Take a look at our activities to learn about the environment we live in
How Do Dandelions Thrive So Well in the Face Of Life’s Challenges?
You’ve probably noticed lots of Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) around at the moment. They are really good at surviving and pop up in all sorts of places (sometimes where they are not wanted). How do they adapt so well? Use our worksheets to help you find the answers and enjoy some dandelion activities;
“I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’M STICK MAN, that’s me!
At Holt Hall, we love finding things to do with sticks in our Ancient woodland. We cook on them, build with them, make trails with them and make environmental art with them.
One of our favourite stories is Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
Here are some ideas for younger children to do at home or outdoors if you can go for a walk or have some outdoor space.
- Snuggle up somewhere cosy and share the story.
- Make a stick person or stick family. You could use twigs, leaves and other natural materials or you could use lolly sticks, pencils, paper, wool . . . bread sticks . . . whatever you can find. You could use your stick people as puppets to retell the story. Send us some pictures of the stick family adventures!
- Try floating some sticks. In the story, Stick Man floats down the river. Find some sticks or twigs and put them in a bowl of water. Which ones float? Try floating other things you find like a leaf, a flower, a stone? You could find some indoor things to float if you don’t have any outdoor space.
- Make the stick family home. You could make a mini den outside with more sticks or find a hollow in a tree trunk or make them a little tent or den with whatever you can find. Or use an empty box and junk materials to make a little home for them.
- Sort your sticks by size, colour or feel. Play wishing sticks, snap, or other stick games.
This week whilst out for my daily walks I heard my first Cuckoo of the year and saw my first Swallow. These birds have travelled all the way from Africa to be here. That’s THOUSANDS of miles!
Birds migrate to find food and to raise young. It gives a species the best chance to survive. But how do they do it? You can use our ideas below to find out more.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Holt Hall soon. Next week, look out for lots of activities to do with Bees.
There’s a worm at the bottom of my garden!
There is a creature that lives in every garden, park and school field but we rarely stop to notice them. Worms play an essential role in keeping soil healthy and are an important food source for many creatures. Try out some of our annelid activities using the worksheet
Celebrate the natural world on our doorstep. Normally overlooked, and often neglected during our busy lives, our “Natural Neighbours” are now taking every opportunity to showcase their amazing beauty, resourcefulness and willingness to share their space – if we give them a chance.The Holt Hall team will share some of their sightings and would love to see what natural wonders, however small, you have noticed during the lockdown as well. We’ll also share some ideas on how you can support your local wildlife now, and in the future, by creating simple, wildlife friendly features.
Build an insect home
Our first sighting comes from Outdoor Learning Instructor Nige’, who spotted Red Mason bees using his insect home for the first time.
Bees and other pollinators are vital to most of the world’s food crops, but have been in decline in recent decades due to pesticides, the destruction of wild habitats and disease.If you’ve noticed any buzzy Natural Neighbours, please share your spots with us by emailing a photo (preferably a JPEG) to email@example.com with a brief description.There are lots of great online resources to help identify bees, but here’s two to get you started. One from the Friends of the Earth and one from the Wildlife Trusts.You can also do your bit to help look after bees and other valuable insects, by building them a lovely hotel. The Wildlife Trust has a great resource here, and the RSPB offers plans for a deluxe version here as part of their Wild Challenge.
This is brought to you by Outdoor Learning Instructor, Em. Her husband, Robin, spotted this beautiful Red Kite soaring high above their garden in Norwich. Robin is a professional photographer but admits he could only capture such clarity and colour because the urban sky was missing its usual haze of pollution.
There are many examples of this from around the world, as we use less fossil-fuelled transport during lockdown, and walk and cycle more.
What have you noticed flying around in these clearer skies?
The 9th May was World Migratory Bird Day, so if you missed it, why not take some time to look up and see if you can spot Swifts and Swallows performing their aerial displays. Or listen for Cuckoos who may have had a safer journey with less man-made disturbance. Send your photos (preferably JPEG) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share your spots.
Want to know more about bird migration and what you might see? Then read this great RSPB article. Happy spotting!
To bring some calm in these turbulent times we will being sharing Mindful Monday posts from Holt Hall each week. Mindfulness is a term we hear a lot about; what do you think it means?
Headspace define it as “ the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them”.
Spring Scavenger Hunt
To practice try this multi-sensory Spring scavenger hunt – click here for the worksheet – seated by a window, in your garden or on a walk, and take some time to admire our rainbow of spring flora from the Holt Hall grounds.
To celebrate World Migratory Bird Day – enjoy the sound of recently arrived birds singing to declare territory and attract a mate.