BRIDGING THE SUMMER LEARNING GAP Design a bug hotel A bug hotel is a free and sustainable activity

holidays. The idea is to create a cosy habitat for which can develop over the long summer

insects to shelter in. The ‘hotel’ is a simple structure made from planks of wood or layered

anything goes. Ask children what they imagine As for what to put inside your bug hotel, up bricks, pallets or crates.

to be a cosy environment for a bee or a

imagination. Paper tubes, shredded paper, woodlouse to curl up in to ignite their

structure can be added gradually and once it it’s wonderful nesting areas for small insects. The feathers, pinecones and pebbles all make

complete, and the summer draws in, children can enjoy watching the wildlife make it their home.

Stone cairns A cairn is a man-made tower built of stones and

need to do is gather a variety of large flat rocks a brilliant activity to try with youngsters. All you

children to play in nature, they help build focus Not only are the cairns a fun way to encourage from one large stone or several smaller stones. arrangement possible. The base can be made balance the stones in the best, or the tallest, to form the base of the cairn then stack or

and concentration to find the stone’s balancing Explore a shore


wander the shoreline, stopping to see what can coastline and go exploring! Take the time to Make the most out of Britain’s beautiful

and being inquisitive about the natural world is a be discovered along the way. Asking questions

brilliant way to expand children’s education beyond the classroom.

Flower crowns

Flower crowns are a wonderful nature craft and Forest School activity. If you are heading out

flowers, plants and grasses along the way. At with little ones on a walk or a picnic, gather

collection of treasures from which to form a the end of the day, children will have a

flower crown or a leaf headpiece. Nature survey

Turn your garden or local park into a nature study this summer by getting children tomonitor the area on a regular basis and record what they see. A survey which asked 200 children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old to identify some of the creepy crawlies revealed that 89%of children were unable to recognise a butterfly and a further 5 si

engage in the outside world. This can take place week-on-week with as children take record what they see, through tallies or drawings, recognising patterns and what happens at different times of day and in different types of weather .

Make a weather station

The weather is a common fascination, especially among the younger the generation, and, given changeable conditions of British summertime, this can often be a great time of year to monitor it. Setting up a make-shift weather station can be as comprehensive as you choose. Simple tools include a thermometer to gauge the

temperature, a flag to measure the wind and a jewel to see if it sparkles on a sunny day.

Homemade rain gauges can be easily made by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and turning it upside down inside the bottom half to create a funnel. Another common practice includes observing the cloud formations by drawing pictures and comparing shapes. By doing this regularly, children will begin to recognise patterns and be able to make their own

mple survey is a great way for getting children to 1%could not recognise a bumblebee.** A

predictions which can be turned into a game by comparing it to official forecasts.

Build a shelter

Children and adults alike love building dens. A good shelter protects you from the elements and provides a sense of achievement and security. Shelters can be built in several different ways weather it is a tepee types structure, a lean-too, an A-frame or a tent made from tarp, the important part is the process.Working with children to find the spot and build a finished shelter is a great activity for communication skills, design skills and problem solving. *


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