Encouraging outdoor learning at home
You can be the champion for the great outdoors at home, it doesn't have to be expensive and the whole family will benefit from the activities.
Here are a few ideas for you to encourage your family to make the most of getting out and about together:
- Research local wildlife centres and make plans to visit them in the next 12 months. Add them to your family calendar so that you stick to your plan. Also find out about special events that are going on and make sure you don't miss them.
- For your child's next birthday, you could get them a subscription to a wildlife-based association, many of them have great member packs and magazines.
- Prepare a child-sized backpack with useful equipment such as notebooks, containers, a pooter (not a typo, look it up!), relevant nature notebooks, maybe a camera, and space for sunhat, sun cream etc. Keep it ready and easily accessible so you can get out and about quickly. Encourage your child to be responsible for looking after it and when you are out, take note of what you wish you had brought with you for next time. Work out when next time will be.
- When booking your next family holiday, check out local footpaths and cycling trails.
- Encourage your child to join Cubs or Brownies or similar organisations that prioritise outdoor activity challenges.
- Keep a wildlife diary, encourage your children to record birds in the garden or other wildlife activity in whatever way interests them. They could create a scrapbook, take digital photos, keep a diary about any aspect of wildlife that interests them, write reports on days out.
- Take an interest in organisations such as the Woodland Trust or The Wildlife Trusts, or any organisation that has some kind of activity in your local area.
- Build a den in your garden.
- Try activities you've never done before - pond dipping, kite flying, tracking, bushcraft...
- Check out our free wildlife worksheets in the Learn at Home Zone.
- And last but not least, spend time with your children outdoors whatever the weather.