4 sticks

string and/or thread

scissors

Method…

My daughters brief was ‘to find anything you find interesting or beautiful’ and put it on a tray. Our collection consisted of a range of petals and leaves of different shapes, colours and textures.

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Tie the four sticks together to make a rectangular frame, and tie a large loop from one end to the other on one side, to hang your creation up with

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When you have assembled your selection of items, pick your favourites and attach them to the top stick with some string, or the thread for a more subtle look.

Hang your nature hanging in the garden, or indoors if you would rather, to make a lovely, natural piece of decorative art.

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Tip: Petals, flowers etc might not last long on the hanging, though some will last longer than others. They can be easily swapped for something else, providing a great opportunity to discuss the natural life cycle and changing of the seasons etc.

Stick tree

It’s amazing what you can do with a few sticks and a little imagination! Follow the simple steps below to create your own garden decoration that will brighten up your garden all year round.

We ventured to some nearby woods to collect the sticks to make this easy tree, it was fun for the children to explore the woods and see what different sticks they could find.

 

What you need:

Sticks of varying sizes

String

Tree or fence to hang it from

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How to make it:

Lay out the sticks in size order. This is a good activity for the children to do as it provides an opportunity to learn about sorting, shape, size and position, as well as being quite a fun thing to do!

Take your string and tie knot around each stick on one side. Leave a big loop a the top and then repeat the process down the other side of every stick. Make sure the knots are tied tight enough as you dont want them to come undone.

Pick the string up from the loop at the top and there you have it, a stick tree to hang in the garden and decorate however you like.

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See our article here for ideas on how to make natural Christmas decorations, or stay tuned for our upcoming article on how to make natural decorations throughout the year.

Spot it cards

This is a really simple activity that can provide hours of fun, as well as being an educational and creative activity. It doesn’t take long to make the cards and can be done in these easy steps:

First is the task of deciding what to put on the cards. These are your own personal cards so have a walk around your garden, or allotment depending on where you are, and perhaps choose some things that are specific to that place, as well as some more generic items.

Next is the creative part. My daughter and I did the whole activity together so we sat down and each chose a few things that we wanted to put on the cards, drew them and coloured them in.

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We chose to make 12 cards to start with but will probably make more as time goes on. It was surprising how difficult it was to think of things that provided a bit of a challenge to find but, at the same time, weren’t too obvious (grass was my daughters choice!) However, it is winter at the moment so the garden is looking particularly bare, probably as a result of my recent, very over due, pruning sessions. So when things start to grow again, and the wildlife returns, there will be more to look at and search for so making new cards shouldn’t be a problem.

 

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We decided to laminate our cards, using a laminator I bought second hands a few months ago. This is optional of course, but just makes the cards a little more durable, by making them splash proof for example.

You could easily make these on the inside of a cereal box or something similar. There are also lots of variations you could try, for example you could have a set for just wildlife, or just plants. You could make a set to take out on a woodland walk, or to the park, giving you an opportunity to talk about the different animals and wildlife you find in these places.

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To play, each player is given the same number of cards and the winner is the person who finds all of  theirs first.

Whatever variations you decide to do, spot it cards are a sure way to keep children entertained and actively engaged in their environment. Especially if they have made them themselves!

7 plants to grow with children

One of the best things about gardening with children is that it creates an interest that runs deeper than what plants look, smell or taste like.  When a child plants a seed and watches it grow they become attached to it. They learn, that aside from light, water and earth, plants also need care, attention and protection in order to grow. more “7 plants to grow with children”