This blog post was meant to be your typical ‘Happy New Year’ fare – on Monday I was planning to tell you about some of our exciting plans for the year and encourage you or your kids to join us in the woods; for play, exploration, education and generally good times! Whilst I’d heard the mutterings about another lockdown, I was stubbornly choosing to ignore them. But then 8pm and Boris arrived and once again, we are all being instructed to stay at home.
Change of Plans
So now we’re taking a different tack. Whilst we still have some really exciting things going on this year (not least of which is the fact that this year sees our DECADE anniversary), we’ve decided instead to try and offer some support and activities for those plunged into home working and learning again. We were so sad to have to cancel our Home Education and Toddler groups after just one day and we know that the feeling is mutual so we thought that rather than dwell on what we’ve temporarily lost, we’d try and help those wondering how to go about accessing the outdoors this time round when the weather is rather less enticing than it was first time round last Spring!
What To Do?
These icy temperatures we’ve been seeing for the last week or so are not conducive to long-winded scavenger hunts outdoors or bird watching (a rather static activity) so what else can you do when out on your daily exercise with the kids? Here we’ve rounded up some ideas that might appeal:
Ice exploration With frozen puddles and ponds being a feature of the start of this year, why not keep your eyes out for them whilst out walking – even the big kids can’t resist stamping in them and watching the ice shatter
Snowdrop spotting I know that it feels too early for flowers but before you know it, these floral first signs of Spring will be with us so keep your eyes peeled for them
Feed the Birds Why not have a go at making some homemade bird feeders for those hungry birds and hang them up in your gardens. You could even tie this in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in a few weeks time.
Races If you’re feeling simultaneously particularly cold and rather energetic, why not challenge your kids to some races – perfect to expend some energy outdoors so cabin fever doesn’t set in once you’re home
Geocaching Why not download the app and see what is hidden near you – then see if you can find it!
Track Detectives With mud aplenty, looking for animal tracks is pretty easy at this time of year. Why not head to the woods or your local park to see what animal tracks you can uncover.
Go Outdoors, Stay Warm!
We don’t need to bang on again about the physical and mental benefits of getting outdoors but we do appreciate that it’s much harder at this time of year when it feels particularly baltic after just a few minutes outdoors! Hopefully the above list has given you some ideas about things to do though and you’ll be digging out your hats, gloves and boots to get outdoors with the kids this January. We’d love to hear from you during this lockdown so please drop photos in the comments of you having fun in the outdoors and share any of your favourite activities for others to be inspired by!
Author: Hannah Durdin, Administrator & Forest School Leader