Share your ideas for getting kids interested in nature - win a copy of BORN TO BE WILD plus a pair of Barbour wellies!

(153 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Mar-16 10:39:10

Looking for ways to get the children away from the screen and into the green?

Packed with great photos of real families in the outdoors, Born to be Wild contains easy-to-follow instructions for activities that require nothing more sophisticated than a small person's imagination and access to a little outdoor space. And the best bit? Everything you need to engage in the activities can be found in your kitchen cupboard. No expensive art supplies or outward-bound kit required – just ordinary household essentials like recycled food containers, scraps of paper, string, glue and an empty jar or two.

With spring and Easter holidays on the horizon, it's a perfect time to get inspired. Create a Jam-Jar garden, build a nest, make a treasure map or do some pond dipping! Born to be Wild will show you how.

To enter the draw to win a copy of Born to be Wild plus a pair of adult Barbour wellies (got to get you outside too!), just share your ideas for getting kids to love nature.

This discussion is sponsored by Bloomsbury and will close on 11 April.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 14-Mar-16 17:01:17

We have a family membership to the national trust and like to get out exploring different houses and gardens. They often do nature trails for children to keep them occupied as they walk outside. Great fun and it has always encouraged my children to walk outdoors.

wendywendy1234 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:01:27

Take children to national trust Easter egg hunts

FoxInABox Mon 14-Mar-16 17:02:49

In my experience kids love the outdoors naturally- all getting out together on the weekend, making dens or going for a walk round the park. Making up silly games, playing pooh sticks or acting out three bulky goat gruffs over bridges are always winners.

lorka Mon 14-Mar-16 17:06:32

We like to go out on our bikes and explore our surroundings. 😃

Mozarmstrong Mon 14-Mar-16 17:11:29

Get into any green space children love fresh air and space

Squigglywiggly Mon 14-Mar-16 17:16:39

My 3 and 5 year out get taking out whatever the weather!

They particularly love the mass of slugs and snails out post wet weather!

forkhandles4candles Mon 14-Mar-16 17:16:49

They love it...as long as they are dressed up warm and there is the promise of a lovely meal in a country pub or English heritage site at end of day, then they will happily commune with nature.

Cmoore7351 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:17:02

We are going to make balls of bird feed and string them to the trees in our garden. We are also going to make insect houses to go in our garden. Both my girls love the outdoors and we always visit our local country parks and wildlife discovery centres X

Anusia86 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:19:42

Since my little girl started walking (now 3,5) we used to take her for a walk outside of pushchair. We always had it with us, but she walked with us until she was tired. Now she loves to go for a walk, or we go to explore nature and have picnic outside to nearby parks, woods and other family friendly places. She loved them. Every time we go somewhere else so she never get bored and she can do and learn something new and has exciting day.

capercaillie Mon 14-Mar-16 17:22:22

The best thing we've found is camping with a group of families. That way children explore nature together with a bunch of peers - and that makes a huge difference. They get more of a sense of freedom when camping and come up with all sorts of ways to entertain themselves. We've had paddling, stone skimming, boat making competitions/races, den building and tree climbing. But none of that was suggested by adults. They also all enjoy walking together - and moan far less than if it was them and us.

Buzzardbird Mon 14-Mar-16 17:22:49

DD loves to write lists so I send her into the garden with a pencil and piece of paper and get her to draw what bugs she can find and name them. This can be extended of course to birds and plants.

Anj123 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:27:35

My daughter loves treasure trails especially if there's prize to win!

ShatnersBassoon Mon 14-Mar-16 17:28:45

Encourage them to help in the garden. Think about what plants will attract wildlife, feed the birds and try to recognise those that often return to the table, look out for signs of hedgehogs and foxes passing through the garden. Taking an interest in your own little outdoor patch makes the great outdoors more exciting.

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 14-Mar-16 17:32:14

Wearing wellies and jumping in puddles!
Collecting things (fossils, bits of pottery, feathers) especially if they can be used in an art work or similar.

barricade Mon 14-Mar-16 17:36:19

We have obtained nature explorer kits which set the kids out trying to discover insect/arachnid/bird species, as well as plants, flower and tree types. There are lists to tick off, leaf samples to obtain and match in the grids, and boxes for illustrations.

Biking up to Chiltern Hills (where the kites/handgliding are set up) makes for a great afternoon out.Additionally, this is a perfect time to set up our annual treasure trail in the woods at the back of our town (Badger/Bluebell Woods) - the kids love that. Requiring to navigate the trail from one end of the woods and out the other, it is pretty hard work, but worth it. On a smaller scale, the classic Easter egg hunt in our garden is just as effective.

smile

SaltySeaBird Mon 14-Mar-16 17:50:48

We are pretty outdoorsy and despite 3.5 year old DD going through an extreme Disney Princess phase and refusing to wear trousers we try and get outside as much as possible.

In the summer the National Trust big camp out was a huge success with bat tracking and moth trapping. The latter is quite easy to set up at home. We've also enjoyed lots of NT events such as bug hunting, snail racing and rock pooling.

I think to get children outside you just need to keep it interesting with lots of activities to uncover the nature around you.

WowOoo Mon 14-Mar-16 18:06:50

Take them out as much as possible. Always keep a ball or frisbee in the boot of your car (if you have one) then you can have an impromptu half hour of fresh air if the weather's good and you have the time.

My eldest came with me and some friends on a night time bat watching trip. He loved the fact it was dark and it was a grown up thing to do. We'll be doing it again.

StickChildNumberTwo Mon 14-Mar-16 18:12:42

My daughter's at the age where she's starting to want to know about things in nature like names of trees and plants. This is great but is showing up my lack of knowledge so I think we'll be doing some learning together.

cookiemonster66 Mon 14-Mar-16 18:14:32

Nature Bingo cards - make your own, draw a 3 x 3 grid, inside each square have a pic of things like worm, dandelion, leaf, etc etc depends on their ages and where you are going on your bingo trail, and of course a prize for the winner!

CheeseAtFourpence Mon 14-Mar-16 18:19:18

We went to a Nature Tots group from a young age and are members of the RSPB. The former was brilliant when our daughter was a toddler. We often out our wellies on and go for walks in the parks and countryside near us - very lucky that we also have wildlife trust places near us.

We feed the birds and encourage her knowledge about different breeds.

CMOTDibbler Mon 14-Mar-16 18:23:24

We spend a lot of time outdoors - on our bikes (a remarkably good way tp see a lot of wildlife), running, or just walking the dogs in the woods or on the hills.
We also love to camp, and a holiday in walking boots or wetsuits is fab as children can roam independantly

Alansbiggestfan Mon 14-Mar-16 18:36:09

My four year old loves helping me find geocaches!

Gisla Mon 14-Mar-16 18:44:14

My son loves bug hunting and digging in the garden. The hard part is convincing him the bugs don't want to be our pets. shock

lottietiger Mon 14-Mar-16 18:49:55

Growing our own food has been a great hit with our 3 year old. It encourages him to plant and dig in the fresh air, learn how things grow from seed to table and how insects such as bees help the food chain. We also had a couple of chckens, before the fiox got them sad and he loved collecting the eggs and helping with the water and feed.
We also have National trust membership so that's a great way of seeing nature from a different perspective as they often put on various kids activities in our local ones.

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