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Welcome to our Outdoor Learning Page. 

Each week the team will work together coming up with activities for you and your children to participate in at home. We hope you enjoy taking part in these activities and let us know on our facebook page how you get on.

Helping the birds

There are several activities you can do to help the birds that visit your back garden.

Food - Providing a reliable food source - This can be done by using a shop bought bird feeder and keeping it topped up or you can make one as shown below.....

Water - Birds need sources of fresh water to drink and wash in. Again you can buy a bird bath making sure you keep it clean and topped up or you can make one at home as shown below.....

Shelter - Birds need shelter which can be provided by buying or making a bird box - This link is from the RSPB website https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/build-a-birdbox/

bird feeders

milk carton bird feeder

You will need to clean and dry an empty milk carton.

  1. Cut a hole big enough for a bird to fit inside.
  2. Punch a hole in the top of the feeder and thread a string though, then tie at the top and secure.
  3. Decorate as you wish. Try using paint, crayons or permanent markers.
  4. Once the bird feeder is dry, fill with birdseed and hang in your garden.

 

Apple bird feeder

You will need an apple, seeds, sticks and string for this feeder. 

  1. Make a hole in the apple and thread the string through the hole. 
  2. Make an ‘X’ with the sticks and tie them to the string so the apple sits on top.
  3. Make a pattern by pushing the seeds into the apple and hang in your garden.

Lard bird feeder

You will need lard, mixed bird seed, any shape cookie cutter and ribbon or string. (yoghurt pots are also good for this type of feeder). 
1.   Melt 100g of lard into a saucepan. 
2.   Once melted, add 250g of bird seed, ensuring all of the seeds are covered in fat.
3.   If you are using a cookie cutter: place the cookie cutter on a tray or fat plate. Fill it with the seed mixture and press down with the back of a spoon so it is packed in tightly. If you are using a yoghurt pot, make a hole in the yoghurt pot and thread the string through the hole. Tie a knot and proceed to fill the pot with the mixture. 
4.   Cookie cutter: Use a skewer or anything you have to hand which can make a hole through the shape you have made. Put in the fridge and leave to set overnight. 
The next day, ease the shape out of the cutter and thread with ribbon or string and hang from a tree. If you’ve used a yoghurt pot, tie the string and hang from a tree. 

making a bird bath

There are many different ways of making a bird bath as you can see in the pictures. It depends what you've got lying around the house and how inventive you can be. Birds can only use shallow bird baths effectively so you can put rocks or stones in the bath for them to perch on. 

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/maketheperfectbirdbath/ 

This is what the RSPB says:  Keeping a bird bath clean helps to prevent birds catching diseases.

You should clean your birdbath regularly and change the water. A layer of algae, dead leaves or bird droppings will soon build up, so give the bath a thorough clean every week or so. Scrub the sides and bottom to remove algae and other dirt.

You can use dilute household disinfectants, but make sure that you rinse the bath out thoroughly to remove any traces of chemicals. 

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What birds come into your garden?

The RSPB are asking us to watch for birds and then let them know what you see on their Facebook page.

I know the children enjoyed taking part in the big school bird watch, so maybe they would like to do this as well.

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The signs of spring.

Can you see the signs of spring?

Have a look around your garden or next time you take a walk with your family to get some much-needed fresh air and exercise have a look to see if you can spot the signs of spring. Please remember to follow the governments guidelines on social distancing

It would be lovely, if you are able, for you to take some photos and ask an adult to share them on our school Facebook page. 

Click the link below to download the 'signs of spring' grid to use for this activity. There are also some scavenger hunts that you could do too.smiley

Can you hear and smell the signs of Spring?

Is the grass starting to grow, have you heard the sound of lawn mowers and can you smell the freshly cut grass?

Can you hear the birds singing to each other?

Can you smell the blossom and other spring flowers?

Spring is a wonderful time of year watching plants come back to life and brighten up our gardens and countryside. Please remember to leave them to grow and not pick them to take home. The plants will last a lot longer if left alone and many others will be able to enjoy their beauty. Also remember to respect the wildlife and habitats.

Enjoy!

