When I was drawing up my plans and timetables for this term, I included an hour for nature walks every morning. At the time, I didn’t really have a plan for these nature walks except getting outside daily. Then Lynn Seddon, whose blog I have been following for a while, released a fantastic year-long curriculum called Exploring Nature with Children.
I ummed and ahhed about buying it but I’m really glad I did as it will greatly enrich our nature walks without requiring much effort or planning to use. I’ve printed it off and put it in a lever arch file. At the beginning of each week, I can simply glance through that week’s pages to gather any relevant books, supplies or other resources. The children already have the nature study bags we put together last year, which will be handy to take along on our walks.
Last week’s theme was seed dispersal, so I searched the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives website for any activities about seeds and printed off some spotter sheets.
As we set off on our first nature walk of the week, I casually chatted to the children to find out how much they already knew and encourage them to think. We discussed why plants need seeds, why animals need seeds, why seeds need to move away from the parent plant and different ways they might do that. I was surprised to find that Aaron already knew quite a lot about seed dispersal, apparently from a Wonder Quest episode. Thank you Stampy, that almost makes up for the many hours of listening to your annoying voice!
Aaron and Tabitha especially enjoyed eating blackberries and elderberries straight from the bush!
We took a ziplock bag along on our nature walks to collect fruits, nuts and seeds. Once we were back home, we displayed some of our finds on the nature table. Aaron and Tabitha’s favourites were the poppy “pepper pot” seed heads we found later in the week.
I also found a poster about seed dispersal that we got a while ago from a free pack of RHS learning resources, which tied in with our theme very nicely and was useful for reviewing what we’d learnt.
Having a theme for our nature walks has been a big success and we are all looking forward to future weeks!