Each month, we post details of a wild activity that you can do with your children at home, or at school.
School Summer Holidays
How to watch moths
How to make a tumble trap
Make your own wormery
Mark and recapture garden snails
How to make a mini nature reserve
My street tree
Discover summer wildflowers
Make your own binoculars
Start a nature table
Easter or spring tree
Celebrate the arrival of spring by creating a mini tree for your home
- Secateurs and a saw
- A small branch
- Electric or hand drill
- A small log or vase
- Decorations of your choice
Method: Find a branch that you like - it can have buds, leaves or catkins on it. You can make your own holder by sawing a thicker branch or log into a 10 cm length and then drilling a hole in the top, or you can place your branch in a vase. Then make the decorations - they could be birds as pictured, clay eggs, mini nests or flowers.
Model birds nests
Make your own seasonal nest
- Air drying clay or plasticine
- Willow (optional)
- Natural materials such as sticks, leaves, flowers, mud, moss and feathers
Method: Either weave a nest shape from thin lengths of willow or form a small bowl shape out of clay or plasticine. Then decorate your nest with a range of natural materials of your choice. If desirable, finish off your nest by moulding some eggs and placing them in the nest, ready to hatch!
Colour or nature's palettes
Capture a little piece of nature to brighten up your home
- Double sided sticky tape
- Leaves, petals, flowers
Method: Cut your card into strips, square, or any shape you like! Cover with double sided tape. Peel back the white strip and stick on the natural materials of your choice. NB: It's best to use flowers that are abundant, or to just pick one or two petals from each flower.
Create an original artwork by bashing petals and leaves onto cloth
- Cotton cloth cut into pieces (old sheets or pillow cases work well, or you can by cotton by the metre
- A mallet, hammer or log
- Freshly picked leaves and petals
Method: Place the petals and leaves onto the cloth and bash them with the mallet! take care not to hit your head, hands or other people around you. For a symmetrical design, place all of the petals and or leaves on one side of the cloth and then fold it over before you begin bashing.
Design your own natural loom
- Forked stick
- Wool or string
- Plant or flower stalks
Method: Cut a long length of wool or string and pass it across the forked stick, from top to bottom. Make sure you wrap the thread around the stick once each time you pass it, and pull it nice and tight. Secure the tread at the end with a knot. Weave the stalks in and out (under and over) the thread.
Use leaves to create patterns or to decorate ready made designs
- Plain paper or paper with a design drawn or printed onto it, such as a tree, minibeast or bird.
- PVA glue, a pot to put it in and a glue spreader or paintbrush
Method: Glue your collection of leaves onto the paper!
Autumn / Winter
Make the most of the windy weather - read Martha'sMuddle Puddles blog post
- Bat template, printed onto thin card - download it here
- Felt tip pens
- Drinking straw
- Hole punch, scissors, stapler
- Sticky tape and string
- Strips of plastic
- Bendy stick, e.g. willow withy
Method: Colour and cut out your bat, then staple the straw between the two wing tips. Next, reinforce the tips of the wings with sticky tape and then punch a hole in each corner. (The instructions on the template say to attach the string to the underside of the bat, we find it works better if it’s knotted to the wing tips). Next, tie a length of string through each hole and then knot them to a bendy stick. Finally, affix some plastic streamers to the tail of your bat with sticky tape.
Make a family of stick people to play with, inspired by the story The Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
- One stick with a fork in it (or "Y" shape at the end)
- One straight stick
- Leaves or scraps of material
- Pipe cleaners or masking tape and felt tip pens
Method: The forked stick provides the legs and body, the straight stick the arms. Join the two together by either wrapping a pipe cleaner around them or using a few lengths of masking tape. Give the person hair and or clothes using bits of material, leaves or other natural materials stuck on with masking tape. If desired, draw on a face using felt tip pens.
Wooden disc minibeasts
Create real or imagined creatures out of discs of wood
- A length of straight(ish) wood, roughly 4 cm in diameter
- A suitable hand saw (we use a bow saw with one child holding it at each end)
- An electric drill, hand drill or palm drill
- Felt tip pens
- Pipe cleaners
Method: Carefully (children must be supervised at all times) cut 1 cm thick discs of wood. Decide how many legs / wings / antennae your creature should have, and then drill the necessary number of holes around the outer edge of the disc. Use pipe cleaners to make the appendages.
Light up your dining table with a seasonal lantern
- A glass jar and a tea light
- A selection of leaves (pre-pressed in a flower press or large book is best)
- Coloured tissue paper
- PVA glue plus spreader
- Wire and pliers (optional)
Method: Glue the leaves onto the jar first, and then cover with a layer or two of tissue paper. If you want to make a handle, use the pliers to cut the wire and wrap around the neck of the jar. To avoid getting burnt, secure the lantern to a strong stick. Light the tea light and place in the jar!
Decorate your window with bright autumn colours
- Different coloured autumn leaves
- Paper plate or cardboard
- Sticky back plastic / book covering film
- Flower press (optional)
- Hole punch
- String or wool
Method: Collect a range of dry autumn leaves. For best results, put them in a flower press for a few days. Cut out the middle of a paper plate (or bit of cardboard), then cut out two pieces of sticky back plastic, a couple of centimetres bigger than the hole in the plate. Stick one of the pieces over the hole in the plate, sticky side facing inwards. Arrange your leaves on the sticky plastic then cover them with the other piece, sandwiching the leaves between the two sticky layers. Use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of your sun catcher. Tie a length of string / wool through the hole. It is now ready to hang in your window!