The outdoor learning team smiley

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signs of spring in Kesgrave

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making a wormery

This activity will take about 30 minutes. It is from the 'RHS campaign for school gardening' website https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk

/Resources/Activity/Mini-wormery

You will need:

  • 2 litre clear, plastic bottles
  • Scissors
  • Compost or soil or a mixture of both
  • Sharp sand
  • A few worms per bottle
  • Water sprayer to dampen layers
  • Worm food – grated carrot, vegetable peelings, dead leaves, shredded newspaper

 

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What to do:

  • Collect some worms from the garden. Look in the compost heap, under stones in damp places or dig a hole.
  • Cut the top ¼ off the bottle, to make a lid. Make a slit in the side of the lid so that the top can close over the bottom part.
  • Fill the bottle with alternating layers of sand, soil, sand, compost, sand etc. Spray each layer with water so that it is damp.
  • Add a few worms to the top of the bottle and watch them burrow down. Then add the ‘food’ to the top. Wash hands well after handling worms and compost.
  • Wrap the black cardboard around the bottle to make it dark. Worms do not like light and it will encourage them to burrow around the outside of the bottle so they can be observed.
  • Place the wormery in a warm place. Remove the cardboard when you want to see inside. Check that the contents are damp and that there is food available for the worms.

 

Hints and tips

  • The layers disappear as the sand and soil mix together and channels appear where the worms have burrowed
  • The food from the top may be dragged downwards 
  • Do not feed the worms citrus fruits or onions
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Making a bee b&B

Again the RSPB website has this activity (see link below)

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/buildabeebandb/

Solitary bees aren’t like honeybees that live in hives. As their name suggests, they make their nests on their own and lay their eggs in tunnels, such as in dead wood or hard soil. A bee B&B mimics these conditions. 

You can make your bee B&B whenever the mood takes you, but spring is when potential residents are queueing up for the best new abode.

Sit and watch adult female bees find the nest on sunny days in spring. You’ll know they’re nesting if you see them flying in with pollen (some carry it on their bellies), with blobs of mud to create cell walls along the tube, or with bits of leaf (these are the leaf-cutter bees).

Here are some simpler versions of bee hotels or B&Bs if you have a more limited supply of materials:

making a bug hotel

Again the RSPB website has this activity

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/build-a-bug-hotel/

However here are some ideas for more simple bug hotels

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You can use several things as the main structure of your bug hotel:

  • Large plastic drink bottle
  • Plastic flower pots
  • Tin can – the bigger the better
  • Wooden palets – stacked up
  • A wooden box
  • Even lego!

You can fill your bug hotel with various items, just remember that it will get rained on so avoid things like cardboard that will become water-logged:

  • Strips of wood
  • Straw
  • Moss
  • Dry leaves
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  • Woodchips
  • Old terracotta pots
  • Old roofing tiles
  • Bricks, preferably those with holes through them
  • Old logs
  • Bark
  • Pine cones
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Hollow bamboo canes
  • Dead hollow stems cut from shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • A sheet of roofing felt
  • Planks of wood
  • Whatever else you can find - preferably natural materials

LEAF ART

Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes. You can use fresh leaves or dried fallen ones. Position a leaf with its bottom side facing up. Place a sheet of paper, preferably thin, over the leaf. Rub the side of a crayon or an oil pastel gently over the leaf. 

Once you're confident or if you feel more creative, you can use the leaves to create pictures of animals. For example, squirrels and owls. 

You will see the coloured areas take the shape of the leaf. You can also try overlapping the leaves to create a stunning picture. 

BARK ART

Take a sheet of paper and place it against the bark of the tree. Using charcoal or pencil, rub against the bark on the tree applying gentle pressure. Once an image of the tree bark has formed, take it off unless you want a darker rubbing. Once you’re happy with your final drawing, you can experiment with different colours using crayons.

Once you're confident, you can find different shapes of bark, paint them and make collages with the patterns. 

Be creative! smiley

Making a nature dreamcatcher!

1. Cut a ring out of cardboard
2. Use a pencil to poke holes in the ring, you can use blu tac behind to push the pencil into
3. Use coloured twine to loop through the holes to create a pattern (great for fine motor skills)
4. Create holes for the top loop and bottom string
5. Go out into nature and see what treasures you can find to attach to your dream catcher (lots of plants identification here!)
6. Attach your natural objects either by using knots to tie them in

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