Like the Robin study earlier in the year, April gives us plenty of opportunities to spot birds in our outdoor spaces. Download the Bird watch diary to log all your sightings (2nd and 10th)
April is a fantastic month to build the habit of getting outside. The changes in weather can be thrilling if a little unexpected! Keep encouraging the sensory observations, you can smell the warmth in the air (8th) and I’ve always loved the smell of spring after the rain (20th). Cloud spotting (5th) will build on the weather study of last month and improves observation skills. CIRRUS clouds are high up in the atmosphere and appear in good weather so here’s hoping you see lots of them! this article from the Met Office explains why they form and tips on spotting them.
Maybe Easter falls this month, or at least part of the school holidays will. There are plenty of easter based crafts (3rd and 7th) that will involve natural elements. There are loads of instructions out there for dying eggs so I’ve borrowed a video below for you. I love the blue from the cabbage!
All kinds of insect and animal life is changing, keep encouraging opportunites to observe them (14th,11th,24th, 25th). Finding frogspawn and watch the change from tadpole to frog is really fantastic for 7 or 8 year olds.
In April, start a feather collection (19th) which will build throughout the summer. Its a great chance to recognise different types of feathers a bird has on its body. There is a wonderful article written for the The Smart Happy Project’s Wonder Journal on ‘how do birds fly?‘ which has illustrations of the different types of feathers and encourages the wonder of flight that we are seeing all around us at the moment.
April can still be the month for shape hunting in nature (any month is a month for shape hunting!) and April’s hunting is all about Treasure! shape hunting strengthens the awareness of space and shape and benefits understanding of maths concepts at later educational levels. Following on from the triangles of last month the pomegranate fruit has jewel like seeds which all form in 12 sided shapes (who knew!) Find out more about the dodecahedron treasure and make sure to eat all the juicy jewels up.
Flowers to find and eat!
Wild and cultivated flowers have been appearing for a while now, bluebells are probably in full swing. (16th – Was it nature or the horticultural labelling society that got that wrong?) enjoy time spent amongst nature that has flowers and buds to spot (30th and 26th) now is often the time to do it because later in the summer there will no doubt be loads of sporting activities going on and sometimes with children that is their outside time used up with those activities. Whereas now, if you get outside together you will have quality time with them in nature. Press a couple of the spring flowers (28th) i always want to try to keep that feeling of crisp new spring for as long as possible.
Try eating a few flowers! (17th) the idea is sure to ruffle a few feathers of the helicopter parents – but thats what I’m here to do! Find out more about edible flowers and add them to your salads.
For nature games, Pooh Sticks (13th) never fails whatever age and crafting crowns from chains of flowers leaves can lead to imagination play. Both these can be moments to connect as a family in a non pressured way, just passing time and enjoying each others company.
Please remember, The 365 Nature Journal is to encourage everyone to enjoy these moments together. it is not meant to be a reminder of how much they are not doing in nature, but prompts for us all to do little bits of nature interaction together.
For those looking for games with a bigger mental challenge there is Natural sudoku. Sudoku really stretches the brain I love it. no reason why it can’t be done with images rather than numbers.
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