The days are getting longer and we know it can be a struggle to keep children busy and entertained in these very challenging times. Luckily nature always has an answer. So we’ve gathered some more activities we hope you’ll enjoy – either at home, in the garden or out on a walk while you enjoy some daily exercise as a family. Just remember to follow Government advice on social distancing though – it’s vital we all keep to the rules right now.

1. Hunt for different textures

Is your family's daily dose of fresh air and exercise getting a little repetitive? Then it’s time to change it up a bit and introduce a new nature challenge. We hope this activity will get the kids (and adults!) using their observation skills – it’s amazing what you notice when you really look…

How many different natural textures can you all spot in your garden or on your daily walk? Make a list and see what you can find:

  • Rough bark – and for an extra point, can you identify the tree it came from?
  • Silky flower petals
  • Velvety moss
  • Smooth shiny pebbles
  • Something prickly or spiny
  • Crackly leaves
  • A soft bud or catkin

2. Make bark and leaf rubbings

Nature loves a pattern – and they can make fascinating pictures if you know where to look. Get the children to grab some colourful crayons and plain paper then head out into your garden. To make a rubbing, simply place the paper on top of a natural object and rub a crayon over it sideways to create a fantastic print. Tree bark is ideal – the more knobbly the better! You can even turn it into a competition by getting your family members to guess which tree or natural item you used to make the rubbing.

3. Get creative with a bluebell craft

Bluebell season is here and for the next few weeks many woods will have gorgeous purple blue carpets. Unfortunately, most of us won’t be able to enjoy the spectacular displays in our woods this year because we need to stay at home, but your family can still have a go at this easy bluebell craft – it’s an ideal indoor nature activity for a rainy day.

Simply draw a bright green stem and leaves on some card, then look for scraps of blue paper and card to make the nodding bell-shaped flower heads. Tissue paper would be ideal. When you’ve finished maybe you could display your bluebell in a window for others to see.

4. Make twig wind chimes

Head into the garden and see if you can gather some long, straight sticks to make your own relaxing wind chime. The kids can even paint the sticks bright colours if they’d like to. Then tie some string around each one and hang them from a branch. Different lengths of string will look most effective – as long as your sticks are near enough to hit each other. Now listen… The wood makes a lovely, rhythmic soothing sound as the different lengths knock together in the breeze.

5. Have a welly walk in your garden

Don't let rain stop play! We know it can be more difficult to get kids outdoors when it's raining, but fresh air is still really important, so here's an idea to help your family get your fix when the weather's not great.

Pull on your wellies and waterproofs and go for a welly walk around your garden or on your daily exercise. Challenge your kids to bend down low and see if they can find wiggly worms, slippery snails and slimy slugs. Look for raindrops dripping off leaves and collecting in flower heads and listen out for birds – they’ll still be singing whatever the weather! Then get rid of some of that excess energy by jumping in as many puddles as you can find. We guarantee you’ll feel better for getting outside – even if you all needed a bit of encouragement.

We hope these fun ideas give you some inspiration to pass the time while your children are at home. Don't forget to check out part one, part two and part three of our nature activities for kids to do at home, in case you missed them.

If you're looking for more ideas, take a look at our Tree Tools for Schools website. It's home to all our educational materials for schools - from wildlife ID sheets to interactive puzzles and quizzes. So you'll find plenty of ways to keep your children engaged and active over the coming weeks.

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